EURO-BASIN participates in Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance meeting in EU Parliament, 13 November 2013

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Prof. Michael St. John, Andrew Brown, David Plunkett
and M do Céu Patrão Neves

Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance event took place on the 13th November 2013, at the European Parliament, to which the EURO-BASIN coordinator Michael St John was invited to participate.

The event was opened by Robert-Jan SMITS, Director-General DG Research and Innovation, European Commission and by Lowri EVANS Director-General, DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future of Ocean Research and the implementation of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, signed on the 24th May in Galway, Ireland (more...) between the European Union, The United States and Canada.

The cooperation is intended to increase knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean and its dynamic systems,
to improve ocean health and stewardship and to promote the sustainable management of its
resources. It is intended to result in mutual benefits including better ecosystem assessments and
forecasts and deeper understanding of vulnerabilities and risk, including those relating to the global climate system and climate change impacts.

During the meeting there were interventions from:

David PLUNKETT - Ambassador of Canada to the European Union
Thomas REOTT - US Economic Counsellor to the European Union
Milagros CANDELA  - Research Counsellor Spanish REPER
Lourdes ARMESTO, Head of Department, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation JPI Oceans' Management Board representative
Peter HEFFERNANN - Galway Marine Institute, Ireland
Prof Michael ST. JOHN - Coordinator of EURO-BASIN Project (

Link: Atalntic Ocean Research Alliance, 13 Nov 2013

EURO-BASIN Twitter StreamRegular updates on the political climate for joint Atlantic Ocean research EURO-BASIN Twitter Stream

"The Atlantic - A Shared Resource" website, including participants list and presentations:

The 'Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation', signed 24th May 2013,
and the report of the meeting ;

24/5/2013 Press Release, IMI:
EU, U.S., Canada launch Atlantic Ocean research alliance in Galway

13/5/2013 Atlantic Action Plan (IP/13/420),
in support of Ecosystem-Approach to Ocean Management

12/2/2013 Press Release, Reuters:
U.S.-EU Joint Consultative Group Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation

31/5/2012 Press Release, EC:
JRC and NOAA enhance cooperation on climate, weather and oceans



EU and US meet to prioritise transatlantic cooperation, Feb 2013

EU-US Joint Programmes12 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 ).

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


Forcings, Ecosystem impact & Resource ConsequencesLink: Reuter Press Release, 12 Feb 2013
Link: ATLANTINC FORUM, 4-5 Mar 2013, Cork IRE
Link: JRC-NOAA Agreement, May 2012
EURO-BASIN Factsheet 2012





Forcings, Ecosystem impact & Resource ConsequencesFostering International Collaboration: Developing consensus on the structure, review and management of collaborative research programs in Ocean Sciences

- Full Report - Agenda - Attendees - ONE CLICK download One Click Meeting Doc Download

Venue & Date: European Commission, Brussels, 29-30th Sept, 2011

Summary of Meeting:

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 PDF file





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Project Partners:

Research WorkPackages (WP) & Focus:

WP Focus Leader
WP1 Data Integration Un. Bremen
WP2 Carbon Pump NOC;CNRS-UBO
WP3 Key Species IMR;Un. Nordland
WP4 Trophic Flow HAFRO;Un.Swansea
WP5 Living Resources IFREMER; DTU
WP6 Basin-scale Modelling PML;CNRS-UBO
WP7 Bioeconomic Modelling PML;UEA;IRD
WP8 Ocean Management DTU;Un. Hamburg

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