EUR’OCEAN 2010:Marine research community welcomes Oceans JPI | JPI OCEANS

EUR’OCEAN 2010:Marine research community welcomes Oceans JPI

2010.10.29

EUR’OCEAN 2010:Marine research community welcomes Oceans JPI

Most high-level speakers at the EurOCEAN 2010 conference identified the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on “Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans” as the relevant scheme to meet grand challenges faced by marine and maritime research community, such as the development on an integrated network of marine observatories.

EurOCEAN conferences are major European marine science policy conferences providing a forum for policy makers and strategic planners both at European and Member State level to interface with the marine research community and marine and maritime stakeholders. EurOCEAN 2010 was held at Ostend on 12 and 13 October under the Belgian Presidency of the EU.

The “JPI OCEANS” has not only received support from Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn but also from high-level scientists and decisions-makers. The JPI has been recognized as a appropriate scheme in particular to optimise the use of marine research infrastructure across Europe, ensure European and regional sea dimension covering, conduct long term research, as well as ensure a long-term commitment at high level.
In his presentation, Hervé Péro (Acting director, DG Research, European commission), highlighted the key challenges for marine research infrastructures. In this respect, he said the “JPI OCEANS” will mature and deserves formal long term commitments to foster European approach and build a long-term vision. He pointed out the fact that the marine scientific community can benefit from European Commission’s experience for the development of future large-scale marine research infrastructures. Activities such as roadmap development and priority setting, long-term financing, communication and commitment at regional and sub-regional level, and the EU strategy towards global Research Infrastructures are indeed part of the experience acquired by the Commission in the last decade.
Jean-Yves Perrot, CEO of Ifremer, argued that we face a growing number of complex challenges, which will require a much better networking of all the concerned actors. Through the implementation of a European Joint Programming Initiative of the Member States for “Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans”, as well as the setting of common platforms and public-private alliances with partners from the maritime and the industrial sectors, and the provision for scientific expertise in support to public policies, marine sciences can contribute to these critical and challenging issues.
Joan Albaigés, the ERA-net “SEAS-ERA” Coordinator (Spanish Research Council - CSIC) pointed out that in the context of broadening and strengthening the European Research Area, the Joint Programming scheme is a further structural component to be considered in the design of future work programmes, where multilateral cooperation will be enhanced.

In a presentation dedicated to the JPI OCEANS, Christina Abildgaard, Deputy director  general at Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, stressed the need to address the challenges of seas and oceans in a more holistic way. The marine system and its services represent a huge complexity calling for an inter-disciplinary approach which has been addressed in a fragmented way so far. The JPI scheme will allow the creation of synergies between sector and of the different member-states, regions and the industrial sector.
Closing the EurOCEAN 2010 conference, Jan Mees, Vice-chair of the Marine board of European Science Foundation (Flanders marine institute) said joint programming will represent the next step in the process of marine research integration.
Finally, the Ostend Declaration, endorsed by the participants to the conference, calls the European Union and its member and associated states to develop “an integrating framework, combining the assets of European programmes with those of Member States, to address the Grand Challenge of the Seas and Oceans, including the identification and delivery of critical marine research infrastructures.” It points out the fact that the Joint Programming Initiative on Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans has “the appropriate scale of integration and should be actively supported by the European Commission and Member States”.
The representative of the Belgian Presidency, Mr. Wim De Vos (from the Cabinet of Sabine Laruelle, Belgian Federal Minister for SMEs, Independents, Agriculture and Science Policy) announced that the presidency would present the Ostend Declaration to the Competitiveness Council. Belgian Presidency of the EU has indeed strongly supported the ocean JPI.

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