Maritime Forum

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Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Coordination and Support Action (AORAC-SA)

Published on: Fri, 29/05/2015 - 17:47
Table of Contents
    The objective of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Coordination and Support Action (AORAC-SA) is to provide scientific, technical and logistical support to the European Commission in developing and implementing trans-Atlantic Marine Research Cooperation between the European Union, the United States of America and Canada.

    The Coordination and Support Action (CSA) is carried out within the framework of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance as outlined in the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation (May 2013).

    Galway statement

    Recognising the evolving nature of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, the hallmark of this proposal is that it is flexible, responsive, inclusive, efficient, innovative, value-adding and supportive.

    To support the Commission in negotiations with the USA and Canada on trans-Atlantic Ocean Research Cooperation, the AORAC-SA support and governance structure comprises a Secretariat and Management Team, guided by a high-level Operational Board, representative of the major European Marine Research Programming and Funding Organisations as well as those of the USA and Canada. This structure is further able to draw on significant marine research expertise and experience through its partner organisations

    The CSA, reporting to the Commission representatives of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, will be responsible for the organisation of expert and stakeholder meetings, workshops and conferences required by the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and related to identified research priorities (e.g. marine ecosystem-approach, observing systems, marine biotechnology, aquaculture, ocean literacy, seabed and benthic habitat mapping), support actions (e.g. shared access to infrastructure, dissemination and knowledge transfer, establishment of a knowledge sharing platform) and other initiatives as they arise, taking into account related Horizon 2020 supported trans-Atlantic projects (e.g. BG1, BG8 and BG13) and on-going national and EU collaborative projects (e.g. FP7).

    The flexible and responsive structure takes cognisance of, and best addresses the fact and challenge that the EU-USA-Canadian Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance is in its early formative stages. As such, the timing of identified activities specified in the call text (e.g. preparation of mapping exercises on identified thematic activities, etc.) cannot be predetermined over the 60 month duration of the project, but must be responsive to the emerging needs and the more exact specifications and timings of the Atlantic Research Alliance.

    The CSA is inclusive, innovative and value-adding providing a platform to engage the widest European input, engaging with research policy makers and funders, research performers, major regional and pan-European research networks, and including industry and NGO interests.

    The AORAC-SA project will:

    • Support the implementation of the Galway Statement on an Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance;
    • Improve the international cooperation framework of marine research programmes thus creating the basis for the development of future large-scale joint international marine research programmes;

    Establish a long term knowledge sharing platform for easy access to available information and data holding significant commercial potential relevant to the EU Blue Growth Agenda.

    summary of project

    presentation of project



    Kick-off meeting of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance held on 3-4 June 2015 in Lisbon