Atlantic Technological University Galway recently hosted a meeting centered around the future direction of Atlantic Futures Research Stream 6 on International freight connectivity in the North-West region and its implications for regional competitiveness. The meeting was held at the University on 25th and 26th of April 2024, with the participation of the research team, Dr. Amaya Vega, ATU Galway City , Professor Trevor Cadden, Ulster University, Dr. Brian McCann, ATU Sligo, and PhD student Chethaka Gamage. Together, they comprise the academic team working on Atlantic Futures Research Stream 6 initiative.

The meeting kicked off with a brief progress update presented by Chethaka Gamage, providing a comprehensive overview of advancements made as his PhD project's 100-day review. Chethaka's presentation served as an opener to the discussion.

"The first 100 days in my PhD project has been an exciting journey, and being part of this team was a remarkable opportunity for me to learn and be mentored by some of the brightest minds in the field. The insights shared, and the discussions held have not only enriched my understanding but have also inspired me to push the boundaries of my research further. I am truly grateful for the guidance and support provided by such esteemed supervisors!"

Following the progress update, the agenda delved into crucial discussions encompassing various aspects of the project:

1. Stakeholder Engagement: The team deliberated on actionable strategies to enhance stakeholder engagement, recognizing its pivotal role in fostering collaboration and gathering support for the project's objectives.

2. Future Training: Required specific areas for training for Chethaka Gamage, were identified and discussed, underscoring the team's commitment to continuous learning and capacity building.

3. Project Strategy and Higher Education Authority Site Visit:  With the Atlantic Futures Summer School scheduled for 6-8th June in the Burren College of Arts, the team reviewed the progress with key objectives and criteria relating to the Research Stream which included the development of collaborative relationships with key stakeholders and the other Atlantic Futures Research Streams.

4. Social Media Strategy: Recognizing the importance of effective communication, the team outlined a robust social media strategy aimed at amplifying the project's visibility and engagement.  Dr. Brian McCann advised

"During our discussions, we emphasized the critical importance of integrating climate action considerations into the realm of freight connectivity. Addressing emissions and sustainability challenges is not just a moral imperative; it's an economic necessity. By prioritizing environmentally responsible practices in freight transportation, we can mitigate the impacts of climate change while simultaneously fostering more resilient and efficient supply chains.”

Dr. Amaya Vega, reflecting on the meeting, remarked,

"It was encouraging to see the collective dedication and expertise of our team come together to collaborate on this project. The discussions helped to steer this project in the right direction. Each member's unique insights and contributions fostered a dynamic environment where ideas flourished, and perspectives were enriched.”

Professor Trevor Cadden echoed similar sentiments, adding,

"The depth of insights shared during the meeting reaffirms our commitment to driving meaningful impact in the context of international freight connectivity. The team’s collaboration is not only enriching our research endeavours but also contributing to the broader conversation on regional competitiveness."

As the meeting concluded, participants left with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to propel the Research Stream 6 initiative forward. With ongoing collaboration and concerted efforts, the project aims to deliver tangible outcomes that will not only enhance regional competitiveness but also foster sustainable growth and development.

Register your details and keep up to date with Atlantic Futures.

Atlantic Futures is funded by the Higher Education Authority as part of the North South Research Programme. The project is a Shared Island partnership between Atlantic Technological UniversityUlster UniversityUniversity of Galway and University of Limerick.