Summary of Session B - 14:30 - 18:30, Wednesday 30th August 2000
Final Recommendations of the Session: "How can marine research and industry work together in the future to realise sustainable development""
Dialogue is the key!
The research needs of industry are generally not well expressed. Communication and dialogue between "industry and research" must be implemented through agreed tools.
Actors in sustainable development
There is a strong need to clarify the role and responsibility of the stakeholders in research activities in European and international research programmes. The identification of problems is a part of these roles and responsibilities.
The participation and involvement of SME´s
SME´s have a greater role in marine research than their size suggests. However, the existing European funding programmes do not reflect their size, innovative capabilities and special needs in this sector in terms of R&D funding and commercial exploitation. Changing the evaluation procedures of proposals and 100% marginal cost funding for Very Small Enterprises (VSE's, i.e.<10 people) should be considered.
Needs for stronger links
A true problem solving approach would lead to a stronger linkage between end-customers, service manufacturers, providers and the academic/institutional research base. This would ensure that research is better tailored to the needs of end-users and is more likely to be exploited. The exchange of personnel between all relevant groups (research, industry, e.a.) may be a first step in this direction and could be supported by funding.
Enhance the role for international organisations
The development of national/international marine policies should be conducted in collaboration with the interested stakeholders, including industry and science, as well as concerned people living and working in the coastal areas.
Sustainability as a challenge
One of the challenges is to translate the principles of sustainability into practical actions to exploit and protect the marine environment.
Lessons from previous experiences
A specific analysis should be conducted to capitalise on the results of previous and ongoing initiatives to facilitate links between marine industry and research.
What to do together?
To build agreement on the actual and potential threats to sustainable use of marine resources will require input from many specialists, including science, industry, policy makers and other relevant national, social or public bodies
How to reduce the risk of failure?
Research programmes could adopt a criterion that all technology-based projects should include industrial participation, either as research collaborators or end-users. We need to reduce the risk through an emphasis on technical and market risk.