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2020-05-11

Atlantic experts identified major needs and gaps in knowledge transfer initiatives targeting ocean innovation and economy

One of the objectives of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance is the construction of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Community. Through the promotion of new models of cooperation around the whole Atlantic Ocean basin, this massive coordinated and partnership-based endeavour will encourage joint activities, increment operational efficiency within marine research, expand our common understanding and scientific knowledge on the Atlantic, and leverage capacity development through scientific exchange. In order to achieve this objective, five stakeholders’ platforms were created under the AANChOR project to foster the interaction of experts of various key scientific areas. On 5 February 2020, on the eve of the second All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum (Brussels, Belgium), the AANChOR project gathered dozens of experts in five different workshops to better understand what should be the next steps in each of their fields of transatlantic cooperation.

The workshop on Knowledge Transfer for Ocean Innovation and Economy was led by AANChOR’s partner SPI from Portugal. It gathered ten experts from the AANChOR platform, four external observers from other projects funded under the same EU funding call, and three AANChOR members.

The main objectives of this workshop were a) to promote discussions regarding work developed by AANChOR on Knowledge Transfer for Ocean Innovation and Economy, b) to cooperatively think of potential joint actions to promote transatlantic cooperation, including the identification of some tasks to receive the seed funding which will be made available by the AANChOR project, and c) to make sure that this platform of experts is active and cohesive, contributing for a strong All-Atlantic cooperation in this area.

The workshop had two sessions. The first one aimed at discussing the baseline characterisation study of existing initiatives targeting Knowledge Transfer for Ocean Innovation and Economy. This baseline is a mapping that analyses a non-exhaustive list of past and ongoing initiatives that tackle knowledge transfer activities involving blue economy and ocean innovation in the Atlantic Basin. During its development phase, this baseline received the contribution from the experts linked to this platform, and in Brussels we had the chance to debate its main findings and conclusions.

The second session of the workshop was dedicated to a discussion regarding the identification of major needs and gaps in knowledge transfer initiatives targeting ocean innovation and economy which are crucial to understand which joint actions need to be implemented. The session served to gather many insightful contributions from the participants, which will be taken into consideration in the following work of AANChOR. Finally, the participants analysed potential joint actions promoting transatlantic cooperation, including the definition of the procedures to apply to the seed money which will be made available by AANChOR. In this final session, activities to be implemented by the selected joint actions were also discussed among the participants.

The next activities of the Knowledge Transfer for Ocean Innovation and Economy platform will be towards identifying the most suitable existing initiatives to be presented as potential candidates for the seed money. Information regarding each initiative will be analysed, such as how the initiative tackles areas of the Belém Statement, and what synergies it includes with other AANChOR platforms.

Questions and comments regarding AANChOR’s Knowledge Transfer for Ocean Innovation and Economy platform should be directed to anacarolinagomes@spi.pt.

The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance is an international initiative supporting research and innovation promoting the sustainable use of the oceans. It is the result of various science diplomacy efforts involving Atlantic countries on both sides of the Equator line. It aims at enhancing marine research and innovation cooperation along and across the Atlantic Ocean, from the Arctic to Antarctica. To learn more about the Alliance and its relationship with the Galway and Belém Statements and the Administrative Arrangements with Argentina and Cape Verde, please have a look at this video or read this brochure.