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European Maritime Day 2015 in Athens/Piraeus

Saturday, 30 May 2015

EMB presents workshops on graduate training and maritime cultural heritage at the European Maritime Day Conference (28-29 May, Athens)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

This year’s European Maritime Day conference, taking place in Athens, is focused on ports and coasts as engines for Blue Growth. The EMB has a strong presence at the event, presenting two workshops and an exhibition. EMB’s Working Group on Marine Graduate Training together with the EuroMarine Network and the JPI-Oceans Secretariat is presenting a workshop on 'How innovative training can support Blue Growth'. This workshop features stakeholders from higher education, research and business presenting and discussing perspectives on current marine training practices, innovative initiatives and industry partnerships to address the mismatch between current academic training programmes and the needs of future employers. The workshop also has a panel discussion titled ‘Europe’s Blue Economy: what skill sets are required and what is the role of marine science?’. The second workshop, ‘Maritime Cultural Heritage and Blue Growth: What’s the Connection?’ is organised by EMB’s Working Group on Continental Shelf Prehistoric Research. This workshop highlights the largely unknown cultural heritage of human settlements that exist in the shallow shelf seas around Europe which have high tourism potential. Jointly presented by research, industry and heritage management organisations, this workshop demonstrates how the offshore economy can benefit from cross-sectoral interaction to safeguard archaeological finds, to aid in their discovery and management, and to avoid unnecessary delays for commercial activities. Examples of such collaboration feature the Port of Rotterdam expansion project and aggregate dredging in the North Sea. Picture features the EMB exhibition at European Maritime Day.

BG13 Sea Change Project kick-off Meeting (12-14 May, Plymouth)

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Sea Change project held its kick-off meeting in Plymouth this week. Funded under the BG13 call on Ocean Literacy, the Sea change project runs for 3 years (2015 - 2018). The overarching goal of this project is to bring about a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them – as ‘Ocean Literate’ citizens - to take direct and sustainable action towards healthy seas and ocean, healthy communities and ultimately - a healthy planet. The term ‘ocean literacy’ originated in the US and is defined as an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. Sea Change comprises a consortium of 17 partners (including the EMB) and is coordinated by the Marine Biological Association of the UK. The kick-off meeting was held back to back with a second project funded under the BG 13 call,  named ResponSEAble. Both projects will work together over the coming years to achieve the common aim of promoting ocean literacy throughout Europe. Picture features Sea Change and ResponSEAble partners.

First JPI Oceans Conference (7 May, Brussels)

Thursday, 07 May 2015

EMB is attending the first JPI Oceans conference, where the JPI Oceans Vision and Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2015-2020 is being launched. Also being presented at the conference are new initiatives that JPI Oceans will be coordinating through their Pilot Actions, which include ecological aspects of deep-sea mining and the multi-use of infrastructures for monitoring in the North Sea. EMB Executive Secretary, Niall McDonough is taking part in a panel session titled, 'Horizon Scanning: Setting joint priorities for future marine & maritime research', together with Peter Heffernan, (Chief Executive, Marine Institute Ireland), Christina Abilgaard (Management Board JPI Oceans - Department Director, Research Council of Norway) and Sigi Gruber (Head of the Unit for Marine Resources, European Commission DG Research and Innovation). For more information on the conference please see the JPI Oceans website.

EMB Spring Plenary Meeting (29-30 April, Ghent)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

The EMB Spring Plenary convened for two days in Ghent, Belgium. The meeting brought together 28 EMB delegates as well as observers and guests from the European Commission, JPI Oceans, UNESCO-IOC, POGO, and the Flemish Government. The Board elected two new vice-Chairs, Jan-Stefan Fritz of KDM and Mark James of MASTS, and a new membership application from the Lithuanian Klaipeda University was approved. Furthermore, the Board approved a new activity on Citizen Science to start in late 2015. The delegates were also updated on the running activities, e.g. the Deep-Sea working group preparing for the launch of the EMB strategic position paper on 1 September, and the 5th EMB Forum, Ocean-Climate Nexus, taking place on 21 October at the European Parliament in the lead up to COP 21. The meeting included a Special Session on Changing legal and policy framework for the study and utilization of marine biodiversity, with talks from Prof. Marcel Jaspars (EU FP7 PharmaSea/Univ. of Aberdeen), Dr. John Brincat (EC DG MARE) and Dr. Arianna Broggiato (Univ. of Leuven). The evening ended with an inspiring and thought-provoking lecture on foresight and horizon-scanning by Prof. Michael Depledge (ECEHH, Univ. of Exeter Medical School). You can read more about the highlights of the EMB Spring Plenary here.

EMB attends Atlantic Ocean Research conference (16-17 April, Brussels)

Friday, 17 April 2015

On 16-17 April 2015 the European Marine Board joined over 200 international stakeholders in Atlantic ocean research for the conference "The Atlantic - Our Shared Resource: Making the Vision Reality". Held at the Palais d'Egmont in Brussels, the event was opened by Mr. Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and Mr. Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. The political statements reflected on progress since the launch of an Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research Cooperation, signed in May 2013 by the EU, Canada and the United States. The meeting launched a number of 'Galway Statement follow-up projects' funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Blue Growth calls. Speakers highlighted the importance of international cooperation with South Atlantic partners including Brazil and South Africa and followed up with a scientific workshop on Southern Atlantic marine science cooperation held on 15 April 2014 in Brussels to specifically progress this issue. The broadcast of the conference can be found here.

EMB European Scientific Diving Panel meet in Germany (4 March, Stuttgart)

Wednesday, 04 March 2015

Today, EMB's European Scientific Diving Panel (ESDP), chaired by Dr Martin Sayer (SAMS, UK), is meeting in Stuttgart, Germany for its 14th Plenary meeting. The Plenary meeting is organised back to back with the 1st European conference on scientific diving that took place 2 -3 March in Stuttgart. The main agenda items for the meeting include national updates, discussing the next edition of the scientific diving conference that will be hosted by Sweden in 2016 and policy strategies to promote scientific diving as a discipline, emphasising its value as cost-effective high-quality research tool capable of supporting a wide range of scientific disciplines, often in complex environments. 

Picture features (left to right): Juho Lappalainen (FL), Noémie Wouters (EMB), Maria Asplund (SE), Martin Sayer (UK), Pedro Neves (PT), Piotr Balzaly (PL), Dirk Schories (GER), Philipp Fischer (GER).

5th EMB Forum, ‘The Ocean-Climate Nexus: The critical role of ocean science in responding to climate change’, to take place on 21 October 2015, Brussels

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The EMB is pleased to announce that its 5th EMB Forum, ‘The Ocean-Climate Nexus: The critical role of ocean science in responding to climate change’, will take place in Brussels on 21 October 2015. In the context of the upcoming United Nations climate change talks at COP 21, the aim of EMB’s 5th Forum is to deliver a voice from the marine research community to key stakeholders, before COP 21, on the critical role of ocean science as part of the societal response to climate change as well as to outline the key research priorities on climate and ocean in a European context. The Forum will bring together scientists, policymakers, NGOs, think tanks and European institutions for whom ocean science and climate change is high on the agenda. Further updates will be announced on the 5th Forum webpage.  Photo Credit: Cindy Huchery

Tarmo Soomere inaugurated as President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences (28 January, Tallinn)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Today, the official inauguration of Prof. Tarmo Soomere, EMB vice-Chair, as President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences is taking place. The Estonian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1938 as an association of top-level scientists and scholars with commitment and responsibility to advance scientific research and represent Estonian science nationally and internationally. Elected as President for a five-year term on 15 October 2014, it is the first time a marine scientist holds this prestigious role in the history of the Academy. Prof. Soomere graduated as a mathematician from Moscow State University in 1980, received a PhD in oceanology in 1984 and a doctorate in mathematics in 1992. His scientific interests include theory and modelling of Rossby waves, internal and surface waves, nearshore processes, wave-induced hazards and preventive methods for coastal protection. He was elected as the first Professor of Coastal Engineering in Estonia in 2005 and currently holds the position of Head of the Wave Engineering Laboratory in the Institute of Cybernetics. Prof. Soomere takes on the position of President with an impressive record of achievement. In 2002 and 2013 he received the Estonian State Research Award; in 2007 he received the Baltic Assembly Prize; he was declared Person of the Year in Estonia for 2005 by daily newspaper, The Postman, for his contribution to the forecast of a devastating storm; he was elected to Academia Europaea in 2009; he was nominated as Honorary Professor of James Cook University in 2010; he received the Estonian Science Communication Award in 2011 and the III class Order of the White Star in 2013. Furthermore, he has published >160 research papers and many popular articles. Congratulations to Prof. Soomere on his new appointment.

EMB WG Marine Graduate Training - 2nd meeting (14-15 January, Brussels)

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The EMB Working Group on Marine Graduate Training meets today and tomorrow in Brussels for its second meeting. The working  group aims to shape the future of European marine science education and training. Key activities include critically evaluating current training practices and frameworks while assessing and proposing new mechanisms and recommendations towards innovative training instruments that identify and accommodate the needs of society, policy, industry and young scientists themselves. In an interactive stakeholder session this afternoon, representatives from European and international higher education training initiatives will come together with industrial representatives as potential employers of marine and maritime graduates to discuss current and future training needs for the 21st century ocean scientist. Representatives from the European Commission (DG Research & Innovation and DG MARE) will also present on challenges and perspectives on marine training with particular relevance to the EU's Blue Growth agenda. 

Picture features (top row, left to right): Kate Larkin (EMB), Luís Pinheiro (University of Aveiro), Pauhla McGrane (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology), Jeanine Olsen (University of Groningen), Guillaume Roullet (Université de Bretagne Occidentale), Tim Deprez (University of Ghent), Bev Mackenzie (Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology UK), Oyvind Fiksen (University of Bergen), (bottom row left to right): Noémie Wouters (EMB), Maurizio d'Alcalà (Statione Zoologica Anton Dohrn), Magda Vincx (University of Ghent), Avan Antia (University of Kiel), Marja Koski (Technical University of Denmark).