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IRENA: Presentation of new reports

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will give an introduction to its two new reports, which show that in addition to providing mainstream power generation, a blue economy driven by offshore renewables will bring major benefits to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and coastal communities.

‘Fostering a blue economy: Offshore renewable energy’

‘Innovation outlook: Ocean energy technologies’ 

Francesco La Camera – IRENA Director-General

Francesco La Camera is the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He was appointed at the Ninth Assembly of IRENA, the ultimate decision-making body of the Agency. Mr. La Camera took office on 4 April 2019 and brings more than thirty years of experience in the fields of climate, sustainability, and international cooperation.

Vi Maris Award

The OEE industry award Vi Maris (Force of the sea) recognises excellence in the ocean energy industry. The industry award acknowledges individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the ocean energy sector.


More info

Catherine Chabaud – Member of the European Parliament

Catherine Chabaud is a French journalist and politician who was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2019.


In 1997 Chabaud became the first woman to sail solo and non-stop around the world. She is the only female to have skippered the winning entry on corrected time in the Fastnet Race, doing so in 1999.


Since becoming a Member of the European Parliament, Chabaud has been serving on the Committee on Development. In addition to her committee assignments, she is part of the European Parliament Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas[6] and the MEPs Against Cancer group.

Mark Drakeford – First Minister of Wales

Mark was born and brought up in west Wales before moving to Cardiff more than 30 years ago. Since then he has lived in the Pontcanna area of Cardiff. A former probation officer, youth justice worker and Barnardos project leader in Ely and Caerau, he has been a professor of Social Policy and Applied Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Mark has also taught previously at Swansea University.


In the 1980s and 1990s Mark was a Labour Councillor on South Glamorgan County Council, specialising in education issues, including Welsh medium education. Between 2000 and 2010 he worked as the Cabinet’s health and social policy adviser at the Welsh Government, and was latterly head of the First Minister’s political office. He has a 30 year knowledge of the Cardiff West constituency.


Mark became the Member of the Senedd for Cardiff West in May 2011. He was Chair of the Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee from July 2011 – March 2013 and of the All-Wales Programme Monitoring Committee for European funds from July 2011 – March 2013. He was appointed Minister for Health and Social Services in March 2013. He was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government in May 2016. Mark was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Finance on 3 November 2017. On 12 December 2018 Mark was appointed First Minister of Wales and became a member of the Privy Council on 13 February 2019.

Paul Wheelhouse – Scottish Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands

Born in Northern Ireland, and raised in Scotland, Paul is a professional economist, who has an MA (Hons) in Economic Science from the University of Aberdeen and an MBA from University of Edinburgh. Paul worked for 19 years in economic consultancy for public and private sector clients prior to his election in May 2011. He has previously served as Minister for Environment and Climate Change (2012-2014), Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs (2014-2016) and Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy (2016-2018), and prior to ministerial office was a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee and the Parliament’s Standards Committee.

Ricardo Serrão Santos – Portuguese Minister of Maritime Affairs

Ricardo Serrão Santos was born in 1954. Lives in the portuguese Autonomous Region of Azores.


Doctor in Biology and Animal Ecology he is Principal Researcher at the University of the Azores, Pro-Rector of the University of the Azores and President of IMAR – Institute of Marine Research.


He was Director of the Department Oceanography and Fisheries of Unniversity of Azores.


Ricardo Serrão Santos has been dedicated to the study of marine biodiversity and ocean ecosystems, and has more than 400 hundred published works of which more than 200 papers in SCI journals included in the Web of Knowledge. He is co-editor of a book on “Seamounts: Ecology, Fisheries and Conservation”, and co-author of a Virtual Centre of Marine Interpretation (CIMV).


During his academic career coordinated and chaired several scientific organizations of the EU, Portugal and the Azores. He holds positions in several scientific advisory bodies and committees among which the Oceanographic Institute of Paris. He is Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Marine Science/ Deep-Sea Environments and Ecology.


Ricardo Serrão Santos is member of the Portuguese Academy of Sciences and Emeritus Member of the Portuguese Navy Academy.


He has received several honorable mentions and awards, among which a «Gift to the Earth» by WWF in 2002, the “Insígnia Autonómica de Reconhecimento” awarded by the Legislative Parliament of the Azores and the Azores Government in 2012, commended “Chevalier de l’Ordre de Saint Charles” by SAS Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2013, awarded the Prize “Excellence Mare” awarded by PwC Portugal in 2017.


He was also Member of the European Parliament between 2014 and 2019.