Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 145

time, demand for resources is ever growing.
Our population hit seven billion in 2011 and will
reach eight billion before 2030.
“In addition, the hundreds of millions of people
that are climbing out of poverty cannot possibly
consume fewer resources – less food or less
energy – than they do now. Maybe we can
consume less and maybe we should, but they
certainly cannot.
“So the only conclusion we can draw is that we
have to do things differently. Whatever we do,
we will have to do it sustainably. There will be
no strong economy for Europe without a strong
and sustainable maritime sector. So this is the
moment for you to think ahead, innovate and
push new projects. We count on you, too, to
create new jobs: green, sustainable jobs in a
booming blue economy.”
It is clear from Vella’s address that the
Commission is eager to take advantage of all
aspects of the European marine environment,
from research to energy to aquaculture. With
efforts through Horizon 2020, the new
Investment Plan for Europe and the Blue
Economy Business and Science Forum, such
ambitions will be realised.
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H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
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S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : E N V I R O N M E N T
Surveying the sea
In November 2014, the European Commission announced funding
from Horizon 2020 for the largest marine science project the EU
institution has ever funded. The National Oceanography Centre
(NOC) will play a leading role in the €20m AtlantOS project, which
brings together a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines from over
60 research organisations across the world in order to enhance the
efficiency of ocean observation procedures.
The 51-month project seeks to fundamentally restructure and
integrate existing, loosely co-ordinated Atlantic Ocean monitoring
activities, resulting in more efficient, more complete and lower cost
information delivery. The result is expected to have benefits ranging
from improved safety planning for coastal communities in the event
of oil spills, to better implementation of marine policies and more
accurate weather forecasting for offshore energy. The
multidisciplinary project includes the participation of researchers
working in the fields of biogeochemistry, physics, biology,
technology, ocean observation and modelling.
Professor Ian Wright, director of science and technology at the
NOC, described this type of project as “central to the NOC’s
ambitions in developing
in situ
and persistent observing of multiple
ocean parameters within a context of working with strong
European partners”.
AtlantOS will improve the readiness of existing ocean observation
networks and data systems, as well as strengthening Europe’s
contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System. Within this
project, the NOC will play the integral role of linking coastal and
offshore systems through sea-level work and coastal
biogeochemical projects, as well as co-ordinating field
observations, creating products to aid weather prediction, and
leading the development of new observation technologies,
techniques and systems to deliver data on all priority parameters.
Adding his thoughts, Dr Matt Mowlem, who is leading technology
developments in the NOC and AtlantOS, commented: “In addition
to integrating observational efforts and best practice
internationally, AtlantOS will support the development of
technologies and techniques. It will also address the current lack
of data for chemical and biological processes in ocean observing,
which should enable a step-change in our ability to understand
and manage this unique environment.”
The AtlantOS project has received funding through the first ‘Blue
Growth’ Horizon 2020 call, which aims to promote growth in the
ocean economy through innovation and the improved sharing of data.
Alpha Ventus wind
farm in the North Sea:
the commissioner
detailed the important
role of marine energy
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