2025 STRATEGIC MARINE
NERC Council, in response to a review of NERC's
marine sector in 2005, called on the seven institutions* currently
doing strategic marine research for NERC to collaborate and provide
a more coordinated programme of work that meets NERC and UK's
strategic needs. The Oceans 2025 strategic marine science
programme is a response to this call, and Council, at its November
2006 meeting, applauded both the positive response by the seven
institutions and the quality of the proposal.
Designed and implemented by a partnership
of seven marine science institutions*.
NERC funding to ca £116 million
(plus large capital) spread over five years (2007-12); funding
for the first two years at this level is assured, and the level
of funding for subsequent years is contingent on the outcome for
NERC of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.
The programme is composed of 10 science
themes, one of which embraces long-term observation programmes.
Each science theme within Oceans
2025 is composed of work packages delivered by different institutions,
with their work coordinated across the theme.
Oceans 2025 includes two national
facilities (the Permanent Service for Mean Sea-Level, and the
Culture Collection for Algae and Protozoa), as well as the British
Oceanographic Data Centre.
The institutions will open up about
7.5% of their research programme budget (ca £1 million/year)
to competition amongst NERC-eligible organisations, through calls
for proposals aimed at delivering specific elements of the strategic
research programme (the Strategic Ocean Funding Initiative; SOFI).
A management board of the directors
of the seven Oceans 2025 institutions will assure programme
delivery. Existing management/coordination resources within the
institutions will be enhanced by a cross-cutting science coordinator
role (to be appointed).
The creation and delivery of Oceans 2025
produces scientific and organisational opportunities and challenges.
In particular, knowledge transfer with stakeholders will benefit
from a single programme.
Council has asked the Oceans 2025 directors
to consider opportunities to increase further the effectiveness
of delivery of NERC strategic marine science over the long-term.
An overview of the Oceans 2025 programme
is at http://www.oceans2025.org/
* Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, National
Oceanography Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Scottish Association
for Marine Science, Sea Mammal Research Unit, Marine Biological
Association, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science.