Skip to main content

Article Category


Article available in the folowing languages:

AORAC-SA and ATLANTOS among the Horizon 2020 ocean research projects to start making waves

AORAC-SA and ATLANTOS are among a range of recently launched Horizon 2020 projects focusing on Atlantic Ocean research which were presented at last month’s conference on the Atlantic in Brussels.

The Horizon 2020 programme is backing ocean research to the tune of EUR 145 million for 2014 to 2015. And it’s foreseen that the Commission’s work programme for 2016 to 2017 will invest even further, particularly in bringing marine research closer to decision makers and markets. The recent conference The Atlantic – Our Shared Resource: Making the Vision Reality showcased some of the Horizon 2020 projects getting started this year under the umbrella of ‘blue research’ that will contribute to the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation. This is one in a series of articles shining a spotlight on these Atlantic Ocean research projects. Today the focus is o on AORAC-SA and ATLANTOS. AORAC-SA The impetus for the AORAC-SA (Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Support Action) project comes directly from the Galway Statement which established the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. Led by the Marine Institute of Ireland, the AORAC-SA team will focus exclusively on coordination and support. More specifically, for the next five years they will be providing scientific, technical and logistical support to the European Commission in developing and implementing trans-Atlantic marine research cooperation between the EU, the US and Canada. With this international dimension in mind, the seven European project partners are joined by participants from Canada, the US and Brazil to ensure a truly trans-Atlantic coordination effort towards 2020. Reporting to Commission representatives of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, AORAC-SA will be responsible for organising expert and stakeholder meetings, workshops and conferences related to identified research priorities and support actions. Apart from supporting the implementation of the Galway Statement on the Alliance, the other main aims of the project are to improve the international cooperation framework of marine research programmes and to establish a long term knowledge sharing platform for information relevant to the EU Blue Growth Agenda. Speaking at the Atlantic conference, Peter Heffernan from the Marine Institute of Ireland, underlined that, as a coordination and support action, the AORAC-SA team will be working closely with the other Horizon 2020 Atlantic Ocean research projects. AORAC-SA will hold its kick-off meeting from 3 to 4 June 2015 in Lisbon. ATLANTOS The ATLANTOS (Optimizing and Enhancing the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System) project is gathering together an astounding 57 European partners as well as six international participants with the overarching objective of defining, establishing and supporting an Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System (IAOOS). The system, which will enhance the output of the existing loosely-coordinated set of ocean activities, is envisioned as a more sustainable, more efficient, more integrated and fit-for-purpose framework for Atlantic observation. Speaking at the conference, the project coordinator Prof Dr Martin Visbeck from GEOMAR in Germany, pointed to some of the work ahead for the project team over the next four years, including enhancing ship based observing networks and autonomous observing networks, and integrating regional observing systems and improving the timely data delivery and relevant information products. These and other work packages will contribute towards filling existing in-situ observing system gaps and ensuring that data are readily accessible and usable. Ultimately this will allow all Atlantic nations through their respective institutions to make a strengthened contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) as the ocean component of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Prof Dr Visbeck added, ‘We are looking forward to a productive interaction between all the partners in Europe, USA, Canada, Brazil and South Africa as well as others nations who would like to join our work.’ ATLANTOS will hold its kick-off meeting from 10 to 12 June 2015 in Brussels. For further information, please visit: ATLANTOS


Germany, Ireland

Related articles