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EMB Spring Plenary Meeting 2022 - Online

Dates: 27-28 April 2022

Venue: Online

During the meeting, the members were updated on EMB activities over the past 6 months since the EMB Autumn Plenary Meeting 2021.

The Board ratified the membership of Tübitak, Turkey within the EMB IVZW. EMB Chair Gilles Lericolais (Ifremer, France) was re-elected for a further 2-year term, having completed his initial 3-year term. A new member of the Executive Committee, Martin Andreas Pfannkuchen (IRB, Croatia) was also elected, replacing outgoing vice-Chair Carlos Garcia Soto (IEO, Spain), who had completed his 5-year term. The new and current EMB Young Ambassadors had an opportunity to introduce themselves and outline their planned activities for the coming year. 

The EMB Young Ambassadors present themselves and their planned activities at the Spring Plenary 2022 meeting. From left to right: Juliette Aminian Biquet, Alfredo García de Vinuesa, Rebecca Zitoun and Anjali Gopakumar

In terms of science activities, the Board received updates on the ongoing working groups including Marine Science Communication, Coastal Resilience, Marine Renewable Energy,  as well as the new working groups Marine Habitat Mapping, which kicked off on the 8 April 2022, and Ocean Oxygen, which will be kicking off shortly. The Board also discussed and approved Terms for Reference for a new EMB activity on the Deep Sea and Ocean Health, and on the initiative of working towards the new edition of the EMB flagship foresight publication series, Navigating the Future VI. An update was given regarding EMB's engagement in ongoing H2020 projects EuroSea, EcoScope and BRIDGE-BS, as well as the EU4Ocean and EMODnet tenders.

Finally, the Board received an update on EMB's support of the Ocean Decade as an Implementing Partner. The two artists awarded grants under the new EMB funded "EMBracing the Ocean" Ocean Decade artist-in-residency programme had an opportunity to introduce themselves. The Board were also introduced to a third artist from Ukraine, whom the Executive Committee had agreed to exceptionally fund as a measure of support in light of the ongoing situation.

The EMBracing the Ocean programme artists present themselves and their planned work at the Spring Plenary 2022 meeting. From left to right: Emily Lartillot, Michael Begg and Lera Litvinova

A virtual open session was hosted by the EMB Secretariat and focused on the EU Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters. The session was opened by EMB Executive Director Sheila Heymans. The session featured presentations by Elizabetta Balzi (DG RTD) and Adrian Stanica (GeoEcoMar, Romania and Danubius-RI Project) as well as breakout discussions with EMB members, and aimed to better understand the role and potential contribution of EMB member organizations within the Mission Ocean, and also included statements from Sigi Gruber. The closing remarks were given by EMB Chair Gilles Lericolais. The presentations can be seen below: