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EOOS holds its first Forum

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

On 8 March 2018, the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) initiative held its first Forum in Brussels. This brought together more than 80 ocean observing stakeholders from across Europe to discuss critical components of the European ocean observing system and ways to improve the existing coordination efforts. EOOS is a community-driven framework jointly driven by EuroGOOS and the European Marine Board (EMB), in collaboration with experts and advisers from many regional, national and pan-European organizations across the ocean observing value chain. The EMB (as co-Chairs of the EOOS Steering Group) were involved in the organization and running of the event.  EMB Executive Director Sheila Heymans stated in her closing remarks that “2018 is a crucial year for EOOS and it’s great to see the wider community engaging and shaping the future planning.” A draft Strategy and Implementation Plan 2018-2022 is in preparation by the EOOS Steering Group. The recent Forum was an important step to move this forward. An open stakeholder consultation will follow in Spring 2018. Following community feedback, the Strategy and Implementation Plan will be launched at the EOOS Conference on 21-23 November 2018 in Brussels. Conference registration is open and is free at no charge.

The “most intelligent picture” in marine science?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Strongly advocating for a Mission Ocean under the upcoming ninth framework programme for research and innovation (FP9), the European Marine Board has begun the work on the new instalment of its flagship series, Navigating the Future V (NFV). This position paper will provide robust, independent scientific advice and expert opinion on future seas and Ocean research to 2030 and beyond.

On 8-9 November 2017, the NFV Foresight Workshop took place at the Hôtel Métropole Brussels, a historical hotel that hosted in 1911 the first international Physics Solvay Congress. That same conference led in 1927 to “the most intelligent picture ever taken”, where 17 of the 29 attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners, including Einstein, Bohr, Skłodowska-Curie, Planck, Schrödinger, Heisenberg and Auguste Piccard. The latter built the Bathyscaphe Trieste, the underwater vehicle that brought his son Jacques Picard and the American mariner Don Walsh to the very depth of the Challenger Deep. Auguste Piccard inspired the Belgian cartoonist Hergé, the author of The Adventures of Tintin, for the character Professor Calculus, the inventor of the “shark-proof submarine”, the famous submarine appearing on the cover of the volume 12 of the series: Red Rackham's Treasure.

The experts of the EMB identified 5 key areas of marine science, during the NFV Foresight Workshop in November 2017, to guide both the research and the science policy agendas at European and national level:

  • Improve knowledge of the 4-Dimensional Ocean (a volume that changes in the time dimension) and its role in the earth and climate system, including the human component;
  • Assess impacts of multiple and cumulative human stressors to the dynamic, non-linear and rapidly changing Ocean system;
  • Improve understanding and predictability of extreme events through an integrated approach, including natural hazards and climate induced impacts affecting the Ocean;
  • Advance capabilities in ocean technologies leading to wider developments in Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence;
  • Foster sustainability science integrated with marine science as a core component of natural and social sciences.

The European Marine Board (EMB) is in dialogue with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO to consider these 5 key areas of marine science and promote holistic and integrated approaches to develop the common Implementation Plan for the UN ‘Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)’.

Keep track on developments about Navigating the Future here and a news release can also be found here.

EMB releases 6th Forum Message

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Integration, capacity-building and engagement in science, along with science-based societal debate, are key to support the Sustainable Development Goals, and the European Marine Board is committed to help in achieving this. EMB is releasing the 6th Forum Message highlighting the needs for marine science to be at the core of the ocean governance debate, and also presenting 8 specific commitments that EMB is making to underpin those needs and support future development. This Message outlines the marine science needs at the core of the ocean governance debate. The Message also presents 8 specific commitments that EMB is making to underpin development ocean governance and the integration of marine science within it. The Message can be downloaded here, and a news release can also be found here.

This Message stems from the 6th Forum Event which EMB held on 6 December 2017 that in Brussels, on the topic of “Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda: What role for Marine Science?”. In answer to this question, the main message of the Forum was that the role of marine science should be to provide a solid and sound evidence base to enable science-based societal debate on the future direction of ocean governance. Speakers, panelists and attendees alike also highlighted the importance of integration, moving away from silo thinking and towards greater collaboration among stakeholders to address the upcoming challenges. They also added to the growing voice calling for greater engagement of marine science with society, and improved ocean literacy. More information about the event, including the presentations given, can be found here.

EMB welcomes new Executive Director Prof. Sheila Heymans

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Today, the EMB Secretariat welcomes Prof. Sheila Heymans as the new EMB Executive Director. Prof. Heymans previously worked as a Head of Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) where she focused her research on the social, economic and ecological impacts of fishing in the world’s ocean. She has over 20 years’ experience in scientific research and education, with a focus on utilizing ecosystem modelling approaches to study environmental impacts of fisheries and ecosystem change. Prof. Heymans was already actively involved with EMB over the past months as she co-chairs of the running Working Group on Marine Ecosystem Modelling and attended the workshop on Navigating the Future V and the Autumn Plenary meeting.

6th EMB Forum on the Role of Marine Science

Wednesday, 06 December 2017

Today, over 150 participants from Europe and beyond gather in the Royal Flemish Academy for Science and the Arts in Brussels to attend the 6th EMB Forum - Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda: What role for marine science? Speakers and participants from a wide range of backgrounds and stakeholder groups will discuss the role that marine science does and should play in international ocean governance, and the ways in which science could help to improve the institutional frameworks.

Moderated by BBC Journalist Quentin Cooper, the programme will encourage all attendees to engage in this critical and timely debate. The full agenda can be seen here, and the speaker profiles can be found here. Following this Forum event, EMB will take forward the key messages, highlights and recommendation and publish these in a Forum Message. More information will be posted here in due course.

You can join the conversation by following us on twitter @EMarineBoard, and by using #EMBForum. More information on the Forum can be found here.

New EU Project on Ocean and Human Health

Thursday, 23 November 2017

We are delighted to announce that EMB will be participating in a new Horizon 2020 Framework Project to further research into the links between Ocean and Human Health. Led by the University of Exeter Medical School and with 2 million Euros of funding, the Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE) project launches in December 2017 and will run for 2.5 years.

The project will deliver a clear road map for the future direction of Oceans and Human Health research in Europe, and builds on the recommendations of the European Marine Board Position Paper on “Linking Oceans and Human Health” and the calls outlined in the Message from Bedruthan. It also aims to build a diverse network of stakeholders across Europe involved in Oceans and Human Health, and to create a legacy that will advance this field across the world and beyond the end of the Project.

SOPHIE will explore the complex interplay between the health of the marine environment and that of humans, and through a series of forums and events, aims to build a network of researchers and practitioners from two traditionally distinct groups; marine and maritime specialists; and the medical and public health community.

The project consortium includes 8 partners from academia, small and medium sized businesses, and government, with the team holding particular expertise in developing and implementing public health and environmental policies. More information will be posted online in due course. A press release with more details can be downloaded here.

Work begins on Navigating the Future V

Thursday, 02 November 2017

EMB is this week officially starting work on the next installment of its flagship Navigating the Future series, number V. This series provides regular pan-European summaries of the current status of marine research, priority recommendations and future scientific challenges in the context of European needs. Navigating the Future is a blueprint to guide both the research and the science policy agendas at European and national level. You can read more about this series here, and all previous documents are available for download here.

On 8-9 November 2017, 19 leading European marine science and policy experts gathered in Brussels to attend a two-day foresight workshop which was led by professional facilitator Lizzie Crudgington. This workshop will select the topics that will form the core of the Navigating the Future V document. More information on this document and the topics selected will be made public in early 2018.

EMB Autumn Plenary Meeting (18-19 October, Galway)

Friday, 13 October 2017

The EMB Spring Plenary convened on 18-19 October 2017 in Galway, Ireland. The meeting brought together 15 delegates and was hosted by EMB member the Marine Institute. The meeting took place at the Institute in County Galway. There was interesting and fruitful discussions, and two existing members officially expanded their membership to become consortia; we welcome the Norwegian Marine University Consortium and the Romanian Black Sea Research Cluster. The members also approved two new activities on Marine Geohazards and European Research Vessels. More information will be posted in due course.

At the Open Session, a presentation was made by the local host CEO Peter Heffernan and was followed by a series of presentations providing an update on the marine science landscape in Europe and beyond on EMB, DG Research, JPI Oceans, EuroGOOS, EMODnet, the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA), the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the IPCC. A special session was then held on the state of play in wave energy, with presetntations given by Oliver Wragg (EMEC), Gerry Sutton (MaREI), Teresa Simas (WavEC) and Aengus Connolly (Wood Group Ireland). The Evening Lecture was given by Poul Holm (Trinity College Dublin) on "The North Atlantic Fish Revolution, c1500 AD".

Marine Citizen Science: Towards an engaged and ocean literate society

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Today we launch our new policy brief number 5 on “Marine Citizen Science: Towards and engaged and ocean literate society” (pdf). Following the release of our position paper on “Advancing Citizen Science for Coastal and Ocean Research” (pdf) in May 2017, we now present a summary of the main messages and recommendations.

Marine Citizen Science is a scientific research approach that is rapidly gaining interest and momentum. Our policy brief answers the fundamental question of “Why Marine Citizen Science?”, and presents the wide scope of applications in marine science research. It also looks at future opportunities with regard to the use of technology, as well as highlighting the potential for Marine Citizen Science to be a tool for marine policy. It finishes by presenting recommendations going forward, as both short- and long-term action areas, to ensure that Marine Citizen Science can continue to progress in Europe.

The policy brief can be downloaded here, the position paper can be found here, and the press release can be found here.

6th EMB Forum (6 December 2017)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The 6th EMB Forum, titled "Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda: What role for marine science" will be held on Wednesday 6 December 2017, at the Royal Flemish Academy for Science and the Arts in Brussels, Belgium. Moderated by Quentin Cooper, BBC science journalist,the programme will be opened by João Aguiar Machado, Director General, Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), European Commission, and will include addresses by Joyeeta Gupta (University of Amsterdam), Vladimir Ryabinin (IOC-UNESCO), Martin Visbeck (GEOMAR), Monica Verbeek (Seas at Risk) and John Brincat (DG MARE, European Commission). The event will include high-level presentations and panel discussions with participation from diverse stakeholders including science and policy. Further information on this event and an agenda can be found here. Diverse stakeholders are cordially invited to attend and engage in dynamic discussions.

Register now using the form here. Registration is free, subject to availability of places.