You are here: Home > News & Events > NESC Conference – ‘Environmental Data: Priorities and Innovation’

NESC Conference – ‘Environmental Data: Priorities and Innovation’

In 2014, NESC published ‘Ireland’s Environmental Data:  Inventory, Assessment and Next Steps’ which included a research report from EnvEcon and Flannery Nagel Environmental. The overall aim of the research was to provide a strategic, reflective and probing look at existing environmental data and indicators in Ireland and to explore their future role in the transition towards a low carbon society. Two key conclusions from the research were first, that greater use of existing data could be achieved. And second, that Ireland requires a more coherent approach to prioritise environmental data and indicators.

NESC hosted a conference to explore these important issues.

The conference was held on Friday 24th of April 2015 and the key themes of the conference were:

  • Policy drivers for environmental (including sustainable development) data;
  • Innovations in data collection and use;
  • Ways to underpin Ireland’s low carbon transition; and
  • Value of a more coherent approach and next steps.

The programme from this event can be viewed here

The photographs from this event can be viewed here.

The videos from this event can be viewed here.

The tweets from this event can be viewed here

Speakers Presentations

Session 1 – Policy Drivers and Role of Environmental Data

Session Chair: Dr Andrew Kelly, Co-Founder and CEO, EnvEcon

European Policy Drivers and Environmental Data Indices:

Jock Martin, Head of Integrated Environmental Assessments, European Environment Agency, Denmark – Click here to view video.

Data Reporting, Priorities and Potential:

Dara Lynott, Director of the Office of Climate, Licensing, Research & Resource Use, EPA – Click here to view video

Critique and Reflection on Open Data Initiatives:

Dr Tracey Lauriault, Postdoctoral Researcher, NIRSA, NUI Maynooth  – Click here to view video

Data as Driver of Innovation:

Dr Rory O’Donnell, Director, NESC  – Click here to view video

Session 2 – Innovations in Environmental Data Collection and Analysis

Session Chair: Dr Larry O’Connell, Senior Economist, NESC

Potential for Statistical Use:

Ciarán Counihan, Statistician, Environment Section, CSO

The Potential of the Carbon Navigator:

Pat Murphy, Head of Environment Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc

Use of Volunteer Data:

Dr Una Fitzpatrick, Ecologist, National Biodiversity Data Centre

Birds as Indicators and the Role of Citizen Science:

Dr Olivia Crowe, Head of Conservation & Science, Birdwatch Ireland

Session 3 – Innovations in Environmental Data Use— Open Access and Its Potential

Convenor: Dr Neil Walker, Head of Energy and Environment Policy, IBEC

Ireland’s Open Data Portal:

Niall Ó Brolcháin, Research Associate, Insight, NUI Galway

Energy Data Portal:

Majella Kelleher, Energy Demand Management, SEAI


Colin Bray, Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey


Deirdre Kirwan, Data Management, EPA

Session 4 – Ireland’s Low Carbon Transition: The Role and Use of Data

Session Chair: Kara Flannery, Director, Flannery Nagel Environmental

Progress Toward MAES (Mapping & Assessment of Ecosystems & their Services):

Ciaran O’Keeffe, Principal Officer, National Parks and Wildlife Service Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Strengthening Data and Information for Public Use:

Michael Ewing, Coordinator, Irish Environmental Network, and Karin Dubsky, Co-founder and Co-ordinator of Coastwatch Ireland

Role of Data for Better Resource Efficiency:

Tadhg Coakley, Projects Manager at Clean Technology Centre, Cork Institute of Technology

Carbon Disclosure Network Ireland:

Gavin Whitaker, Consultant, Clearstream Solutions

Session 5 – Where Do We Go From Here? The Future for Irish Environmental Data

Session Chair: Dave Walsh, Assistant Secretary, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (There were no presentations for this session)

Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive Officer, SEAI

Dr Frances Fahy, Lecturer in Environmental Geography, NUI Galway

Dara Lynott, Director of the Office of Climate, Licensing, Research & Resource Use, EPA

Dr Rory O’Donnell, Director, NESC

Follow this event #NescEnvData

Follow us @nescireland