Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence


Memorandum 49

Supplementary evidence from Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (IACMST)

INVESTIGATING THE OCEANS

  As per your request, please find the following documents:

    (i)  a spreadsheet showing the attendance at each Plenary meeting since January 2002 by member organisations (Annex 1);

    (ii)  a similar spreadsheet but for the subgroups of IACMST, where the membership is by different organisations (Annex 2); and

    (iii)  a list of the topics covered at meetings of IACMST Plenary during the same period, as extracted from the agendas. (Annex 3).

  You also asked for the "latest available statistics on marine science and technology investment, and the value to the UK economy of the sector as a whole and its constituent parts".

  To my knowledge the most recent synthesis available is that commissioned and published by IACMST (Pugh and Skinner, 2002). I have recently learnt that a more comprehensive study has been commissioned through The Crown Estate. You should be able to obtain information on the scope and schedule for this study from Professor Mike Cowling of The Crown Estate.

  Regarding the request for "a statement on the relationship between IACMST with (a) Defra and (b) OSI" I also thought it might be helpful to include the following extract from the approved minutes of the 34th IACMST meeting in June 2003:

    "The Chairman, Howard Dalton (Chief Scientist DEFRA), welcomed new members and visitors. He explained that this was his first meeting as Chair of IACMST: he aimed to be impartial in the role, and emphasised that he will be chairing a cross-Government committee, not one singularly attached to DEFRA."

  The same minutes state "It was confirmed that DEFRA will support IACMST activities with the expected allocation for 2003-04 to be transferred from OST (£48k)." Defra and OSI (OST as it was then) are members of IACMST in their own right, the Defra representative throughout the period having been Dr John Lock. The funding held by OST for IACMST purposes was transferred across to Defra and John Lock has been responsible for its oversight.

  Regarding "the formal reporting structures and arrangements for IACMST activities between IACMST and the Government" I took up position as Secretary of IACMST at the same time as Howard Dalton became Chairman. My understanding at the time (and since) is that IACMST continued formally to report to OST and I have been able to find no record of any change to this.

June 2007




 
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