(St. John’s, NL, 19 June 2014) The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, participated in Ireland’s first annual “Our Ocean Wealth” conference on June 18 at Dublin Castle in Ireland.

While there Minister Sullivan addressed conference participants, and sat as part of a panel discussion on the challenges facing the ocean technology industry and the actions required to stimulate progress. Enda Kenny, Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, was also in attendance.

The Our Ocean Wealth Conference was presented as the first annual review of the implementation of Ireland’s Harnessing Our Wealth industry review. The focus of the conference is sustainable growth and employment opportunities for the future, as well as the challenges facing the industry.

The minister took the opportunity to reflect on cultural and economic connections. “Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador may sit on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, but we share nearly 300 years of history and a bond that has never wavered,” she said and emphasised both governments’ committment to supporting ocean industries. “… We want to ensure that we create the optimal conditions so we can promote investment and enable growth [in the oceans sector].” She said that conferences provide an ideal opportunity to build on existing collaborations, strengthen our relationships and facilitate new partnerships with the Irish industry.

The minister said that both Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador are seeking to leverage shared oceans capabilities for business and economic development. They are focused largely on research and innovation. “Our deeply rooted culture in ocean innovation has turned what many view as challenges into opportunities and competitive advantages,” she said. “Based on existing ties, our respective ocean technology clusters are ideally positioned to build on collaborative efforts and take advantage of new drivers in the marine and ocean technology industry.”

Additional information on the conference available here.

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Media contacts:
Jennifer Tulk
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 728-4104