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


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