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Science Inspiration Leads to Innovation for Blue Growth

Over 120 stakeholders, comprising of marine scientists, industry members, policymakers, and students, convened at the European Parliament on 8 February 2017 to contribute to the EuroMarine event “Blue Science for Blue Growth, EuroMarine: connecting ideas and people”. EuroMarine, a marine science network with 73 member institutions from 23 countries, aimed to create a forum on the importance of marine science, and how its members are collaborating to advance marine science with innovative ideas.

MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos opened the session with a rousing call to action, “The balance between encouraging economic growth in the ocean and nurturing the health of ocean ecosystems will be a complex mission. Without good science, blue growth can turn on wrong pathways." A short introductory film followed ( on the significance of the ocean in our lives and how EuroMarine works to enhance our knowledge on the marine world, both to increase our capacity to use the oceans wisely, and to contribute to its protection. EuroMarine Chairs Catherine Boyen (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CNRS) and Philippe Cury (L'Institut de recherche pour le développement, IRD) introduced the network and its role in assisting scientists to collaborate, innovate and advocate for marine science. Its successes can be seen through the remarkable work of over 800 scientists who participated in over 37 EuroMarine supported events in the last two years alone. Four EuroMarine activities were presented, highlighting the potential to achieve big results with incentive funding. The talks covered the wide marine spectrum, from pathogens to chemical ecology of marine interactions, marine trophodynamic models and even ecosystem based solutions for resilient urban harbours. These showcased the EuroMarine vision, its achievements and perspectives, while simultaneously presenting an engaging narrative on marine issues. In the discussion that followed on innovation for global challenges and the role of marine science, moderator Jean-Marc Châtaigner (IRD Managing Director) emphasised the value of interactions and interdisciplinarity to face global challenges, and the need to progress toward a forum which empowers scientific communities worldwide. As co-moderator of the discussion on the added value of EuroMarine to the European marine landscape, MEP José Inácio Faria noted the need for concerted collective action to secure the valuable resources of the Oceans. The Executive Secretary of the European Marine Board, Niall McDonough, as well as Kathrine Angell-Hansen, JPI Oceans Director, and Iliaria Nardello, EMBRC Executive Director, each presented their visions of how these different initiatives can work together to complement each other in the complex European Marine landscape, stressing the need for the different approaches but also unified action. Sigi Gruber, Head of marine unit, DG research, provided some positive insights into how EuroMarine, as a group of core researchers, can provide responsive science to topical issues and meet the needs for capacity building in marine sciences. Proving to be a resounding success, the event turned out to be a thought-provoking and illuminating dialogue on our oceans, and introduced the work and aims of EuroMarine to a wider audience. Reporting on the success of the meeting, Catherine Boyen said “EuroMarine is a unique initiative bringing together the best European expertise in marine sciences. We now have to capitalise on these promising achievements, to make more progress for the future of our blue planet.” The video can also be found online at: The full list of talks and presentations will be made available on: For more information on EuroMarine and its work, please see: Notes for editors MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos is a member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, and is Vice-Chair of the Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas (SEARICA) Intergroup. EuroMarine is a European, marine science network launched in 2014. It represents the merger of the scientific communities of three former European Networks of Excellence: EUR-OCEANS, Marine Genomics Europe, and MarBEF. It was designed by the EuroMarine preparatory project (2011-13; funded under the seventh European Framework Programme).


marine science, blue growth, oceans, ocean ecosystems, collaboration, modellling, global challenges


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom