RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE NERC MARINE RESEARCH
CENTRES AND WITH OTHERS IN THE UK RESEARCH BASE
1. There are numerous linkages (both formal
and informal) between the NERC funded marine research centres.
Their past institutional linkages
are embedded in the "corporate memory" of each.
Individual scientists within
these centres are well networked and there are consequently numerous
small-scale collaborations and contacts.
Since 2000, there has been some
flow of staff between these institutions (in just about every
permutation) as individual career development opportunities have
2. A vast number of major and longstanding
scientific collaborations exist between the individual marine
laboratories. These range from collaborations on specific research
grants and observations through to joint participation in large
international consortia. Other interactions include:
NOCS, POL, PML, SAMS and SMRU
are each corporate members of a joint NERC/Ministry of Defence
forum CAROS (Cooperative Arrangements for Ocean Sciences) and
meet formally twice a year with MoD colleagues to discuss shared
NOCS, POL, PML and SAMS are
each members of POGO (Partnership for Observation of the Global
Ocean) forming the UK Consortium to POGO which meets annually.
SAHFOS is also about to join. POGO includes the heads of all other
major marine laboratories world wide and representatives of major
international marine research programmes. From the UK is also
includes the British Antarctic Survey and the UK Met office.
NOCS, POL, PML and SAMS have
been each members, or affiliate members, of the Marine Information
Alliance which meets quarterly each year and includes representatives
of other public and private sector bodies with interests in access
to marine information.
Within the NERC context, the
Directors participate in the annual NERC Directors meeting. The
Directors of POL and NOCS meet monthly at NEB. The Director PML
is a member of the NERC Science and Innovation Strategy Board
and the Director SAMS is a former Member.
3. Through our mutual parent NERC each of
the marine centres maintains links to British Geological Survey
and to British Antarctic Survey. These links include collaboration
in joint projects at national and international level (particularly
EU through the Framework programmes). Each of our centres will
also participate in a number of projects under the International
Polar Year banner, for instance SAMS is leading a major IPY cluster
on Pan-Arctic Ecosystems with Canada and Norway.
4. Each of our centres undertakes collaborative
research projects with a range of centres of academic excellence
within the UK, Europe, and internationally through a wide range
of funding mechanisms. This will be further facilitated under
the Oceans 2025 initiative where we have allocated some 7.5% of
the direct research funding to a new Strategic Ocean Funding Initiative
SOFI will open up strategic funds for universities and other partners
to bid for. Our Centres also host a number of national facilities
and collections, for example the British Ocean Sediment Core Research
Facility (BOSCORF) at NOCS and the UK Culture Collection for Algae
and Protozoa at SAMS which are used by researchers worldwide.
5. The National Marine Equipment pool/Sea
systems team based at NOCS provides at a national level the underpinning
infrastructure and support for scientific cruises led by UK researchers
based in institutes and Universities and there is continuous interaction
in respect of use of the full range of NERC vessels and vessels
access through international barter arrangements.
6. The Oceans 2025 programme of strategic
research represents only a part of each Marine Centres' programme
of activities. Each of the Centres is obliged to seek external
sources of funding to sustain its level of activity and most take
the view that collaborative research with industry has to be closely
related to their core strategic programmes. The sectors where
collaboration mostly often occurs are oil and gas, defence and
insurance. At the regional level aquaculture, renewable energy
and policy (national parks) are also important. The regional agenda
involves close interaction with the Regional Development Agencies
(especially in Plymouth) and Enterprise network (Oban).
7. Each of the marine institutes engages
actively in knowledge transfer activities through a range of mechanisms.
Several (PML, SAMS, SMRU) have their own commercial companies
that make a more direct link to industry by providing services
based on the knowledge, products and services developed within