Bringing the Ocean to Society
10 Feb 2020

Last year was a good year for EurOcean. The family was increased by a new Full Member (Blue Ocean Watch) and two new Cooperating Members (Campus Mondial de La Mer and PlaMoWa). The network was thus strengthened with energy and diversity, and its execution and outreach capacities augmented.

Three new co-funded projects were started (AQUA-LIT, CatRIS, and EUROFLEETS+), one new co-funded project was approved (IOC’s Ocean Info Hub) two new services contracts were awarded (by EMSO-ERIC and DG MARE, the later within a consortium led by ACTEON), and the new editions of the Research Infrastructures Database (RID) and the Knowledge Gate (KG) were released.

EurOcean also successfully showcased, in Lisbon, another edition of the I Live By The Sea global photography and video contest. The outdoor exhibition took place along Lisbon’s magnificent riverfront and was visited by the President of Portugal, and by the EC Vice-President, the Ambassadors of various nations, and thousands of citizens. The event contributed to the success of United Nations World Oceans Day as well as the EMD In My Country activities. Also, EurOcean contributed to the success of the European Maritime Day by co-organizing a marine litter workshop and making a presence with its stand where our Members were also represented. Furthermore, an event on Research Vessels was successfully delivered in Berlin, which emphasized the essential role of those platforms on ocean science and strengthened the relations with the European Marine Board (EMB), the event co-organizer.

EurOcean’s website and information services (RID and KG), as well as its social media channels, saw the number of visitors and followers rise to unprecedented levels, well above the impact levels observed over the last years. EurOcean was invited to speak at various events related to ocean science and technology (i.a. Campus Mondial de La Mer, University of Algarve, University of Azores, St. Julian’s School, ECOMONDO, European Research Vessels Operators), and provided data for EMB’s flagship report on the Next Generation European Research Vessels: Current Status and Foreseeable Evolution.

Right at the end of 2019, we launched EurOcean Skills, a new training programme designed to help researchers and innovators tackle some of the new challenges they face. The first edition already took place and was dedicated to Social Media and Writing for the Social Web. We are already working on the following workshop so stay tuned!

All the above evidence well EurOcean’s increasing relevance and capacity in the fields of marine information management, science communication, cooperation and collaboration, as well as the vitality, dynamism and strength of its network. Moreover, EurOcean developed its 2025 strategic plan, comprising various institutional objectives and programmes, which aim to deliver a renewed EurOcean – modern, innovative, acknowledged, relevant, useful, and a great place to work.

This year is the antechamber of a remarkable decade for ocean science and technology. The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 - 2030) is under preparation. The European Commission presented, last December, the European Green Deal, and the new Horizon Europe (2021 - 2027) is taking shape. EurOcean is more ready and committed than ever to face these upcoming exciting periods.

By Sérgio Bryton, EurOcean's Executive-Director