Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Annex 7


(a)  International collaboration through NERC Directed Programmes

Marine and Freshwater Microbial Biodiversity (M&FMB)

  M&FMB dramatically raised the profile of UK aquatic microbial research at an international level. International cooperation included work with JAMSTEC (using the Japanese submersible Kaiko); the Institute of Microbiology, Bergen (with sampling from a Norwegian research vessel); and biochemical and pharmaceutical studies at the University of Tubingen, Germany. The species inventory studies at Priest Pot involved Spanish, German, French and Russian research groups, and a comparable coastal analysis was carried out at NivÅ Bay, Denmark.

Marine Productivity

  The GLOBEC International Project Office has been hosted at PML since 1999, with initial funding from the budget of the Directed Programme Marine Productivity. Marine Productivity fieldwork in the northern North Atlantic used GLOBEC contacts to develop collaborations with US and Icelandic groups for data exchange, and with Canadian groups to arrange direct participation in their research cruises.


  RAPID initiated and set up a working collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the USA to co-design and co-fund the MOC monitoring system. Joint review and evaluation of proposals took place, which led NSF to invest a further £5 million in studies complementary to the RAPID funded MOC monitoring studies. The National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA) is also contributing in kind, in terms of observations and ship time.

  RAPID issued a Joint international AO for proposals involving researchers in the Netherlands, Norway and the UK. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Research Council of Norway (RCN) agreed that the scientific scope of the funding call be focused on the scientific objectives of the RAPID programme. A total of €4 million was made available to promote cross-national projects in the area of rapid climate change research. RAPID has also resulted in links with the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg.


  This programme has obtained German co-support for an international ocean-atmosphere observatory on the Cape Verde islands, and US support is under negotiation.

(b)  International collaboration through NERC Research and Collaborative Centres/Grant-in-Aid Funded Organisations


  BAS participates in the international Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR).

  Much of BAS's work has international implications, for example in policy making. One practical example of BAS science in action, with immediate benefits, is the provision of sea-ice information, in real time, to vessels in Antarctic waters. The impact of BAS science on policy can be seen in the Census on Antarctic Marine Life, in which BAS are playing a lead role. The BAS science research vessel RRS James Clark Ross will contribute in the Arctic during IPY, as will the NERC research station (managed by BAS) at Ny Ålesund. Further information about Antarctic marine science is in the separate submission from BAS.


  BGS is a member of MESH (Mapping European Seabed Habitats), an EU project studying techniques for underpinning ecosystem mapping and evaluation. This is a key step in understanding the distribution of marine ecosystems and developing a policy for the sustainable use of marine resources and defining special areas of conservation. BGS works closely with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and other agencies in this area, and is working to develop a new integrated approach to modern seabed mapping. BGS also receives support through the aggregate levy for this work.


  The MBA is the coordinator of two EU projects (Marine ecosystems regulation and Functional Genomics of the Algae), a member of both the Marine Genomics and Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Framework 6 EU networks of excellence and a partner in 15 EU projects.


  NOCS leads HERMES (Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas), one of the new EU Integrated Research Projects. It also directs ChEss (ChEss: Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems) one of 10 pilot projects within the worldwide initiative Census of Marine Life. The aim of ChEss is to determine the biogeography of deep-water chemotrophically-driven ecosystems and to understand the processes driving them.

  NOCS also participates in several other European and international projects (see NOCS submission).

  NOCS hosts the International Project Office (IPO) of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) study on Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR); and until recently also hosted its World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) IPO.

  Two members of staff work full time on, and several others contribute as necessary to, the NOCS applied research programme dealing with governance of the world's oceans, UNCLOS.


  PML is part of three EU Networks of Excellence: the Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning network (MarBEF), the EURopean OCean Ecosystems ANalysiS network (EUR-OCEANS) and the "Marine Genomics Europe" (MGE), and hosts the International Project Office of GLOBEC (Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics).


  POL has expertise in sea-level science (global and regional) and in ocean dynamics as revealed by a geodetic perspective (sea level and bottom pressure). Earth observation expertise focuses on altimetry and space gravity. Also major expertise in physical oceanography of coasts, shelf seas and ocean margins, and in the development of advanced coastal ocean hydrodynamic models (coupled to ecosystem models with PML). Marine technology expertise is focused on sea-level measurement and coastal sediment physics (via Coastal Observatories).

  POL plays a key role in the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS—a programme of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission IOC), and hosts the (world-wide) Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level.


  SAHFOS receives funding from and collaborates with scientists from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Faeroes, France, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa and the USA. It is a member of EU Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning network (MarBEF) and the EURopean OCean Ecosystems ANalysiS network (EUR-OCEANS) Networks of Excellence. It is a member of the international Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO). SAHFOS also runs a subsidiary laboratory in Canada.


  SAMS has impressive Norwegian and Swedish collaboration appropriate for the Northern Seas Programme. It has developed particularly close links with the Norwegian Polar Institute, and also has good relations with European partners in the Arctic. It is hosting the IPO and Project Officer for Euro Census of Marine Life, 2005-08.

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