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3rd Marine Board Forum highlights European innovations in Blue Technologies

Kostas Nittis_3rd_MARINE_BOARD_FORUM_hd-010low_defOn 18 April 2012, experts from academia, industry and policy from over 70 organizations gathered at the 3rd Marine Board Forum in Brussels to discuss future and emerging “blue technologies”. The Forum highlighted Europe’s position as a world leader in marine and maritime sectors, showcasing state-of-the-art developments, including environmental MicroSensors and innovative ways to increase the efficiency of marine renewable energy. Bio-inspired breakthroughs in sustainable materials, anti-fouling strategies and hybrid data infrastructure were all presented as emerging technologies for unlocking next generation marine knowledge.

“Bold, innovative ways of handling the ocean are the path forward… technologies and the knowledge they produce are going to vastly enhance the planet we live on and the future planets we will explore,” explained Professor John Delaney University of Washington at the event. Cross-sector collaboration was presented as a key mechanism for driving innovation in the marine and maritime sectors leading to next generation integrated coastal and marine monitoring and management. “Engaging with industry is essential to fast-track product commercialization and maximize the impact of emerging technologies,” explained Dr. Matt Mowlem head of the Sensors Development Group at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

The Forum also highlighted the need for multidisciplinary blue skies research to underpin a knowledge-based economy and the importance of both building with nature and communicating with society and stakeholders through targeted knowledge transfer to ensure future innovations are relevant and of high impact.  “This Forum showcased Europe as an innovation hotspot for blue technologies which will drive marine science and innovation, supporting economic growth and wellbeing…“education and knowledge transfer hold the key to unlocking knowledge….”  said Dr. Kostas Nittis, Marine Board Chair, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece (picture above).

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Blue Technologies and Investing in Knowledge:
Panel Discussion at the 3rd Marine Board Forum with speakers John Delaney (University of Washington, USA),
Manuela Soares (Director, Environment Directorate, European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation),
David Murphy (Aqua TT, Ireland), Stephen de Mora (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK) and Harry Kolar (IBM Research)

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