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Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS – 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 40 year knowledge of the Cardiff West constituency.

Mark became the Assembly Member 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. Mark was appointed First Minister on 13 May 2021.

On the Cutting Edge of Tidal Blade Design and Materials

To boost the competitiveness of tidal energy, the NEMMO project aims at optimising tidal turbine blade design and performance by making a larger, lighter, and more durable composite blade for floating tidal turbines.


This project, now in its third year, has already made great progress in testing and producing tailored composites, coatings and appendages for a novel tidal blade. This side event will highlight the latest findings on materials and modelling and the results they have achieved.


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An overview of the progress in the ocean energy sector

The third OceanSET Knowledge Sharing workshop will present results of the third survey carried out across Member States and Ocean Energy device developers in Europe. The results will focus on Member States and partnering non-EU countries’ policy and infrastructure, nationally funded projects, technology costs and performance, and suggestions for improvements.


This year we will also provide an update on the EuropeWave pre-commercial procurement programme and the upcoming wave energy projects being selected to progress the Ocean Energy sector.


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Ricardo Serrão Santos – Portugal’s 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.

Collaborative Innovation – New Horizons

The Horizon 2020 OCEANERA-NET COFUND project is now in its fifth year and has successfully implemented two Joint Calls for collaborative, trans-national research, development and demonstration projects to tackle some of the key challenges and opportunities for ocean energy. The 9 projects funded under the Co-funded Joint Call are reaching completion and have exciting results to report, while we have 4 projects ongoing under the second call. This side event will hear from companies on the benefits of collaborative innovation and OCEANERA-NET support, and the results they have achieved.


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Building national support: a pathway to multi-device farms

A supportive policy environment at national level is necessary for the deployment of ocean energy multi-device farms. The Interreg NWE Ocean DEMO project is working actively with national governments in North-Western Europe to create policies that will enable the immense potential of ocean energy.


This side event will bring together national policy experts from France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom to discuss the current ocean energy policy landscape in their respective countries and how it can be improved in the future.


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OEE Members Only – Future horizons

Join OEE membership for an evening of sharing knowledge, connecting and catching up! This members-only event will give membership an opportunity to hear all about the Horizon Europe funding programme, hear from successful (and not!) grant applicants and re-connect with the OEE secretariat.


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OEE2021 Conference Dinner

Join us for drinks and an informal dinner in this wonderful Halles Saint Géry, built in the characteristic Flemish neorenaissance style. Network with your peers and colleagues, catch-up with old friends and make new connections!


Dinner tickets are not included in the delegate pass price and can be purchased during registration.


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OEE2021 5K Run

Catch up with your ocean energy colleagues while seeing the Brussels sights and getting your heart rate up!

Join us on the eve of OEE2021 for a run throughout Brussels, the heart of Europe. The route will begin and end at the EGG, the OEE2021 venue. The route will take you through Brussels’ historic medieval centre and go through parts of Brussels that tourists usually never see.


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Kadri Simson – European Commissioner for Energy

Kadri Simson is an Estonian politician from the Centre Party, European Commissioner for Energy in the von der Leyen Commission since 1 December 2019. She was previously Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications in Jüri Ratas’ first cabinet from 2016 to 2019.