Support Action to initiate cooperation between the Communities of European MARine and MARitime REsearch and Science

Nearly all significant developments in the marine/maritime area originate from Europe, a true maritime continent. Consequently, the Marine/Maritime Science and Research Communities are among the world leaders in their respective fields, disciplines and sectors. To maintain its leadership and competitiveness, Europe must take advantage of new market opportunities and address the global challenges by means of focused RDI. Unfortunately the complexity and intricacy of the marine/maritime area has lead to widespread fragmentation of research efforts and actors. It is therefore important to identify and establish appropriate mechanisms to strengthen the cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary cooperation, key ferment for innovation, between both research communities.

To this effect, the ETP WATERBORNE and the informal Post Aberdeen Marine Interest Group came together as they would benefit from an appropriate and efficient cooperation framework to achieve the Lisbon agenda in a sustainable way. To tackle global issues such as Climate Change and Competitiveness, the different interests and elements affecting such matters need to be integrated in a consistent way. Building on the EU s Maritime Policy and ERA, the key challenge for the EU Policies is to enable sustainable economic expansion, taking into account the environmental, economical and social aspects in a holistic way.

This project aimed to initiate the process for this holistic approach by identifying and generating a framework of cooperation for the two communities. It focused on maritime transport but also formed the basis for a wider reflection in the future. This framework would be build by identifying: the areas of common interest, of possible synergies and the most promising cooperation/integration structure. A Policy Interface Panel composed of representatives of the two Research Communities will be instrumental in reaching the largest possible consensus to ensure the best support and public awareness.

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