Blue Economy CRC (BE-CRC) aims to bring the aquaculture and renewable energy sectors together to address challenges of offshore energy and food production. On July 8, the BE-CRC held its inaugural board meeting, where it appointed the company’s first board.

Mr Greg Johannes, Chairperson of the BE-CRC board, spoke to AOEG recently.

“I’m passionate about the marine environment and have spent much time in or by the water. I’ve also had a strong, professional interest in climate change interest and the privilege of working closely with the temperate marine science community over many years – so I’m very excited about the prospect of chairing the Blue Economy CRC.”

With more than 20 years’ leadership experience in public, private, not-for-profit and research sectors, Mr Johannes is well positioned to lead the BE-CRC.

“Responding to warming water and rising sea levels, meeting community expectations and satisfying global demand for protein are just three of many challenges that will continue to impact on seafood production. It’s my hope that by bringing together the best and brightest from many nations, and thinking through the engineering, production, energy, regulatory and environmental challenges associated with working offshore holistically, we’ll be able to generate solutions of local, national and international significance for years to come.”

An interim senior management team has been established, with Dr. Darren Cundy in the position of interim CEO, Associate Professor Irene Penesis in the position of interim Research Director, and Alice Herbon in the position of interim Company Secretary.

To date, the board’s meetings have necessarily focused on processes associated with establishing the organisation in a transparent, accountable and well-governed manner. The company is now discussing the grant agreement with the Australian government, as well as working to engage stakeholders. The formal recruitment process for the BE-CRC CEO will start soon.

As with the AOEG, the BE-CRC board is excited about the collaborative and innovative opportunities ahead.