Bringing the Ocean to Society
27 Feb 2018
EurOcean Members Commit to Knowledge Transfer Actions
COLUMBUS project final public event at European Parliament

It was standing room only at the final COLUMBUS event, organised by EurOcean, held at the European Parliament on February 22nd 2018. Over 60 people gathered to listen to the accomplishments of COLUMBUS and to discuss Accelerating Blue Growth through Marine and Maritime Knowledge Transfer”.

Chaired by MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos, the opening session saw a presentation by Sigi Gruber, head of the Marine Resources Unit, at the DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission, who highlighted that drafting of the next framework programme is already underway. She underlined the need for an Earth system approach in which the ocean has a key role in terms of innovation and she encouraged event participants to advocate in their own countries for a strong ocean representation in the new programme.

The outcomes of the H2020 funded COLUMBUS project were highlighted by David Murphy, COLUMBUS strategic and operational leader, and three of its many successful case studies were presented in more detail. Knowledge transfer activities and experiences from other organisations were also presented. A lively panel discussion, facilitated by EurOcean Vice-President and VLIZ Assistant Director, Tina Mertens, saw opinions exchanged on how to improve marine knowledge transfer from policy, research, maritime regions and industry perspectives.

The event culminated in an expression of commitments by a number of organisations to taking action towards adopting Knowledge Transfer in their own activities. This included partners from the COLUMBUS consortium and also EurOcean members, Nausicáa, VLIZ and FRCT.  

Nausicáa will include some of the COLUMBUS Knowledge Outputs in their main exhibition. Moreover they are launching two interactive fora which will be open to discussing any marine research related subject. Later this year a participative innovation laboratory will be opened which will allow stakeholders and visitors work together with researchers and entrepreneurs who are marine environmental managers.

VLIZ already acts as a knowledge broker between scientists, policy makers and industry. Later this year they will launch the 3rd edition of the Compendium for Coast and Sea, which maps all the expertise in Belgium on marine sciences. This helps to bring together different stakeholders and facilitates collaborations towards new projects and activities. VLIZ will also organise an annual event bringing together marine scientists, maritime experts and industry partners to exchange ideas and stimulate cooperation.

FRCT has been involved in knowledge transfer activities for several years through a number of national and European funded projects and they will endeavour to reinforce their involvement in Knowledge Transfer activities in the scope of their activities.

You can catch up on the event by checking out the web-stream video below and the presentations which are available on the EBCD website. A full report will be available shortly.