The Management Board of JPI Oceans met on 12-13 November 2015 to discuss new and ongoing actions of JPI Oceans. The Board also discussed the sustainability of the process and, for the first time, international guests were invited to participate as observers.
New and ongoing actions were discussed which aim to solve the challenges outlined in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. The details of these activities are captured in the Operational Plan of JPI Oceans. The secretariat is tasked with making this plan publically available. For the first time, representatives from USA, Canada and New Zealand were invited to participate as observers in the discussions on actions.
Progress in the ongoing Pilot Actions was noted. The Management Board were particularly pleased with the outcome of the G7 Leaders declaration which highlighted the need for more research in deep sea mining and marine litter.
Several new actions have been developed by members of JPI Oceans during 2016. The Management Board noted their progress and made recommendation to the lead countries on their further development.
- Technologies Cofund- The Management Board were encouraged by the progress made towards the development of a proposal for a ERANET Cofund on technologies. It was noted that new funding organisation partners are still welcome to join.
- Marine Spatial Planning- The JPI Oceans Expert Group on MSP will be extended to become more interdisciplinary and provide more regional balance. The development of the action will continue in cooperation with key stakeholders, including DG MARE.
- Integrated Assessment of Effects of New Pollutants- The interested countries will identify relevant national partners and work together to develop a project plan. Regional and European partners will be involved to ensure the activities of JPI Oceans are aligned with what already exists.
- Ecosystem Goods and Services for Coastal and Marine Waters- A plan has been developed to create a joint research area to integrate economic, natural and social science. The next steps will be to establish an expert group consisting of scientists, funders and policy makers.
- Cumulative Effects of Anthropogenic Disturbances- The lead countries will hold a workshop in 2016 to prioritise the research needs and potential projects.
- Climate Change Impact on Ocean Processes and Effects of Ocean Acidification and Warming- The lead countries will host a meeting with interested countries in 2016 to look into the scientific and monitoring aspects of both actions proposed in these and agree on the next steps.
- Food Security and Safety and Biotechnology- The lead countries will look to build on the work which has already been done by JPI Oceans in this area, in preparing for the Cofund, to form an action plan. A workshop will be held in 2016 involving interested countries and relevant ERA-NETs.
- Linking Oceans, Human Health and Wellbeing- Several countries agreed to meet in 2016 to discuss how activities could be taken forward in this area.
In addition to the ongoing activities, the Management Board endorsed two new Actions.
- Munitions in the Sea- The Management Board endorsed this new action. The action will focus on how science, technology and exchange of practice and knowledge can address the problems of munitions in the sea.
- European Marine Calibration Network- This new action was proposed with the aim of harmonising sensor calibration practices and build capacity. Four countries expressed interest in taking this action forward.
NEW CSA Oceans
The CSA Oceans 2 project has been approved by the European Commission and is now entering contractual discussions. The Management Board will form the steering board of the project to ensure that the CSA fully supports the needs of JPI Oceans.
JPI Oceans Business Planning
The Management Board discussed the future sustainability of JPI Oceans. The secretariat and offices are currently funded predominantly by Norway and Belgium (Flanders), with staff secondments also from Germany and Italy. The Management Board supported the proposal that the costs should be shared more equitably by the Member Countries of JPI Oceans. In previous Management Board meetings, it was concluded that the JPI Oceans should aim to become a legal entity.
Governance and Advisory Structures
As the mandate of the Executive Committee came to an end after three years, the Management Board was asked to elect a new ExCom. The Management Board agreed to expand the Executive Committee to eight permanent members (Chair and Vice-Chair of the Management Board and six elected members). In addition, up to one representative each from the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the country taking over the next Presidency, would be invited to join the ExCom on a rotating basis. The new ExCom members are from: UK, ES, NO, IT, IE, DE, FR, BE.
Strategic Advisory Board
With the mandate of the current Strategic Advisory Board due to expire at the end of in 2016, the Management Board discussed options for its continuation.
For the future advice to the Management Board after November 2016, it was agreed to look into the possibility of establishing a hybrid advisory structure. The structure would be composed of a strategic body, similar to the current model, and a pool of experts. The hybrid structure would allow the Management Board to call on strategic advice and specialist advice based on the ongoing activity lines of JPI Oceans.
European Commission Update
As an observer to JPI Oceans, the European Commission is invited to give an update on their current activities. Sigi Gruber, Head of the Marine Resources Unit in DG Research and Innovation, outlined the current main policy context for marine and maritime research of DG Research and Innovation. This comprises of three pillars:
- Demonstrating the innovation potential of seas and oceans.
- Seizing opportunities of integrated sea basin strategies
- Engaging with citizens and valuing the seas
Petra Sarapatkova of DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries presented the Investment Plan for Europe or “Juncker Plan”. The aim of this €315bn plan was to bolster investments in the EU, bringing investment levels back to historical norms.
International Guests Ocean Strategies
For the first time, JPI Oceans invited international partners to participate in the Management Board meeting as observers and to discuss which of the action of JPI Oceans could be of interest to their national priorities. Representatives from Canada, New Zealand and the USA were invited to present their ocean strategies, and how these align with JPI Oceans’ SRIA.
International Perspectives Update
G7 update- In June 2015, the G7 Leaders Declaration identified two issues which were relevant to the oceans, ecological impacts of deep sea mining and marine litter. An Action Plan on marine litter was developed and other countries outside the G7 were invited to join. This statement was reiterated by the G7 science ministers.
Transatlantic Initiatives- A tri-lateral meeting will take place every 8-12 months between the US, Canada and the European Commission. JPI Oceans are invited to take part in these meetings. JPI Oceans will take part in the EU-Brazil Atlantic Research Cooperation meeting in Brazil.
EU BLUEMED Initiative- A high level conference was held on 16 October with participation from several countries. It is noted that four other topics in Horizon 2020, in societal challenge 2, which are aligned with the BLUEMED research agenda. It is also noted that there are several topics in societal challenge 5, on underwater cultural heritage, which would apply to the Mediterranean.
BONUS Article 185- It was reported that the BONUS II proposal had been submitted to the European Commission in the week before the Management Board meeting. In the 8th Management Board meeting it was decided that a joint working group would be set up between JPI Oceans and BONUS to see how cooperation can be established. The proposed chairman indicated that it was now timely for the first meeting to take place.