European Science Foundation
European Science Foundation

Marine Board-ESF welcomes the new European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research

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Source: European Science Foundation

The Marine Board-ESF welcomes the European Commission’s European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research: A coherent European Research Area framework in support of a sustainable use of oceans and seas (September 2008). The strategy is one of 65 key actions designed to support the implementation of an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union (October 2007).

The Marine Board considers the Research Strategy as essential to promote integrated and dynamic European marine research and technology, necessary to solve complex challenges and to find coherent solutions for exploiting the economic potential of the seas, within an ecosystem-based approach.

Effective implementation of the strategy will enhance interaction between marine and maritime research while supporting infrastructure, education, capacity-building and a new cross-thematic approach. Climate change, impact of anthropogenic activities on marine and coastal ecosystems and the exploration of marine renewable energy sources are identified as major research topics requiring a cross-thematic approach.

Welcoming the research strategy, the Marine Board Chair, Mr Lars Horn (RCN, Norway) said “the strategy is very timely, recognising the pivotal role of marine science and technology in the development of the European maritime economy. The priorities detailed in the Strategy are in line with those documented in recent Marine Board foresight and policy publications. The inclusion of new research and observation infrastructure as a priority in capacity building is particularly relevant, and should be addressed through the new EMODNET initiative; Issues such as mapping of European waters, and the basin-scale approach to research and environmental management are similarly important priorities. Options for sharing the development and optimal use of infrastructure will result in exciting challenges, in particular with reference to deep-sea research.”

“The Marine Board-ESF played a key role in the organisation of the very influential Galway (EurOCEAN 2004) and Aberdeen (EurOCEAN 2007) Conferences and resultant Declarations which provided key input into the strategy “stated Dr. Niamh Connolly – Marine Board Executive Scientific Secretary. Marine Board-ESF was active in developing stakeholder meetings in Brussels (January 2007), Bremen (May 2007), Aberdeen (June 2007) and Lisbon (October 2007), which secured Marine Science and Technology as a key component of the communication on the Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union as adopted by the European Commission in October 2007.

The Marine Board-ESF particularly welcomes the emphasis the Strategy puts on mechanisms to improve efficiency and reduce fragmentation. “One of the key challenges involves the creation of modalities ( in line with the so called “new model of governance”) for the enhanced interaction between marine and Maritime research communities and industry to develop innovative solutions to existing and emerging questions, a process in which the Marine Board-ESF continues to be actively involved”, stated Dr Connolly.

The Marine Board welcomes the proposed Marine and Maritime Research Strategy as particularly significant since it represents one of the first attempts to fully establish the ERA within a specific research sector (i.e. marine and maritime research, also highlighted as a key sector in the Joint Programming Communication issued in July 2008).

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