Introduce yourself and the organisation. What is your role and focus area?
My name is John Coleman. I am the managing director and owner of a company called La Tene Maps.
We are a specialist map maker, mainly, although we have been involved in marine research projects in the past. In the 90's, 00's, we would have been the second largest SME involved in marine research in Ireland, according to the Marine Institute.
We're going since 1986, started off in the oil industry, every published oil map on Ireland since then has been done by us and we still keep the Irish sector up-to-date.
What is your organisation’s unique selling point? Are you developing any new products or innovations?
Today, we would be the largest company in Europe, if not the world, in terms of publication of maps on renewable energy. We have total world coverage on things like offshore wind, and ocean energy, which to me is wave and tidal, mainly.
So, we produce maps on Europe, we have a special map on offshore wind for America, we've one on Europe, we've one on Asia, we've one on the world.
If someone rang me up tomorrow and said "can you supply me with a map on what’s happening offshore in Australia?", we can do it. We have it so, done.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for your company as part of Ireland’s Marine Industry in the coming 5-10 years?
I'm always thinking about new things. On the marine side, well, the one thing I want to do this year on the marine side is seaweed, and seaweed on a European basis.
I've produced - you say "aquaculture", right? - I've mapped - every salmonid production area in the world, I've mapped in my time.
Salmon aquaculture is a mature industry, not that much scope.
I've identified about 150 companies in Ireland that utilise seaweed, that are either growing it, or it's either aquaculture, harvesting, using it as a food source, or using it in some product. Whether it be - cosmetics would be a big one - so we will do something on algae this year, definitely.
What is the biggest challenge, in your opinion, facing businesses like yours in the marine industry today?
Things happen too slow, which would be the main thing.
On offshore wind, twenty years ago, the 6 or 7 same projects that are likely to happen were on our maps twenty years ago. Nothing has changed. I've noticed the two big growth areas in the past year have been Australia and Brazil. Australia, five years ago, had one project.
Four years ago, they had two or three. Last year, they had over thirty. And they're in danger of getting things in the water quicker than we are here and I don't understand that.
Is there anything you would like to share with the network?
Our website is latenemaps.com We're on LinkedIn. I don't do social media, but I do LinkedIn. I would do a posting at least once a month. We have a strong following there, we would get thousands of impressions when we do a post. Otherwise, we're at these type of (industry) events and around.
Where can we find more information about La Tene Maps?
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