Bringing the Ocean to Society
22 Nov 2017
Atlantic International Research Centre officially created
The Florianopolis Declaration was signed on 20 November 2017 launching a new international organization dedicated to the integration of space, climate-energy, oceans and data sciences fostering an inclusive perspective to science, technology and economic development.

The AIR Centre is an international distributed scientific network with headquarters in the Azores islands (Portugal) and national nodes located around the planet taking advantage and leverage already existing infrastructures and human resources. The AIR Center is intended to develop new products and services that each of its partner institutions cannot provide. The AIR Center combines the competences of its partner institutions in developing more complex solutions. EurOcean is delighted to be of the founders of the AIR Centre.

The AIR Center major goal is to become a knowledge and data driven network organization, enabling innovative work through bottom-up initiatives that will face new and greater challenges and R&D gaps.

The new centre will make use of space technology, such as satellites, to collect and provide information focused on the Atlantic area in areas as diverse as security, agriculture and fisheries, the preservation of biodiversity or urban planning.

"We will create a network of centres with people able to process data from ocean monitoring satellite technology with two large supercomputers in Europe (Barcelona) and the United States (Austin) with nodes in Portugal, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands” said Manuel Heitor, the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, the parent ministry of FCT, the Foundation for Science and Technology (EurOcean Member and Host). The acquisition of a new antenna to be acquired through the European Space Agency and installed in the Azores headquarters is also planned.

According to Manuel Heitor, the AIR Center will have two key objectives: job creation, and the contribution to a sustainable future, in particular through the monitoring of climate change and its effects, with emphasis on the Atlantic and surrounding countries.

The AIR Centre has eight founding countries: Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Angola, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Uruguay, São Tomé and Príncipe plus the regional government of the Azores. The United Kingdom and South Africa are in as well as observer countries. France is another possible partner for the future.

Several research-related organizations are part of this initiative, including EurOcean, PLOCAN, Barcelona Super Computing Center (BSC-CNS), Engineering and Innovation Center (CEiiA), Ciência Viva Agency, University of Texas at Austin, University of Cape Verde, Marine Institute of Ireland (EurOcean Member), SINTEF, WavEc, RAEGE Association of the Azores, INESC TEC, INESC Brasil, Spanish Institute of Oceanography (EurOcean Member), CoLAB+Atlântico, CoLAB DTX – Digital Transformation, EIT Climate-KIC, Institute for Bio Sustainability (IB-S), Cape Verde National Institute for the Development of Fisheries (INDP), INESC TEC, and INESC P&D Brasil.

To know more about the AIR Centre please click here.