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Marine and Maritime Knowledge Transfer – Exploring Blue Growth with COLUMBUS

Additional-Logo COLUMBUS we

The COLUMBUS project, a flagship European Commission-funded Blue Growth initiative, has successfully kicked-off and now moves into the first stages of managing knowledge and carrying-out Knowledge Transfer of marine research outputs to measurably increase their uptake and application by different end-users, such as industry, policy makers, and society in general.

On the 21st and 22nd of April 2015, over 40 participants representing 26 partner organisations and 13 countries converged in Dublin, Ireland, for the kick-off meeting of the project, which was hosted by AquaTT, the Strategic and Operational Leader for the project. COLUMBUS represents the most substantial investment by the EC in Knowledge Transfer to date. The EC has provided €4m funding for the three-year project, which is designed to ensure that outputs arising from publicly-funded marine research projects have positive societal benefit.

“COLUMBUS is very much at the forefront of the Blue Growth agenda, as its overarching objective is to ensure that applicable knowledge generated through EC-funded science and technology research can be transferred effectively to advance the governance of the marine and maritime sectors while improving competitiveness of European companies and unlocking the potential of the oceans to create future jobs and economic growth in Europe,” explains Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, COLUMBUS Project Manager.

“COLUMBUS is an ambitious project with the potential to deliver game-changing results. To be successful, the partnership will need to cooperate and collaborate. The kick-off meeting was a success, with the partnership ready and willing to begin work immediately, particularly in setting the foundations for strong and robust methodologies and processes to be used within the project,” Ní Cheallacháin adds.

COLUMBUS will establish a “Knowledge Fellowship”, a network of nine full-time Knowledge Transfer Fellows whose role will be to carry out Knowledge Transfer using a methodology based on the needs prioritised early in the project. Working together as a team and active network, this combined critical mass will provide a multiplier effect to help achieve measurable impacts and to develop a blueprint for future activities in this field of work, ultimately contributing to the development of a thriving and sustainable marine and maritime economy. These fellows will work across nine nodes, each with a specific focus area: Aquaculture; Fisheries; Monitoring & Observation; Marine Biological Resources; Maritime Transport & Logistics; Marine Physical Resources; Maritime Tourism; Marine Governance & Management; and Marine Environment & Futures.

The COLUMBUS partnership at the kick-off meeting in Dublin web



1.    Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Ireland
2.    AquaTT, Irleand
3.    EurOcean, Portugal,
4.    Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark
5.    Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
6.    Marine South East, UK
7.    Aquark, Greece
8.    Smartbay Ireland, Ireland
9.    The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN), Spain
10.    INNOVATEC, Spain
11.    The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), Belgium
12.    CEFAS, UK
13.    European Global Ocean Observing System (EuroGOOS), Belgium
14.    CETMAR, Spain
15.    Aquatera, UK
16.    Seascape Consultants, UK
17.    European Council for Maritime Applied R&D Association (ECMAR), Belgium
18.    European Aquaculture Society (EAS), Belgium
19.    Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), France
20.    Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK
21.    Maritime Development Center of Europe (MDCE), Denmark
22.    Nausicaa, France
23.    Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
24.    Unitatea Executiva pentru Finantarea Invatamantului Superior, a Cercetarii, Dezvoltarii si Inovarii (UEFISCDI), Romania
25.    Center of Maritime Technologies (CMT), Germany
26.    International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Denmark

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