The COLUMBUS Consortium is made up of 25 Partners across 14 countries and has been specifically designed to address the call topic and achieve the intended impacts. The Consortium is a balanced, multidisciplinary partnership, containing Pan-European organisations which represent a broad constituency of stakeholders in the marine and maritime areas.

COLUMBUS brings together a new extended multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary, transnational partnership with the experience, strategic positioning and track record in the marine and maritime sectors to achieve the ambitious impacts of the call topic. Understanding that strategic changes are needed in how the marine and maritime community interact and collaborate for mutual benefit, the partnership has been constructed to represent all aspects of the research lifecycle (funding bodies, researchers, communications experts and end-users) and all regional sea basins in Europe.

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NERC - the Natural Environment Research Council - is the UK's leading public funder of environmental science. We invest £330 million each year in cutting-edge research, postgraduate training and innovation in universities and research centres. NERC works in partnership with business, government, civil society, the public and the wider research community to shape the environmental research and innovation agenda. Our science provides knowledge, skills and technology that deliver sustainable economic growth and public wellbeing. NERC runs a range of schemes and initiatives to help identify data, knowledge and expertise for knowledge transfer, and to translate existing knowledge or co-design new research and innovation to address specific business, policy or societal challenges.

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is the UK’s largest institution for integrated sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development. The NOC is wholly owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and was formed in April 2010 by bringing together the NERC-managed activity at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and Liverpool’s Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory. The centre was set up to work in close partnership with institutions across the UK marine science community to address key science challenges, including sea level change, the oceans’ role in climate change, predicting and simulating the behaviour of the oceans through computer modelling, the future of the Arctic Ocean and long-term monitoring technologies. Across its two sites, the centre is responsible for Royal Research Ships and deep submersibles, the global mean sea level data archive, the UK’s sea level monitoring system for flood warning and climate change, the national archive of subsea sediment cores (BOSCORF), the National Oceanographic Library, and the UK’s main facility for holding and distributing data concerning the marine environment.The Centre has a strong record of providing impartial scientific advice to inform the development of public policy and regulation, and the development of technologies, information products and services, and their transfer to business and industry. In doing this it makes use of a range of technology transfer mechanisms including those funded by NERC.

Contact person: Sofia Alexiou



Providing support to Competence Node for Monitoring and Observation. Participating across the project in Work Packages 2 to 6 and 8.

Profile of staff engaged in the project:

SofiaSofia Alexiou is the Business Development and Project Manager of the Enterprise and Research Impact (ERI) team at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.  Sofia has a background in Marine Science with over 10 years of field research and conservation experience. At the NOC, she has previously worked within the Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems group as a Project Manager for FixO3, an EU funded FP7 project.   Within the ERI team, Sofia is responsible for engaging with key scientists within NOC Research Groups to develop a portfolio of activity around Ocean Observation in order to facilitate Collaborative Research, Knowledge Transfer programmes and funding opportunities with academic and industry partners, and provide Project Management support for the ERI team.


steve hallSteve Hall is Head of the UK IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) Office and leads the UK delegation to the UNESCO IOC Assembly. Steve also forms part of the Secretariat for the UK Government Marine Science Coordination Committee, with a focus on industry, sustained observations and communications. He has also been a member of a number of advisory committees and is currently a member of Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) Steering Group and Head of UK Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Committee.


PhilDr Phil Williamson works for the NERC on the planning and delivery of major strategic initiatives in the topic areas of climate change, marine biogeochemistry and marine biodiversity. He is a Visiting Fellow at the University of East Anglia, where he is currently responsible for scientific coordination of the UK Ocean Acidification (UKOA) and Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry (SSB) research programmes, co-funded by NERC and UK government departments. Phil’s work involves substantive stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange, at both the national and international levels, to ensure that research outputs are used for societal benefit. He has served on NERC’s Knowledge Exchange Advisory Group, chairing panel assessments of KE research grant and fellowship proposals. Phil currently co-chairs the newly-formed Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON); he is also a member of the OSPAR/ICES Study Group on Ocean Acidification, and the international Ocean Acidification Reference User Group.


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+353 1 644 9008

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AquaTT UETP Ltd., PO Box 8989
Dublin 2, Ireland

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