Ocean Action Hub

Please share any innovative partnerships - existing or proposed - aimed at increasing scientific knowledge, developing research capacity or transferring marine technology to improve ocean health that you are aware of or involved in that could be featured at the June Ocean Conference and can advance effective actions from local to global levels.

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Wendy Watson-Wright's picture

Wendy Watson-Wright said:

Dear Tommy, 

My thanks as well for introducing this discussion.

The Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) is a recently created interdisciplinary transnational partnership headquartered at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, that will serve as a global hub for ocean exploration, discovery and solutions for safe and sustainable ocean development.

OFI includes the flagship universities in three Canadian Atlantic provinces, three federal government departments, the governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador, the Royal Canadian Navy and the National Film Board of Canada.  OFI will link their expertise with eight major international research institutes in five countries including Ireland, Norway, Germany, France and the U.S.A. In addition, OFI has more than 20 industry partners ranging from local small businesses to international corporations like IBM.

The research being conducted through the OFI has three goals: 1) build scientific understanding of the changes that are underway in the globally significant Northwest Atlantic Ocean and adjacent Canadian Arctic Gateway; 2) create strategic and effective solutions for safe and sustainable ocean development; and 3) deliver strategically relevant ocean data science and technology tools.

Of specific importance is OFI's involvement in ocean literacy through its support of Ocean School, which began as a partnership between Dalhousie University and Canada's National Film Board.  OFI is also working with UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and others to promote ocean literacy and education on a global scale.  More information can be found at www.oceanfrontierinstitute.org .


Wendy Watson-Wright


Tommy Moore's picture

Tommy Moore said:

So far we have had some great posts on the importance of multidisiplinary approaches that include both the public and private sectors, and on the formation of GOA-ON, a scientific community led effort that I think serves as a great model for innovative partnerships.

Our discussion is entering its last few days so lets keep the converstion going.  Remember, what we say here will feed in to the discussions during the UN Oceans Conference in June, so this is our chance to contribute to the global dialogue.

Aurelien Carbonniere's picture

Aurelien Carbonniere said:

Addressing global and multidisciplinary challenges in the marine realm requires a partnership approach. The sea is multidisciplinary by nature and concentrates all societal challenges. Therefore, new innovative research partnerships should be as inclusive as possible in order to adress jointly and more effectively multiple stressors, pressures and threats to the marine environment.

Such partnerships are between the private and public sectors. Both communities should join forces, aligning step by step their priorities so to better implement joint measures for a more visible, structural and tangible impact on future management systems. Links and synergistic interactions between different communities are no easy to establish though and requires suitable sociological/behavioral knowledge to facilitate them.

Maritime and marine research stakeholders are different "animals" (different scopes, objectives (short/medium/long) and visions) but with a common objective: all need safe, secure and sustainable marine environments. Improved observations of the oceans are for the benefits of human society.

Improved effort should be put to strenghten and reinforce those interactions (e.g. World Ocean Council for the Industry and different marine research networks worldwide).

Tommy Moore's picture

Tommy Moore replied:

Well said Aurelien.  

Engagment between the public and private sectors is important in ensuring that research fully benefits communities.  This is especially important in developing countries where research efforts are minimal and science is often not trusted or misunderstood.  Public-private partnerships are a key tool in demonstrating the value of research.

Tommy Moore's picture

Tommy Moore said:

Welcome to the online forum on increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to development (SDG14.a) in advance of The Ocean Conference. We are very pleased to be moderating this discussion and looking forward to hearing from you. 

In particular, I am interested in receiving contributions about innovative partnerships - existing or proposed - aimed at increasing scientific knowledge, developing research capacity or transferring marine technology to improve ocean health that you are aware of or involved in that could be featured at the June Ocean Conference and can advance effective actions from local to global levels

This forum will remain open until 17 April and we will monitor the inputs and provide moderation to ensure the discussion effectively feeds makes a substantive input to be carried to the Conference in June. Summaries of the responses will be compiled at the end of the discussion period and posted on the platform.

Your voice matters!  Make it count as the global community converges in June 2017 to commit to action to realize Sustainable Development Goal 14 to sustain Life Below Water for our and future generations! 

Let me start the discussion with a brief summarry of the situation in the Pacific islands.  In the Pacific island countries and territories management of coastal and oceanic areas are often constrained by gaps in scientific understanding of our marine systems. Traditional knowledge is integral, but responses to the rapid changes in both ocean conditions and human populations require the combination of traditional and novel knowledge sources.

This gap in science and research information is particularly evident in ocean areas where global interests and pressures out-pace the capacity of Pacific island countries and territories to adequately understand and manage the area. Furthermore, Pacific island countries and territories urgently need increased science capacity to measure and monitor progress toward the SDG14 targets and indicators. Where data and local/traditional knowledge are available, there are still gaps in transferring this data and knowledge to decision-makers.

To this end we are proposing the formation of a Pacific Ocean Research Alliance, using the Atlantic Ocean Research Model as a model.

What innovative partnerships are you are aware of or developing that are working to  increase scientific knowledge, develope research capacity and/or transfer marine technology to improve ocean health?

I look forward to a useful and productive discussion that will lead us into the June 2017 Oceans Conference and beyond.

Libby Jewett's picture

Libby Jewett replied:

Dear Tommy,

Thank you for introducing this discussion. Currently, the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) is partnering with the IAEA and The Ocean Foundation to develop low-cost ocean acidification monitoring and experimentation kits for use by scientists in resource-poor regions. These kits will consist of pH sensors and biological monitoring hardware with the goal to build capacity for research as well as increase the spatial scale over which ocean acidification-related observing data are being collected. In addition, the Pier2Peer network, a GOA-ON initiative which launched last May 2016, pairs experienced scientists with early-career researchers to share knowledge - which is already benefiting the Pacific Islands region. These pairings can also form the basis for international research collaborations. I look forward to reading more on this forum about other innovative collaborations and partnerships.


Libby Jewett

Co-Chair, GOA-ON

Tommy Moore's picture

Tommy Moore replied:

Thanks for this Libby.

GOA-ON is a great example of a community-led research innitiative.  GOA-ON started as a group of experts who recognized a research and coordinationa gap and took the initiative to fill it.  GOA-ON serves as a model for reasearcer and tecnical expert led initiatives.  It would be great to hear about more iniatives of this sort on this forum, at any scale (local, national, regional, global).