Dublin Castle · 15th & 16th November 2022

Navigating to 2050

A safe and sustainable maritime future

15th & 16th November 2022
Dublin Castle

A two-day online and in-person event at Dublin Castle, the conference brings key national and international leaders together to debate a safe and sustainable route to 2050.


The maritime sector is becoming increasingly complex and decision points on key issues are close at hand. Decarbonisation, alternative fuel types, autonomous systems and ships, digitalisation of navigation and related technology, offshore renewable energy development, and maritime spatial planning are all driving significant changes in our industry. This will present challenges and opportunities for all involved in shipping, ports, maritime infrastructure, safety, regulation, and environmental protection. These issues need to be tackled simultaneously, and in a holistic manner if we are to achieve a safe and sustainable route to 2050.


Irish Lights is a 24/7 maritime safety organisation, operating around the coast of Ireland, north and south. We play an important role in contributing to safe navigation at sea, ensuring compliance with Chapter V/13 of the SOLAS Safety of Life at Sea Convention and responding to dangerous wrecks.  


As a key stakeholder in the maritime sector, Irish Lights is acutely conscious that this future can only be delivered by close interconnectivity and collaboration between all the players and dimensions within the sector. That is why we have a particular interest in bringing together a diverse range of key national and international leaders to facilitate this important debate. We invite you to join us for a stimulating and engaging two days on the 15th and 16th of November in Dublin Castle and online.

Yvonne Shields O’Connor

CEO Irish Lights

Tuesday 15th November

Session 1

Navigating Safely and Sustainably to 2050

Session 2

Will Technology Change the Future of Navigation and What Are the Implications for Safety and Sustainability?

Wednesday 16th November

Session 3

A Changing Offshore Seascape – Keeping It Safe

Session 4

Ports and Regional Infrastructure in 2050

Sponsorship opportunities

There are a small number of high profile sponsorship packages available. For further information, contact Jane McGahern on 01 271 5455 or email jane.mcgahern@irishlights.ie


Yvonne Shields O’Connor

CEO, Irish Lights

Minister Hildegarde Naughton

Minister of State, Department of Transport

Dr. Paul Little

CEO, City of Glasgow College and Chair of UK Shipping Skills Taskforce

Anthony Gurnee

Founder and CEO of Ardmore Shipping, Ireland

Maja Markovčić Kostelac

Executive Director, European Maritime Safety Agency, Portugal

Chris Waddington

Technical Director, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)

Prof. Alan Ahearne

University of Galway, Ireland

Caoimhín Ó Ciaruáin

Assistant Secretary, Department of Transport, Ireland

Dr. Kirsi Tikka

Independent Director and International Maritime Advisor, UK

Aoife O’Leary

CEO, Opportunity Green, UK

Ronan Boyle

Director of e-Navigation and Maritime Services, Commissioners of Irish Lights, Ireland

Ann Pletschke

Chief Vessel Operator, Ocean Infinity, UK

Jacob Terling

Principal Administrator, European Commission, DG Move, Brussels

Niels Peter Fredslund

Deputy Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA), Denmark

Carmen Aguilera

Head of Section, Operational Market Development & Safety Critical Applications, EUSPA (European Union Agency for Space Programme), Czech Republic

Francis Zachariae

Secretary General, IALA, France

Dr. Alan Grant

Head of R&D, GRAD, UK

John Pottle

Director, Royal Institute of Navigation

Maria Graham

Assistant Secretary, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Ireland

Martina Hennessy

Principal Officer, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, Ireland

Kai Truempler

Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), Germany

Carien Droppers

Coordinating Specialist Advisor Shipping, Rijkswaterstaat Sea and Delta, The Netherlands

Nigel Hare

Director of Navigational Requirements, Trinity House, UK

Adam Cronin

Head of Offshore – DP Energy

Cormac Gebruers

National Maritime College of Ireland

Robert Mc Cabe

Chair of the Seafood and Offshore Energy Working Group

Noel Cunniffe

CEO of Wind Energy Ireland

Liam Lacey

Director, Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO)

Prof. Kurt Bodewig

Co-ordinator, Motorways of the Sea - DG MOVE, EU Commission, Brussels

Mary Dunning

Principal Officer, Dept. of Transport, Ireland

Pat Keating

Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce and Shannon Foynes Port, Ireland

Michael Robinson

Port Director, Belfast Harbour, Northern Ireland

Catherine Sheridan

EIH2, Chief Operating Officer, Ireland

Dr. John O’Sullivan

COO and Co-founder, dCarbonX, Ireland

Kindly supported by


Commissioners of Irish Lights


Dublin Castle

Conference Programme
Navigating to 2050
A Safe and Sustainable Maritime Future.

Tuesday 15th November 2022

Session one - Navigating Safely and Sustainably to 2050

8:00 am

Registration and Refreshments

9:00 am
Welcome and Introduction
Yvonne Shields O’Connor, 
CEO, Irish Lights.
9:15 am
Conference Opening
Minister Hildegarde Naughton, 
Minister of State, Department of Transport.
9:25 am
Session 1. Navigating Safely and Sustainably to 2050
Opening remarks from Session Chairperson
Dr. Paul Little, 
CEO, City of Glasgow College and Chair of UK Shipping Skills Taskforce.
9:30 am
Conference Keynote Address:  
Transitioning to a Sustainable and Profitable Decarbonised Shipping Future
Anthony Gurnee, 
Founder and CEO of Ardmore Shipping, Ireland.
9:55 am
Safety and Sustainability:  
Ensuring the Resilience of Future Shipping
Maja Markovčić Kostelac, 
Executive Director, European Maritime Safety Agency, Portugal.
10:15 am
Reality 2050:  
Meeting IMO targets, an industry perspective.
Chris Waddington, 
Technical Director, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
10:35 am

Coffee break

11:15 am
Implications of Fit for 55 on the Irish Maritime Sector and Wider Economy
Prof. Alan Ahearne, 
University of Galway, Ireland.
11:35 am
Climate Challenges for the Maritime Sector:  
National and International Targets
Caoimhín Ó Ciaruáin,