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New Strategic Partnership in European Marine Research - Memorandum of Understanding signed by the three leading institutes

The three largest marine research institutes in Europe, the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), UK, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, Ifremer, and the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), Germany, have resolved to further strengthen their scientific cooperation.

The institutes signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 15 December, in Kiel, Germany in the presence of the Prime Minister of the German State of Schleswig-Holstein Peter Harry Carstensen.

NOCS-Director Edward Hill, Ifremer-President and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Perrot and Peter Herzig, Director of IFM-GEOMAR and Maritime Coordinator of the State Government, agreed that closer cooperation is essential. “The alliance between the so to say “G3” of European marine research institutes enables us to face up to current challenges in ocean investigation worldwide”, said Herzig. “With 3000 employees and an annual budget of more than € 350 million we represent the largest European alliance in marine research“, Professor Herzig continued.“

“By building on our already successful interactions, by combining our intellectual resources and the use of cutting edge technologies, such as deep diving underwater vehicles, we can optimise our efforts to observe and understand the global oceans”, added Professor Hill. “With our combined knowledge of ocean climate interactions, ocean resources, ecosystems and biodiversity we are well placed to provide the scientific underpinning needed for the development and implementation of key European marine and maritime policies”, Professor Hill continued. Ifremer-President Perrot agreed. His institute is by far the largest of the new triumvirate.

This new close cooperation provides an additional way of making the ‘European Research Area’ a reality. “Our three institutes have a broad research spectrum that encompasses physical, chemical, biological and geological aspects of marine research”, stated IFM-GEOMAR Director Professor Peter Herzig. “With this spectrum all three institutes have the position of national research centres for ‘blue water oceanography’”, Herzig continued.

Clear approval comes from the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Peter Harry Carstensen: “We are very pleased that marine research has developed that positively in Schleswig-Holstein during the last years. Within our initiative ‘strengthening the excellence’ we have strongly supported the development of IFM-GEOMAR. This support has contributed to establish 200 new high-qualified jobs during the past five years at IFM-GEOMAR”, Carstensen continued. “The memorandum of understanding, too, documents that IFM-GEOMAR has become one of the leading institutions in marine research worldwide”, continued Carstensen.

Andreas Villwock | alfa
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