4th Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference: Programme

Conference moderated by Niall McDonough, Director - Policy, Innovation and Research Support Services Marine Institute

08.30-09.00 – Registration

09.00-09.30 – Welcome addresses

  • Councillor Ms. Eva Bolander, Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow
  • Mr. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity
  • Mr. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission (video message)
  • Mr. Jerry Lundy, Member of the Committee of the Regions

Closing Remarks by Mr. Bernhard Friess, Director, Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission

09.30-09.35 – Introduction to the Conference day

09.35-10.50 – Plenary opening session

Embarking on the 5th year of the Atlantic Action Plan, in the ASPC2017 opening plenary session prominent speakers will outline its achievements and provide an overview of funding instruments deployed by the Atlantic community stakeholders to finance their projects. An Atlantic Strategy veteran will present a historical account of the Atlantic Action Plan from the Irish perspective. A Managing Authority will inform participants on the type of projects receiving financing. The session will close with the sharing of good practices from the Baltic Sea basin.  


Mr. Christos Economou, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission


  • Ms. Ciara Delaney, Director, EU Policy; European Union Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland
  • Mr. Costas Kastrinakis, Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic Action Plan
  • Ms. Conceição Santos, Head of Strategy Department of the Directorate General for Maritime Policy, Portugal
  • Mr. Erik Kiesow, National Coordinator of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EU Coordination Secretariat at the Prime Minister’s Office, Sweden.

Questions and answers

10.50-11.15 – Coffee & Tea Break, networking & matchmaking, exhibition

The two-floor dedicated exhibition, networking and match-making area will host 40 stands. Exhibition stands will be allocated to Atlantic stakeholders of a varying spectrum of activities ranging from private organisations, universities and research centres to organisations providing financial support for the implementation of Atlantic actions and projects. Networking and matchmaking activities among interested participants will be facilitated by the Support Team. In addition, a matchmaking tool will be deployed through which the participants will be invited to register prior to the conference so as to simplify the process of profiling, matching, meeting requests, agenda setting, and location reservation.

Participants should not miss this first opportunity to network!

11.15-11.50 – Atlantic Project Award Ceremony

The Atlantic Project Awards will be granted to 6  projects that come under the umbrella of the Atlantic Strategy and Action Plan Priorities I.e. Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Atlantic Marine and Coastal Environment, Accessibility and Connectivity, Sustainability International Cooperation, and a Special Award as recognition of outstanding performance in these areas.  11.50-12.00 - Interreg North-West Europe achieving results: the RegioStars award winning Bio Base NWE project

11.50-12.00 – INTERREG North-West Europe Achieving Results:  the RegioStars Award winning Bio Base NWE project


  • Mr. Ruut Louwers, Director, INTERREG North-West Europe Programme
  • Dr Eve Bird, Bio base NWE project 

12.00-13.30 – First round of four parallel workshop sessions

Workshop 1A:  Year of Scotland’s Coast and Waters 2020: Multi-sector methodology to ensure Blue Growth

Organiser:  VisitScotland

Summary: The workshop aims to discuss issues relating to the preservation and promotion of the Atlantic’s cultural heritage through diversification given that 2020 has been designated as Scotland’s Themed Year of Coast and Waters. The workshop is an introduction to how VisitScotland, the national tourism agency for Scotland, is working with partners in public, private and third/charitable sectors to help destinations meet demands from national and international marine and coastal tourism markets, including the global cruise industry.  This interactive workshop will briefly set out the Scottish context and provide examples of marine and coastal tourism projects that embrace cultural heritage, skills development and changing maritime activity. Participants will be offered the opportunity to explore effective practices to date and identify what can be learned from other Atlantic Strategy Partners, and consider where partnerships and clusters can increase market demand. The session will conclude with proposals for practical next steps to foster co-operation and collaboration to deliver sustainable blue growth in the European Atlantic Seaboard and provide models for other maritime regions.

Moderator: Mr. David J Adams McGilp, Regional Director, VisitScotland


  • Mr. Karl Stevens, Hebridean Whale Trail Manager, Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust 
  • Ms. Carron Tobin, Development Manager, Argyll & Isles Tourism Co-operative
  • Mr. Giancarlo Fedeli, Principal Investigator of the Cool Route, Glasgow Caledonian University

Workshop 1B: She for Sea, the role of women in the Atlantic Strategy

Organiser: Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities

Summary: The objective is to consider gender equality in the maritime economy through several approaches with ideas and good practices from cities and stakeholders of the Atlantic basin.  In line with the priorities of the Atlantic Action Plan and in a cross-thematic approach, the goal of this workshop is to encourage participation from the audience, in order to gather as much as experiences and good practices as possible so as to foster the role of women in the Atlantic Maritime Strategy.  In this regard, the "She for Sea" project launched in 2016 by the Conference of Atlantic Cities is an example of good practice towards promoting the role of women in maritime affairs.

Moderator: Ms. Tamara Guirao, Secretary General, Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities


  • Ms Sylvie Guerry-Gazeau, Vice-president of La Rochelle Agglomération, Mayor of Clavette, Vice-President of the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities
  • Ms Mariana López, C.E.O. of The Ocean Corner

Workshop 1C: ATLAS Project

Organiser: University of Edinburgh

Summary: The ATLAS project is tasked with providing essential new knowledge of deep ocean ecosystems and populations in the North Atlantic. Containing reservoirs of biodiversity and genetic material these deep-sea habitats have economic potential that in turn presents social challenges as Atlantic communities seek to capitalise on Blue Growth. ATLAS intends to develop scenario-led strategies that stimulate Blue Growth. The context of this work is to examine case studies under future scenarios of climate change and human use. Social challenges relate to economic opportunities influenced by environmental change. In this workshop, we exemplify different aspects associated with three case studies drawn from the west, mid and east North Atlantic. ATLAS case studies are focal ecosystems located near to blue growth activities as well as representing areas where environmental data is available and where offshore cruises are likely to add information during the life of the project. They are at a scale where biogeographic, regulatory and socio-economic information can be properly integrated.  Sharing good practices is an essential element of the ATLAS project as we seek to improve our capacity to monitor, model and predict shifts in deep-water ecosystems and link that understanding into effective ocean governance.

Moderator: Professor J. Murray Roberts, University of Edinburgh 


  • Dr. Dick van Oevelen, Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research
  • Dr. Telmo Morato, IMAR - University of the Azores
  • Dr. Anthony Grehan, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Dr. Katherine Needham, University of Edinburgh

Workshop 1D:  Setting a bridge between history and modernity of the cultural heritage of the Atlantic Area: from the cities’ maritime military and industrial heritage valorisation to the development of new nautical tourism activities, products and innovation

Organiser: Interreg Atlantic Area

Summary: One of the main objectives sought by the Interreg Atlantic Area programme is an improved cooperation in view of a better exploitation and preservation of the Atlantic natural and cultural assets, leading to an enhanced attractiveness of the Area by allowing the region to attract new visitors and to generate new products and services. The Programme aims at contributing to develop economic activities, create new local jobs, fix and attract people and create synergies, contributing to the improvement of the social well-being of populations.  The new Interreg Atlantic Area programme (2014-2020) has already adopted 42 new projects. Two among are within the topic of the proposed workshop:

  • The new project MMIAH which will be presented in this workshop aims at developing a joint working methodology to ensure the recovery of the cities’ historical memory around these heritage sites, the provision of new uses through their social appropriation and the joint promotion of cultural tourism.
  • The objective of the project CAPITEN is to create an industry cluster in the nautical industry to promote the emergence of innovative products and services, bolstering the attractiveness of the destination resorts and well-being of the local residents, as well as attracting a new tourist clientele.

Moderator: Ms. Morgane Lesage, Director of the Joint secretariat of the Programme INTERREG ATLANTIC AREA


  • Mr. Jorge Suárez Fernández, Mayor of Ferrol, Galicia
  • Mr. Ronan Le Baccon, Director of Tourism, Région Bretagne
  • Ms. Annabel Lawrence, Lecturer, University of Highlands and Islands, Scotland

13.30-15.00 – Lunch, matchmaking and exhibition stands

Participants will have the opportunity to continue the networking and matchmaking activities during lunch.

15.00-16.30 – Working meeting (dedicated to Managing Authorities of European Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF), on invitation): Contribution of ESIF programmes to the implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan” (in parallel of the 2nd round of workshops)

15.00-16.30 – Second round of four Parallel workshop sessions

Workshop 2A: Social Innovation as a Strategy for Atlantic Area Sustainable and Inclusive Development

Organiser: CES - Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra

Summary: The workshop is inspired by the Atlantic Social Lab - Atlantic cooperation for the promotion of social innovation (EAPA_246/2016) project and aims to analyse the potential of social innovation to function as an effective mechanism for the sustainable, inclusive and smart development of the Atlantic Area. This workshop will focus, on the one hand, on the discussion and reflection on the wide discrepancies in the level of community engagement in social innovation initiatives across the Atlantic region, from a micro perspective; and on the other hand, in the articulation between smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) of the Atlantic Area regions and the incorporation of the social innovation dimension of these strategies, in a macro perspective. The discussion of these themes aims to contribute to multidimensional reflection on social innovation, as a concept and as a political process, promoting the debate about the social needs that the Atlantic Area faces and allowing the knowledge transfer between stakeholders. It also intends to promote the sharing of good practices in order to build a common strategic vision and to define concrete lines of action to create the socially inclusive and sustainable model of regional development in the Atlantic Area.

Moderator: Mr. Colin Combe, Senior Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University


  • Ms. Sílvia Ferreira, Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra & Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies and at the Center for Cooperative and Social Economy Studies
  • Mr. Francisco Javier Val Campos, Representative of the City of Aviles and Lead Partner of the 'Atlantic Social Lab' Project
  • Ms. Carla Nogueira, Researcher in the field of Sociology, University of Algarve

Workshop 2B:  Enhance the action plan with inclusive maritime education and awareness initiatives

Organiser: We Atlantic

Summary: With a view to fostering a successful implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan, it is necessary to develop a greater openness of the populations to maritime issues. The workshop aims to emphasize the current and potential contribution of maritime education, culture and leisure to the achievement of an inclusive strategy. It will highlight some good practices aiming to develop the interest of the local populations in maritime issues: maritime and nautical education and culture for young people, especially at school, “maritime communication” towards all publics, for example, through events linked to maritime heritage and culture, jobs and economy, environment, watersports, etc. Speakers from 4 countries will present their vision and showcase several successful experiences.

Moderator: Mr. François Arbellot, We Atlantic, France


  • Ms. Cecilia Marques, CIM Alto Minho, Portugal
  • Mr Ywann Dupre, Comité Régional Olympique et Sportif des Pays de la Loire
  • Ms. Johanne Murphy, Irish Sailing Association, Ireland

Workshop 2C: 'Speed dating' for Integrated Maritime Policy

Organiser: Scottish Coastal Forum (in association with NL Ministry of Environment)

Summary: People involved in Integrated Maritime Policy often know their own area of interest very well but are less sure of how these fit in with other activities? in the wider marine realm and what is needed for the next stages in the EU IMP/Blue Growth agenda. To overcome this, MSP colleagues in the NL Government invented a game that brings together people representing IMP areas such as Blue Growth and Clean Energy with those looking at Governance issues, Skills Development and? possible Joint Actions. In short, sharp interactions, up to 50 players explain their points of view on different subjects to each other and explore possible linkages between subject areas.  They then move around the room and do it all over again with a different subject and a different group of people. It’s like Speed Dating for IMP!  Within the space of around an hour, with a little facilitation, everyone should have a chance to speak to everyone else about a wide range of topics. It's fast, fun and another innovative approach to understanding the many different, but related, aspects of IMP. It's also perfect for demonstrating transboundary cooperation along, or across, a Regional Sea!

Moderator:    Mr. Lodewijk Abspoel, Senior Dutch policy advisor for EU Integrated Maritime Policy and Ms. Rhona Fairgrieve, Scottish Coastal Forum           


Workshop 2D: Community-Led Local Development: Opportunities for Fisheries Communities and Cooperation

Organiser: FARNET

Summary:  This workshop aims to share with delegates how Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) is helping to deliver real outcomes for fisheries communities across the 20 Member States that implement it under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF).  It will provide a background and explain the roles of Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) in designing and delivering the area based Local Development Strategies.  We will share examples of good practice of projects funded by FLAGs relating to key themes of Priority 4 of the Atlantic Strategy and highlighting the possible cooperation opportunities that could be developed between key stakeholders and fisheries communities. A key objective of the workshop is to develop links that can be generated between FLAGs and other stakeholders in coastal communities and identifying how the work of FLAGs and the Atlantic Strategy can be tied together.

Moderator:  Susan Grieve, FARNET Geographical Expert UK and Ireland   


  • Ms. Anna Eve Patel, North Thames Fisheries Local Action Group, Animateur 
  • Mr. Jamie Wilkinson, NESFLAG (North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group), Programme Co-ordinator

16.30-17.30 – Coffee & Tea Break, networking and exhibition

A final opportunity is offered to participants for meetings and further networking exchanges prior to the end of the conference.

17.30-18.30 – Plenary closing session

Niall McDonough, Director - Policy, Innovation and Research Support Services Marine Institute

During the Conference’s final session, a synopsis of the key outcomes from the workshop sessions will be presented by the rapporteurs in the form of a panel discussion followed by exchanges with the audience. The Atlantic Strategy Group 2017 UK Presidency, the Atlantic Strategy Group 2018 ES Presidency and a representative from the European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will then close the Conference.

17.30-18.15 – Presentation of workshop sessions outcomes

Workshop rapporteurs

18.15-18.30 – Closing words


Mr. James How, United Kingdom 2017 President of the Atlantic Strategy Group

Mr. Fernando De La Peña López, Spain 2018 Presidency representative of the Atlantic Strategy Group

Mr. Christos Economou, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission

18.30-19.30 – Cocktail reception