Copies of the EU FP7 SEAS-ERA Marine Research Plan for the European Atlantic Sea Basin “Towards a Strategic Research Agenda / Marine Research Plan for the European Atlantic Sea Basin" (November 2013) are now available on-line. The Report proposes a vision for each of eight priority research areas and three critical supports/infrastructures to progress the Blue Growth Strategy in the European Atlantic Sea Basin. For each sector (e.g. marine renewable energy, fisheries/aquaculture, maritime transport, etc) key research prioritisation exercises are referenced and an indicative list of research priorities identified.
Geoffrey O’Sullivan (Marine Institute), representing the SEAS-ERA Atlantic partnership, presented the SEAS-ERA Atlantic report at the Lisbon Atlantic Conference (4th – 5th December 2013) organised by the Portuguese Government to report progress on the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Atlantic (2011)/Atlantic Action Plan (2013) (http://www.fem.pt/lac2013/).
In his presentation, Mr O’Sullivan argued that the SEAS-ERA Atlantic Report represented a source of information on the sectoral research priorities to be addressed in an Atlantic Sea Basin context to support the Blue Growth Strategy. He welcomed the opportunity afforded to the SEAS-ERA Atlantic partnership to contribute to the development of the Atlantic Action Plan (2014-2020) and acknowledged the support of the Commission in including the SEAS-ERA Atlantic Discussion Document (2011) on the Atlantic Forum website as background information.
In effect, he said, “The real success of the SEAS-ERA Atlantic partnership the input and influence the project had on development of the Atlantic Action Plan, published by the Commission in May 2013.” The EU FP7 SEAS-ERA partnership will host its 3rd SEAS-ERA Strategic Forum in Brussels on 25th February 2014 (http://www.seas-era.eu/np4/242.html)
The FP7 SEAS ERA project (2010-2014) is a network of European marine research funding organisations (RFOs) consisting of 21 partners and two third parties from 18 Member and Associated Member States located along the European seaboard in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea (www.seas-era.eu).
The Marine Institute (Ireland) is a partner and joint lead with the European Marine Board (Ostend, Belgium) of Work Package 6.1: A draft Marine Research Plan for the European Atlantic Sea Basin.
The principle aims of the SEAS-ERA network are to improve co-operation between national competitive marine research funding programmes, to facilitate better co-operation in addressing shared opportunities and challenges, to ensure better use of existing resources and capacities, to bridge identified gaps, to avoid duplication, to jointly fund strategic projects of mutual interest and in doing so, contribute to the sustainable development of the marine resource and progress the establishment of the marine component of the European Research Area (ERA).