2020 Brussels - Concept note
Since setting sail on our common Atlantic Ocean journey together, remarkable progress with our marine research and innovation cooperation has been made. We have significantly progressed towards an All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, which joins efforts undertaken with the signing of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation (EU – US – Canada), the Belém Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Cooperation (EU – Brazil – South Africa).
The 2nd All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum showcased results and solutions for our citizens and communities from Antarctica to the Arctic, which this cooperation has produced so far, and plan the further implementation of the Galway and Belém Statements. At the Forum, the Atlantic community defined together a vision of how it can strengthen its international cooperation to seize the opportunities and address the common challenges facing the Atlantic Ocean and the communities that depend on it. The Forum paid particular attention to the projected changes the Atlantic Ocean and its ecosystems will undergo, as outlined in the IPCC Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere and the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and to the solutions that research and innovation can provide to our societies.
As an outcome of the Forum, the partners defined together a new strategic direction for the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, which can support the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and deliver on the priorities such as the European Green Deal, the Horizon Europe Mission Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters and other national or regional commitments taken by the different international partners.
The event took participants through thematic sessions which fed in the closing session reflecting on the next level of ambition and the way forward for our cooperative scientific efforts in the Atlantic Ocean. Thematic sessions saw short project showcases focused on providing solutions to the challenges faced by our Atlantic Ocean communities, followed by panel discussions between political and community leaders, researchers, industry, Youth Ambassadors and inspirational speakers from along and across the Atlantic, from the Arctic to Antarctica.
Research, innovation and data are critical to better monitor, understand, protect, preserve and sustainably manage our oceans and seas, as well as to forecast sea state and weather. Currently, many data and e-infrastructure initiatives are working to facilitate collection, access and management of data to provide scientists, agencies, the private sector and policy makers with ready-to-use tools and knowledge which can help to address grand societal challenges and guide policy decisions. And yet, worldwide initiatives remain fragmented, coordination between sometimes overlapping initiatives is insufficient, hindering the full exploitation potential of ocean big data.
Both the Galway and Belém Statements aim at increasing operational efficiencies by optimising and coordinating the appropriate use, access, and sharing of research data and platforms. Political statements on the oceans invariably have a strong focus on bringing the ocean closer to citizens. The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-30 was announced with exactly this purpose. Similarly, the European Union will make Mission Healthy Ocean, Coasts and Inland Waters one of its most publicly visible priorities in the next Research Framework Programme Horizon Europe, with the objective of delivering a public good. It is equally important to bring data to and from citizens and business. The purpose of the workshop was to contribute to the implementation of the Galway and the Belém Statements by better understanding the international data/e-infrastructure landscape and the needed federation efforts to accelerate the establishment of a global “Blue-Cloud” able to effectively and efficiently bring data at the service of society. Creative and innovative data applications were presented to reveal the potential of oceans and seas for the market and the new generations.
Knowledge of our oceans and seas – to access click here.
The AANChOR platform workshops took place in different venues in Brussels. These were internal and closed events, each with around 15 to 18 experts coming from the 3 continents: Europe, South America and Africa. All the experts then met for the joint session at 17:30 at Thon Hotel, organized by the AORA-CSA Secretariat.
The main aim of the All-Atlantic Research Alliance is to strengthen transatlantic collaboration in Marine & Research issues for the benefit of the Atlantic Society.
In its support to the All-Atlantic Research Alliance, the AANChOR CSA project implemented Multi-Stakeholders’ platforms, in five overarching cooperation areas – Capacity Building, Knowledge Transfer, Standards & Data Sharing, Ocean awareness & Literacy and Infrastructures – with the aim to propose concrete joint actions to enhance transatlantic cooperation.
Back to back to the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum the experts from each platform, coming from Europe, South America and Africa, met for the first time to discuss Gaps & Needs for a long term and successful transatlantic collaboration and to start discussing synergies among all the platforms, contributing to the future identification of concrete joint transatlantic actions.
Here is an overview on what happened on each thematic workshop:
Five Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) Working groups met in Brussels between 4-5 February 2020. These working groups work on the following priority theme areas: seabed mapping, marine microbiome, aquaculture, ocean literacy and the ecosystem approach to ocean health & stressors. These working groups are trilateral in nature and are composed of government scientists, policy makers and researchers. The meetings were internal closed events.
In addition to the above, an All-Atlantic Funders meeting was held and a series of 5-minute Flash Presentations were given by the AORA Working Groups as well as the following EU Horizon 2020 research projects and innovations: Blue Cloud Innovation Action, AquaVitae, TriATLAS and iAtlantic.