29 March 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament and Ireland South MEP, Seán Kelly, will host a visiting European Parliament delegation in Cork tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday of this week (30-31 March).
MEPs belonging to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy will embark on a fact-finding mission to learn about the local innovations and research in the area of technology and energy.
Speaking ahead of the high-profile visit, Mr Kelly said: “I look forward to welcoming the group of cross-party MEPs from all various Member States to Cork, where we will enjoy a busy agenda meeting and learning from technology and energy experts locally.
“Our first stop will be the Tyndall National Institute tomorrow to meet with the non-profit European Tech Cluster, a business group which aims to drive technological development in Ireland. This meeting will have particular relevance in relation to Europe’s Digital Agenda -aiming to ensure the EU is at the forefront of tech knowledge and innovation. It is essential that SMEs’ access to ICT, IT educational facilities and cyber security are improved in Europe, for example.
“After hearing from the local experts, we’ll visit Cork Institute of Technology and have the opportunity to meet with young entrepreneurs and students.
“On Thursday, we will experience the work of Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) marine and energy- based research on the potential of wave energy and marine renewable energy at University College Cork. The facility’s new deep water basin is capable of generating wave heights of up to 1.1m, which means Ireland is at the forefront in testing wave energy devices.
“We all know that the development of renewable energy is absolutely crucial for the environment, so MEPs are looking forward to seeing the latest technological advances in operation in Cork.”
Finally, Mr Kelly is inviting the MEPs to meet with Shannon LNG and Shannon Foynes Port Company representatives: “The European Commission recently cited Shannon LNG as a strategic gas source for Europe, as we work towards a more secure energy supply in the EU under the Energy Union plans. Having regularly mentioned this local energy project as vital for Europe in Parliament, I am eager for this delegation of European policymakers to learn more about it,” Mr Kelly added.