News and Events

06 Jun 2018

Transatlantic Research Cooperation to Treasure and Protect the Atlantic Ocean

Today the 6th June 2018, the “Transatlantic Research Cooperation to Treasure and Protect the Atlantic Ocean” celebratory event is being held in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. This celebrates 20 years of the EU-US Science and Technology Agreement and 5 years of EU-US marine research cooperation; this event brings together European and US representatives of industry, science and policy to identify the best ways for science to help us treasure and protect the Atlantic Ocean, to keep it healthy and productive and to understand and tackle the issue of plastics in the ocean.


Under the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, the EU and the US support cooperation in many key areas of science and technology.


Marine and Arctic research are among the priority fields of this transatlantic cooperation. To this end, the European Union, the United States and Canada signed the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation in 2013 with the aim of aligning the transatlantic ocean science and observation efforts of the three partners. The goals are to better understand the Atlantic Ocean and to promote the sustainable management of its resources. Specific elements of Horizon 2020, the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation have been designed to advance the Galway Statement implementation. To date, the EU has invested €140 million of Horizon 2020 funding towards the implementation of the Galway Statement.  The AORA video on the Last Great Exploration Campaign on Earth will be premiered at this event.

In addition, a visit to the Ocean Plastics Lab is included in the event which will be in Washington DC from June 4-17 thanks to a joint effort of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the European Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the German Marine Research Consortium in collaboration with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation and other partners. The Lab is a travelling exhibition showcasing the contribution of science to understanding and combating the problem of plastics in the ocean. This exhibition is just one of the many successful examples of how, by joining forces and working together in partnership, we can illustrate that plastics in the ocean are a huge challenge, and science and society together can provide solutions.

Our mission now is to build on 20 years of EU-US science and technology cooperation to use and protect the Atlantic Ocean – our shared resource for the well-being of future generations.

Panel sessions include:

The Galway Statement: Vision and Achievements

Panel members:

Judith Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Department of State

H.E. David O'Sullivan, Ambassador of European Union to the United States of America

Volker Rieke, Director General for International Affairs, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Craig McLean, Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and Acting Chief Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Where should our Atlantic Ocean cooperation go from here?

This session premiers the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance video – the Last Great Exploration Campaign on Earth

Moderated by Sigi Gruber (European Commission) and Craig McLean (NOAA)

Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance – Short Film Premier

Peter Heffernan, CEO, Marine Institute Ireland

Lisa Levin, Distinguished Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Co-lead of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative and of the Deep Ocean Observing Strategy

Wojciech Wawrzynski, Head of Science Support Department, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

Minh-Hà Pham, Science Counsellor, Embassy of France

Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Jon White, President and CEO, Consortium Ocean Leadership