Marine Energy Workshop for OCTs

Marine Energy Workshop for OCTs

The TAF SE4ALL (EC DEVCO) and the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) have organised an international workshop on Marine Energy for Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

On the 6th of December 2017, OCT Energy representatives will attend several sessions on:

  • Marine renewable Energy: International and EU perspectives
  • Examples of marine renewable energy projects
  • Lessons learned
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Third Summit of OCT Energy Ministers

Third Summit of OCT Energy Ministers

The Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union are scattered around the globe from the poles to the tropics in areas where there is an abundance of natural energy sources such as wind, solar, thermal and marine. This enables the OCTs to position themselves as centres of excellence in the field of sustainable energy.

At this third Summit on 7th of December 2017, the OCT Energy Ministers will be able to actively participate with EU policy makers, the private sector, and other stakeholders in panel discussions on the most appropriate actions to support their transition towards a sustainable energy future.

This Summit is being organised by the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA).

Opening of the Summit:

  • Honourable Goldray Ewing, Minister of Works of the Turks and Caicos Islands, OCTA Chairmanship
  • MEP Maurice Ponga, Vice Chair of the EP’s Committee on Development
  • MEP Tonino Picula, Chair of the islands subgroup – SEARICA Intergroup
  • Mr. Denis Salord, Head of Unit OCT, DG DEVCO, European Commission

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Visibility of Pitcairn’s activities in the innovation field

Visibility of Pitcairn’s activities in the innovation field

Leslie Jaques, Councillor of the Government of Pitcairn and Innovation Manager came to Brussels to meet Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, OCTA Innovation Team leader.

It was a great meeting to catch up on all ongoing activities within the project and to discuss the possible funding options for Pitcairn renewable energy project.

Leslie Jaques and Milan Jezic von Gesseneck also discussed the opportunity given for having Innovation Expert Diploma in order to recognise Leslie’s work and his activities in innovation field as Innovation Manager for Pitcairn.

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Pitcairn Signatory of Sustainable Energy Roadmap

Pitcairn Signatory of Sustainable Energy Roadmap

The Summit of OCT Energy Ministers took place in Brussels on the 16th & 17th of June 2015 in the margins of the EU Sustainable Energy Week. This first-ever Summit of OCT Energy Ministers was the setting for the adoption of an OCT wide Sustainable Energy Roadmap, facilitating the path towards lowering fossil fuel dependency and increasing energy efficiency in OCTs.

The roadmap, developed collaboratively with the energy experts in the OCTs, addresses the key strategies and actions to be implemented, complementing and promoting existing National Strategies on Sustainable Energy in each of the OCTs. With the Roadmap, the OCTs identify priority areas and demonstrate their commitment to show worldwide leadership towards a transition to fossil fuel independence.

Pitcairn as signatory of this Sustainable Energy Roadmap has decided with other OCTs to engage in a common sustainable energy strategy to significantly increase the penetration of reliable and affordable renewable energy and greatly increased energy efficiency and to use the OCT energy network to take advantage of a wealth of experiences and technology know-how from individual OCTs.

The Sustainable Energy Roadmap can be found on this link.

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Janice Panton, opening the International Conference in the Azores

Janice Panton, opening the International Conference in the Azores

Chair of the OCT Association OCTA’s Innovation Steering Committee, Ms. Janice Panton, Head of the Montserrat UK Office opened the OCTA Innovation International Conference in the Azores.

She stressed high importance of innovation for Overseas Countries and Territories and particularly EU-funded initiatives in innovation with Association of Overseas Countries and Territories.

She joined other specialists in the field to look at how innovation is spurring sustainable development in small islands and the scope for future initiatives.

Referring to the Azores, she said « We believe that as small territories as territories that are more isolated, the Azores being in the middle of Europe, you have closer links with the EU than we do. And we believe that we can learn a lot from being here”.

Interview from Ms. Janice Panton in the video.

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Government of the Azores and cooperation with the OCTs

Government of the Azores and cooperation with the OCTs

During the OCTA Innovation International Conference, the Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations, Mr. Rui Bettencourt expressed the Regional Government’s interest in establishing “new alliances” of cooperation with European overseas territories.

“We are talking about territories that may not only a number of interesting markets for us, but can also open geopolitical alliances in the world,” stressed Rui Bettencourt at the opening of the International Conference of OCTA.

In his speech, Rui Bettencourt stressed that this is “an interesting organisation for the Azores as a new ally within the EU,” as it “enhances the projection of Europe in the world.”

“We are now starting a process of rapprochement to those territories and learn how we can collaborate,” Rui Bettencourt said, stressing that, at this stage,” we need to “exchange ideas” so that we may analyse together what we can do with these territories.

In this regard, the Regional Secretary stressed that, during the works of the two-day conference, “regional companies will show what is to innovate and confront this innovation with what their counterparts do in these territories.”

“These territories are located in various parts of the world, from the Caribbean to the Pacific, but all something in common with us: the fact that they are islands as well as small and fragile territories that are very distant from the European Union; therefore, they share some common concerns with us,” said Rui Bettencourt.

For the Regional Secretary “the interest is twofold,” emphasising that, on the one hand, we want to say “we exist and we have good practices,” seeing that other practices exist and may be shared, and, on the other hand, “we might have a market for some of our products.”

OCTA Innovation International Conference took place at Nonagon. The Nonagon is the first Science and Technology Park of the Azores. It is located in Lagoa, on Sao Miguel Island.

Nonagon’s goal is to position itself as a structural organization in technological dynamism and training of skilled human capital in the field of information systems and communications, monitoring and earth observation, space and sea. It also aims to establish itself as a catalyst in the technological synergies transfer processes of the Azores innovation ecosystem.

Nonagon is an initiative of the Regional Government in partnership with the municipality of Lagoa in order to promote coordination between the public, private and university, leading to the creation of a new development paradigm.

You may watch the video of the OCTA Innovation international conference.

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The OCTA Innovation International Conference took place in Ponta Delgada, Azores on 11-14 April 2017. It gathered representatives of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCTs), the government of the Azores, the European Commission and innovation experts to look at how innovation is spurring sustainable development in small islands and to develop cooperation and future initiatives.

The pillars and values that are the basis of a society were considered as well as the capacities and needs of all stakeholders to underpin them. The implementation of different types and different levels of innovation have been under consideration. The vision of an economically prosperous and inclusive society should be based on innovation and entire collaboration between public and private actors. Innovation should support all stakeholders in society, in both economic and social fields and is perceived as crucial for tackling the issues of natural resources, climate change and sustainable development. The governments have to ensure enabling conditions for propelling innovation. Innovation Managers of the Overseas Countries and Territories of European Union, active members of OCTA Innovation, assembled in the Azores, commit themselves to feeding these dynamics.

Governments must take the lead in systemic innovation across all sectors; fostering partnerships between public and private entities and knowledge sharing and capacity-building. The ambition is to grow a number of thematic and regional centres of excellence among OCTs with a focus on those sectors where individual OCTs are already leading the way, and to share expertise among the OCTs and with regions.

Innovation Managers: Anguilla, Bren Romney; Aruba, Bianca Peters; Bonaire, Dianne Boelmans; British Virgin Islands, Lizette George; Cayman Islands, Jamaal Anderson; Curaçao, Fiona Curie; Falkland Islands, Michael Betts; French Polynesia, Bran Quinquis; Greenland, Lars Balslev; Montserrat, Angela Estwick; New Caledonia, Jean-Michel Le Saux; Pitcairn, Leslie Jaques; Saba, Menno Van der Velde; St. Barthélemy, Pascal Peuchot; St. Helena, Niall O’Keeffe; St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, Olivier Gaston; St. Eustatius, Roy Hooker; St. Maarten, Jude Houston; Turks and Caicos Islands, Alexa Cooper-Grant; Wallis and Futuna, Carole Manry.

OCTA Innovation Team Leader, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck:

Greenland Falklands New Caledonia Sint Eustatius sustainable development Montserrat Curaçao British Virgin Islands Aruba event French Polynesia news OCTA Sint Maarten Turks and Caicos Islands St Barts Saba Cayman Islands Bonaire Anguilla Saint Helena Tristan da Cunha islands Saint Pierre and Miquelon Wallis And futuna Pitcairn Bianca Peters Menno Van Der Velde Jamaal Anderson Fiona Curie Lizette O. George Roy Hooker Carole Manry Dianne Boelmans Olivier Gaston Alexa-Cooper-Grant Michael Betts Bran Quinquis Niall O'Keeffe Pascal Peuchot Jezic von Gesseneck Conferences Azores
2IC – Sharing innovation approaches

2IC – Sharing innovation approaches

The Azores and Overseas Countries and Territories will share approaches to sustainable development through innovation at OCTA Innovation’s international conference at the Nonagon Science and Technology Park, Azores, 11-12th April.

The conference will address both Scientific and technological innovation and market-driven innovation.

Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) moves the economy and has the potential to be disruptive, bringing major change to an economy and society.

Major digital innovation, such as the creation of the internet and the ‘Google’ search engine, are examples of disruptive innovation.

Market-driven innovation – ‘Doing, Using and Interacting’ (DUI) – is not pushed by science, but driven by the market. Best practice and creativity implemented within a business context, for example, can create new ideas and markets. Cooperation with all actors within a country, with neighbouring countries and with others in a region, is vital to identify best innovation practice.



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2IC – Azores and OCTs to explore cooperation on innovation

2IC – Azores and OCTs to explore cooperation on innovation


Future cooperation between Azores, one of the European Union’s Outermost Regions, and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) will be discussed at OCTA Innovation’s International Conference in Ponta Delgada, Azores, 11th-12th April.

Participants from the Azores and OCTs will look at the scope for sharing best practice and innovation knowledge and working together in areas where cooperation would be mutually beneficial. These include the green and blue economy, tourism and culture and creativity. An eventual Azores-OCTA Memorandum of Understanding could be proposed.

Azores is an Autonomous region of Portugal comprising three groups of nine islands located in the Atlantic Ocean some 1,360 km off the coast of Portugal. These are Flores and Corvo, to the west; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial in the centre; and São Miguel, Santa Maria, and the Formigas Reef to the east.

OCTs are mostly small island distanced from the European Union mainland. The challenges to innovation they share with the Azores include: remoteness, the small size of local markets, difficulties accessing other markets and high transport and energy costs.

The sharing of innovation knowledge and best practice, and possible cooperation on projects and programmes, could help surpass such challenges. The aim is to foster growth, economic diversification and sustainable development through innovation.



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2IC – The importance of knowledge sharing

2IC – The importance of knowledge sharing

OCTA Innovation is pleased to announce the participation of Robert Burmanjer at its International Conference in the Azores, 11-12th April. Mr Burmanjer is Head of the Knowledge Management Unit in the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development. He will address the importance of knowledge sharing for developing economies.

The European Commission’s proposed European Consensus stresses that the EU and its Member States should continue investing in research and development. The European consensus is a policy document that seeks to align the European Union’s development policy with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Article 86 notably states: “… the EU and its MS will continue investing in research and development in and for developing countries, including enhancing national innovation systems; to strengthen measurable impacts on progress towards the SDGs through a responsible research and innovation approach including education for science”.



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