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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.

Marine Biotechnology: Advancing Innovation in Europe’s Bioeconomy

Monday, 11 September 2017

The European Marine Board is pleased to announce its latest Policy Brief on Marine Biotechnology: Advancing Innovation in Europe’s Bioeconomy. This was developed in collaboration with the Marine Biotechnology ERA-NET (ERA-MBT). The Policy Brief presents the latest advancements, opportunities and challenges of marine biotechnology, as a fast growing Blue Growth area with diversified applications to human health and wellbeing. The Policy Brief summarizes key thematic areas from the ERA-MBT Marine Biotechnology Strategic and Innovation Roadmap: Insights to the future direction of European marine biotechnology, published in 2016. This includes long-term (2020-2030) opportunities where significant scientific, technological and other challenges remain. The Policy Brief also presents examples of commercial applications of marine biotechnology, the resulting high-value products and services and examples of other European projects and initiatives that are seeking to streamline the marine biotechnology pipeline.

Globally, marine biotechnology is a powerful tool contributing to the broader bioeconomy and to multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including aspects of sustainable food production systems, regulating the harvesting of marine bioresources and ending overfishing. In Europe, marine biotechnology remains a key enabler advancing Blue Growth. While products from marine biotechnology research and innovation are already widely used, the possibilities remain vast with new discoveries and diversifying applications. Today, 11 September, the Policy Brief is being presented by Dr. Steinar Bergseth (ERA-MBT Coordinator and Policy Brief co-author) at the General Assembly of the European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster (EMBRIC). The Policy Brief can be downloaded here, and the press release can be found here.

Prof. Sheila Heymans appointed as new EMB Executive Director

Friday, 25 August 2017

On Friday 25 August 2017, Prof. Sheila Heymans officially accepted the post of European Marine Board Executive Director. 

Prof. Heymans is currently Head of Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) where her current research focus is 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. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and was a lead author on the IPBES chapter on policy support tools for modelling scenarios. Prof. Heymans is already actively involved in EMB activities, most notably as co-Chair of the running Working Group on Marine Ecosystem Modelling.

Prof. Heymans visited the EMB ivzw offices in Oostende on Friday 25 August to meet the EMB Secretariat team and to sign her contract. She will officially take up her post as Executive Director of the European Marine Board ivzw on 10 January 2018. In the intervening period, the EMB Secretariat will be overseen by Senior Science Officer Kate Larkin.

EMB bids farewell to Executive Director

Monday, 31 July 2017

Today EMB bids farewell to Executive Director, Niall McDonough, who has been with the organisation since 2009. In the words of EMB Chair, Jan Mees, "Niall has become the face of the European Marine Board and has personified its aura of scientific credibility and professionalism. In an increasingly complex landscape in European marine science and policy, and through significant changes to the membership, secretariat and the organisation itself, Niall has ensured that the quantity and quality of products delivered has been maintained at the highest possible level." The secretariat and the members of the European Marine Board sincerely thank Niall for his 7 years of dedicated service and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Kate Larkin will step in as Acting Head of Secretariat.

Charlotte Simon has started as EMB Junior Science Officer Trainee

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

On Monday 17 July, Charlotte Simon joined the EMB Secretariat as a Junior Science Officer Trainee. Charlotte obtained a Masters degree in Organisms’ Biology and Ecology from the Free University of Brussels and worked for three years as a Nature Policy Officer at the “European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation” where she focused on the interface between hunting activities and nature conservation at EU level. In continuity of her Masters thesis studying the impact of climate change on benthic species, she got involved in a 2-months trainee ship as “Green Fins coordinator” in the Philippines, where she worked with diving centres to decrease their impact on coral reefs. Charlotte will work on diverse topics within the EMB Secretariat until mid December 2017.

Launching the Belem Statement

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Today sees the launch of the Belem statement, a joint Declaration on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Cooperation between the European Union, Brazil and South Africa. This follows the Galway statement for the North Atlantic cooperation, signed in 2013, and reflects a significant move towards a joined up, integrated approach to research and development across the whole Atlantic Ocean and its bordering countries. The high-level Ministerial and scientific event is hosted by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and is part of a three day conference titled 'A new era of blue enlightenment'. Updates from the meeting can be followed on Twitter using #AtlanticAll. Representatives of the European Marine Board ExCom, Board and Secretariat are participating in the event, which includes workshops on building an Atlantic research community with topics spanning ocean literacy to ocean observation (e.g. AtlantOS).

EMB launches activity in end-to-end marine ecosystem modelling

Wednesday, 05 July 2017

Today, 7 July 2017, the European Marine Board launches a new activity on end-to-end marine ecosystem modelling with a horizon scanning workshop ‘Shaping Future Research Agendas’ at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (Marine Matters Centre), United Kingdom. Chaired by Morten Skogen (IMR, Norway) and Sheila Heymans (SAMS, U.K.), the workshop brings together international experts from 12 countries in marine ecosystem modelling for interactive discussions. Experts will identify Research and Development gaps and needs for increasing the capability of end-to-end marine ecosystem models and, crucially, increase their impact and uptake as a tool in marine ecosystem-based management and environmental policy.  The full agenda is available here and the workshop is facilitated by the EMB Secretariat. The workshop directly follows, and is in collaboration with, the AMEMR (Advances in Marine Ecosystem Modelling Research). Community-driven recommendations and key messages from the workshop, together with the latest state-in-the-art in end-to-end marine ecosystem modelling, will be developed into a EMB Policy Brief. This will be communicated to wider stakeholders, including research funders, marine managers and policy makers to increase awareness of opportunities for using marine ecosystem models as a tool in ecosystem based management and research and development requirements for next generation capabilities. This gap analysis will also contribute to the development of a more coordinated and comprehensive European Ocean Observing System (EOOS).

Biological Observations Working Group kick-off meeting (22-23 June, Pisa)

Friday, 23 June 2017

EMB’s newest expert working group on ‘Strengthening Europe's Capability in Biological Ocean Observation’ (WG BIO OBS) held its kick-off meeting on 22 and 23 June in Pisa (Italy) at the Rectorate of the University of Pisa, home institution of the Chair Prof. Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi. This working group has been convened to recommend gaps and priorities for enhancing the current biological ocean observing capacity as a component of the wider European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) that is fit-for-purpose in the context of user needs and societal benefits. Comprising 12 expert on marine biological observations, the group foresees the publication of a Future Science Brief in Spring 2018.

 Picture features Working Group BIO OBS members. Back row, left to right: Jacco Kromkamp (NIOZ), Antoine Grémare (University of Bordeaux), Asbjørn Christensen (DTU Aqua), Isabel Sousa Pinto (CIIMAR), Adriana Zingone (Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn), Francisco Hernandez (VLIZ), Niall McDonough (EMB secretariat). Bottom row, left to right: Elena Maggi (University of Pisa), Tasman Crowe  (University College Dublin), Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi (University of Pisa), Ángel Muñiz Piniella (EMB secretariat).