EU, US and Canda launch Atlantic Ocean research alliance in Galway, 24th May 2013
24 May 2013: The European Union, The United States and Canada today agreed to join forces on Atlantic Ocean Research. The goal is to better understand the Atlantic Ocean and promote the sustainable management of its resources.
The Agreement is a significnat political support for BASIN Initiative objectives, and EURO-BASIN's ongoing efforts to join efforts of the three partners, in part through the 2012-2013 Cruise Campaigns.
EU, US and Canada also commit to study the interplay between the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic, particularly in relation to climate change. The EU and its Member States alone invest nearly two billion euro on marine and maritime research each year, with ice2sea, MyOcean and EURO-BASIN highlighted as key examples.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Today's agreement fully supports the Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic we put forward this month. While the initiative is of particular interest for the EU's five Atlantic states, it is open to researchers from all over Europe and beyond. The knowledge gained will be of benefit to all." The agreement recognises that Atlantic research will in many areas be more effective if coordinated on a transatlantic basis. Areas for potential collaboration under the agreement include: an Atlantic Ocean observation and forecasting system; mapping critical areas of the Atlantic seafloor; identifying and recommending future research and ocean literacy and awareness initiatives.
The 'Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation', signed 24th May 2013,
13/5/2013 Atlantic Action Plan (IP/13/420),
EU and US meet to prioritise transatlantic cooperation, Feb 2013
12 Feb 2013: Climate change, Arctic research and food security were on the priority list for stronger transatlantic cooperation, alongside health, transport and materials sciences, during a joint meeting between US and EU, 12 Feb 2013.
(See full Press Release on Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/12/eu-us-group-tech-mtg-idUSnPnDC59298+160+PRN20130212 ).
The Joint Consultative Group meeting, which included U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Dr Kerri-Ann Jones, and Director-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, Robert-Jan Smits, discussed cooperation on the topic of:
"Transatlantic marine, maritime and Arctic research, which impacts our understanding of oceans and how coastal resources are sustainably managed and the potential for the rapid expansion of joint work on ocean observation and forecasting, including seabed and habitat mapping."
The latest joint meeting takes place 9 after the EC's Joint Reserch Center and National Ocean and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) signed an agreement in Brussels (May 2012) to encourage, develop and facilitate scientific and cooperative activities in the fields of climate, weather, oceans and coasts (full details).
Previous initiatives to consolidate and better coordinate EU and US research efforts on the Atlantic basin and Arctic research, have demostrated that there is no lack of political will on either side of the Atlantic, but a realistic mechanism for real joint research that satisfies all sides, is still lacking.
On the topic of Atlantic Marine Ecosystems Research, EURO-BASIN has previously attempted to contribute to the dialogue between research funding agencies of the US, EU Member States and Canada (Joint EU-NSF Meeting, 14 Sept 2011 download summary).
The meeting was drived by the need to move from a local and regional to a basin-scale understanding and management of stressors on the Atlantic Ocean, its economic living resources and ecosystem services (Carbon sequestration). The complexities of each research funding agencies structures however slowed down progress towards a viable means of co-funding basin-scale integrated research.
Currently, European Commission's ATLANTIC FORUM (part of the Maritime Forum) provides a platform to keep Ecosytem-based Manegement of Fisheries on a basin-scale high on the research priotity agenda. EURO-BASIN has regularly participated in the Atlantic Forum
Fostering International Collaboration: Developing consensus on the structure, review and management of collaborative research programs in Ocean Sciences
The necessity to move from a local and regional to a global understanding of the role of stressors on the earth system necessitates a coordinated collaboration between researchers from different nations and funding agencies.
At present a consensus strategy on the extent of individual projects (individual investigators; small research groups; large collaborative projects) evaluation criteria, and program management necessary to bring these collaborations to fruition does not exist.
With this as the background, this meeting was held to assess the potential to develop an agreed upon strategy to facilitate and manage international collaborative programs involving the US and Canada as well as the European Community and its nation states.
To this end, a straw man for operationalization of such projects was distributed prior to the meeting and used as a basis for discussion. A revised version based on these discussions is included in this report and could serve as the basis for implementation of future international programmes. The discussions that transpired clearly highlighted the desire of the assembled funding agencies to develop an implementation strategy for international cooperation, as well as the willingness to make it happen somehow.
Finally, it was clear that any acceptable strategy need be sensitive to the existing constraints of the national funding agencies allowing them to participate in international science as well as maintain their identities.
Full Report: download
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EURO-BASIN II: A favourable political climate for BASIN and EURO-BASIN continued research as EU, US and Canada sign Atlantic Ocean research alliance more...
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