The purpose of the Conference was to address the issues that are critical in relation to National Infrastructure Planning and Investment.

Major themes discussed included:
– Scale of investment required
– Prioritisation of investment and major projects
– Requirement for proper framework to rationalise long term investment
– Ensuring optimum efficiency in planning and managing programmes to avoid cost overruns

In advance of the Conference the Academy members produced six relevant reports i.e.
– Spatial Planning on the island of Ireland
– Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor
– Atlantic City Regions – Development and Connectivity
– Sustainable Transport Infrastructure 2035
– National Broadband Strategy Ireland
– Climate Change Adaption – A Progress Report

The Conference was attended by approx. 80 invited participants including Senior Government Officials, Economists, Academics, representatives of State Agencies and Organisations, Consultants, EC Officials, Congress Officers, Private Sector representatives and IAE members drawn from North and South of the border.

The opening address was given by Barbara Nolan, Head of the EU Representation Ireland, who outlined the EU aims and objectives.

The new Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government, Simon Coveney T.D. spoke at the Conference with particular emphasis on the issues of social housing and water/flooding challenges.

At the end of the Conference an invited panel including Alan Barrett, Director ESRI, Patricia King, General Secretary ICTU, Danny McCoy, CEO IBEC and Graham Stull, EC Ireland responded to issues that arose during the Conference in a lively Q&A session.

Based on the papers, presentations and discussions at the Conference the Academy will make a
formal submission to the National Planning Framework this Autumn.

A separate Event will be organised by the Academy’s Northern Region in Belfast to highlight Northern Ireland aspects of the six discussion documents.