NAVALIA MEETING 2023: Setting Sail Towards Innovation and Collaboration

The Island Council of Gran Canaria, in collaboration with the Institutional Exhibition Centre of the Canaries (Infecar) and Muéstralo, along with support from the Maritime Cluster of the Canary Islands, Canarian Federation of Port Companies (FEDEPORT), Proexca, presented NAVALIA MEETING 2023, the most significant naval gathering in the industry.
This year, NAVALIA MEETING 2023 welcomed over 300 professionals and featured 30 distinguished speakers, making it a vital event for networking and knowledge exchange.
The Canary Islands have established themselves as a maritime stronghold, particularly in segments like oil and repair and marine wind energy. Reflecting the ever-evolving industry landscape, NAVALIA introduced an interesting panel discussion on the military industry, further highlighting the region’s diverse expertise.
Moreover, NAVALIA brought together all the regional clusters from across Spain to share insights into their respective maritime sectors.
Additionally, thanks to the invaluable support of Proexca, a delegation of companies from Colombia, Peru, Portugal, and Mauritania engaged in a series of visits and meetings with shipyards and auxiliary industries. Their goal is to advance agreements related to both the military and fishing sectors.
The event held a Offshore Wind Roundtable on September 22, 2023, at NAVALIA 2023 (International Shipbuilding Meeting), Francisco Javier Roo, the Head of R&D+I Projects at The Canary Islands Agency for Research, Innovation, and the Information Society (ACIISI), and the Coordinator of the AquaWind Project, had the honour of presenting this groundbreaking initiative to key stakeholders in the maritime-wind energy sector.
Among the notable experts present were Ángel Fernández from Navantia, Antonio Portela from Gazelle Wind Power, and Pablo Alcón from Capital Energy. The session was skillfully moderated by José J. Hernández, CEO of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN).

The panel engaged in a lively debate, delving into the challenges and opportunities of advancing and harmonising aquaculture within offshore wind parks.
AquaWind, Europe and Spain’s pioneering I+D+I project, aims to launch the first prototype that seamlessly integrates aquaculture with offshore energy production. This project marks a significant stride towards innovation and sustainable development within the sector.

Javier emphasised that the ultimate goal of AquaWind is to determine the feasibility of coexisting aquaculture and offshore wind farms, addressing the same challenges as a commercial venture. This venture carries echoes of the inception of aquaculture in the Canary Islands in 2008, and AquaWind is poised to redefine the industry with its innovative approach.
NAVALIA MEETING 2023 has successfully disseminated the message and purpose of the AquaWind project to its diverse and influential audience. With the industry’s support and collaboration, AquaWind promises to navigate uncharted waters, ushering in a new era of sustainable maritime energy and aquaculture integration.