COLUMBUS Brokerage Event in Maritime Sensing Technologies 23 November, 2017

Snapshot of ffront programme Marine Sensors BE

PLOCAN, partner in the COLUMBUS project, is leading the organization of a brokerage event on 23 November 2017, alongside several other COLUMBUS partners including Seascape Consultants, EuroGOOS, and Aquatera, as well as related initiative EMODnet. The event will take place during the AtlantOS General Assembly, Gran Canaria, Spain. The goal of this event is to facilitate brokerage and foster partnerships between representatives of national marine observations and data programmes in Europe and across the Atlantic, and sensor developers who have generated new technologies through their participation in EU-funded projects.

New technologies and innovations in sensor development funded through the EU framework programmes will be presented and discussed to aid knowledge transfer and foster collaboration among marine and maritime stakeholders, including publicly-funded organizations and SMEs. Participants will include:

  • - European companies, focused on maritime sensing technologies and/or observing platforms that have recently participated in the development of new sensors, with the support of the European Commission-funded research and innovation projects;
  • - Expert companies and institutions in marine sensor interoperability, data collection and transmission, and data sharing and use that will provide innovative cutting-edge solutions mostly developed with the support of the European Commission in the framework of research and innovation projects;
  • - Many of their potential users, including AtlantOS partners, representing the European oceanographic and ocean

The Horizon2020 COLUMBUS project aims to ensure that applicable knowledge generated through EU-funded projects can be transferred effectively to marine and maritime sectors. To capitalise on the European Commission’s investment in research COLUMBUS is investigating the accessibility and uptake of research outputs by end-users (policy, industry, science and wider society) and will help ensure that measurable value is derived from research investments contributing to sustainable Blue Growth.

Science and technology have a vital role to play preserving the marine environment as well as supporting the European Blue Growth strategy to enhance the economic potential of our seas and oceans. This is a key component of the Europe 2020 goal of smart, inclusive and sustainable growth for Europe.The Europe 2020 Innovation Union initiative (2010) states: “We need to get more innovation out of our research”.

Please click here for the Brokerage Event Programme. 

To register interest for the brokerage event please contact Ayoze Castro at

For specific information on the COLUMBUS project, contact the COLUMBUS Project Manager Cliona Ní Cheallacháin ( and visit the project website ( 

COLUMBUS scales the Atlantic in a “New Era of Blue Enlightenment” - July 2017

On 13 July 2017, Atlantic Ocean stakeholders from science and policy gathered in Lisbon to witness history unfold as the Belém Statement was signed, launching a strategic alliance between the European Union, Brazil and South Africa. In celebration, and to stimulate new collaborations and knowledge sharing, a high-level ministerial and scientific event entitled “A New Era of Blue Enlightenment” was organised in parallel to this event from 12-14 July 2017. Key cooperation areas were outlined as: Climate variability; Food security, fisheries management, aquaculture and biodiversity; The effects of emerging pollutants; Ocean observation (including seabed mapping), forecasting and monitoring processes and systems; Oceans technology (including for observation and renewable marine energy); and, Polar research (especially interconnections between the Atlantic, the Southern Ocean and Antarctica). 

The event comprised a "Project and Ideas Meeting Place", as well as keynote speeches and roundtable discussions. AquaTT and EurOcean hosted the workshop “H2020 COLUMBUS Project – Knowledge Transfer for Blue Growth”.

The COLUMBUS session looked to highlight how focused effort can stimulate impact from existing research and innovations in the marine and maritime sector, presenting case studies of interest to audiences representing the Atlantic Ocean. The scene was set by David Murphy (AquaTT) and Ned Dwyer (EurOcean), and three case studies of Knowledge Transfer were presented by Georgia Bayliss-Brown (AquaTT). The session closed having gathered insights from attendees on the need to build capacity in methodologies to maximise impact from research investment in the South Atlantic and expressing the potential for Knowledge Transfer between Europe and the South Atlantic. A brief meeting report has been submitted to the European Commission for publication. 

For more information on COLUMBUS, please contact the Project Manager, Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, AquaTT, at

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The Belém Tower and venue for the signing of the Belém Statement (Image: Planetware)

COLUMBUS workshop identifies recommendations for marine Knowledge Transfer and innovation in Europe - May 2017

Organised by AquaTT, EurOcean and Marine South East, COLUMBUS hosted a workshop entitled “Marine Knowledge Transfer & Innovation: Learning from Regional & European Initiatives” on 17 May 2017 at the National Oceanography Centre’s facility in Southampton.

COLUMBUS aims to measurably increase the uptake and application of outputs arising from publicly-funded marine research projects by different end-users, specifically industry and policy makers. It is therefore in COLUMBUS’ interest to become familiar with local and regional examples of best practice and propose recommendations to the European Commission to better enable Knowledge Transfer and innovation within the marine and maritime sector.

Held as a side event of European Maritime Day, the workshop brought together a range of stakeholders to a) examine good practice and progress arising from recent initiatives at a regional and European level; b) identify where barriers have been overcome and whether efforts can be replicated; and, c) brainstorm on ideas as to how to overcome challenges and barriers in the future.

Welcoming participants from policy, consultancy firms, regional clusters, SMEs and large companies, the scene was set by AquaTT and Marine South East, with Cornwall Marine Network invited to present their experiences. Discussions were lively and a number of barriers to impact were identified and solutions proposed. A detailed summary is available through the project website, but key recommendations to funding agencies are:

• Projects should have champions for collection and transfer of their outputs, either within the consortium or through an external provider;
• Impact beyond current metrics of research quality (ie scientific publications) must be recognised and incentivised;
• Support the development of knowledge broker organisations to ensure that impact potential of research is achieved;
• Investment should be made to improve access to Knowledge Outputs from marine projects; and
• Regional clusters can provide an opportunity to support Knowledge Transfer.

For more information on COLUMBUS, please contact the Project Manager, Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, AquaTT, at

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Staff from Nausicaá and AquaTT disseminating information about the COLUMBUS project at European Maritime Day

Stress-testing European marine data towards a European ocean observing system - February 2017

The upcoming Stakeholder Conference & Sea-basin Workshop will be held on 14-15 February 2017. The Final Conference Programme and list of speakers is now available for your information from the Conference webpage. The Conference brings together EMODnet experts and interested stakeholders to consider whether marine data collected via current observation and monitoring activities in Europe serve the needs of those who rely upon marine knowledge derived from observations and monitoring data. Findings of the EMODnet Sea-basin data stress tests (Checkpoints) will be presented to consider how open marine data repositories can better serve users facing real problems. Finally, the participants will discuss how to improve and better coordinate the existing and future monitoring and observation activities in Europe.

In short, the main objectives of the EMODnet Stakeholder Conference are to:

  • Inform interested stakeholders about the outputs and findings of the EMODnet Sea-basin data stress-tests;
  • Consider how to improve future data adequacy assessments and outputs by seeking input from stakeholders’ needs and identification of gaps.
  • Look forward with Stakeholders from science, policy, industry and civil society on how marine monitoring and observation activities could be improved and better coordinated in Europe. 

The Conference will take place on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 February 2017 at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in Brussels, Belgium.  

The Conference is free to attend but registration is obligatory.

About the Conference

The Conference aims to mobilise a wide group of interested stakeholders to consider joint issues, present common findings as well as highlighting differences between the Sea-basins as identified by the EMODnet Sea-basin Checkpoints in terms of existing and future monitoring and observation activities, data availability and usefulness to address real problems.   

EMODnet Sea-basin Checkpoints assess the quality of the current observation monitoring data at the level of the regional sea-basins. By testing the data against specific end-user challenges, the checkpoints aim to demonstrate how well the current monitoring systems and data collection frameworks provides data to meet the needs of users. In doing so, data gaps and duplications as well as significant bottlenecks are being highlighted.

Six sea basin checkpoints are in operation. The first two checkpoints were initiated in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea in 2013. Four other Checkpoints covering the Arctic, Atlantic, Baltic and Black Sea were launched mid-2015.

For more information about the EMODnet Sea-basin Checkpoints, consult the EMODnet central portal information pages at

About EMODnet

EMODnet is a network of more than 160 organisations working together to observe the seas, to make marine data freely available and interoperable, to create seamless data layers across sea-basins and to distribute the data and data products via the internet. The primary aim of EMODnet is to unlock already existing but fragmented and hidden marine data and make them accessible for a wider range of users including private bodies, public authorities and researchers. Currently, seven thematic assembly groups have been created to develop thematic web-based Data Portals covering data resources from diverse fields including hydrography, geology, physics, chemistry, biology, physical habitats and human activities. Many of these thematic portals are already operational. In addition, six Sea-basin Checkpoints have been established to assess the observation capacity and adequacy of marine data available at regional Sea-basin level. To strengthen the coherence and functionality for users, a common ‘EMODnet Entry Portal’ provides an entry point delivering access to data, metadata and data products held by EMODnet thematic sites.

  • More information about EMODnet in general can be found on the information pages of the central portal
  • For more information about the programme contact


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