Photo of someone speaking at the Wild Atlantic Alliance conference in Brittany
Friday, June 16, 2023

The Wild Atlantic Alliance: New Cooperation Opportunities Between Brittany and Ireland 

An Inaugural Research and teaching Symposium was held in Cork recently, bringing together the four Breton universities:  

  • Université de Bretagne Occidentale 
  • Université Bretagne Sud 
  • Université de Rennes  
  • Université Rennes 2  

As well as those of the Irish Atlantic coast: 

  • University of Limerick 
  • University College Cork 
  • University of Galway 

In his opening remarks, Nigel Healey, Vice President for Global and Community Engagement at the University of Limerick, wished the 160 academics in attendance well, "Today we bring our teams together to meet physically, to befriend each other, to explore the potential for a common future of research and teaching. In order to lay the foundations for a future European Union that will be a foundation for projects of all kinds, we hope that by this evening we will be able to agree on the next concrete steps to be taken to deepen our alliance, be it through shared cultural events, joint research projects or new partnerships in teaching.” 

Niall Burgess, Irish Ambassador to France, recalled the historical ties that unite the two countries: "What I appreciate about this initiative is its ambition; and the natural link between our two coasts. The relationship between Ireland and France is incredibly strong, deeper and more historic than most of us realize. Although we speak different languages, we think alike, we are driven by the same ideas, we face the same changes and we are capable of the best when we work together." 

The Symposium focused on the alliances 4 key areas: 

  1. Celtic Studies 
  2. Digital Transformation 
  3. Environment/Sustainability and Ports 
  4. Sea & Water