Brussels, Belgium – On the 13th of September 2023, EUROFLEETS project partners converged at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels for the Eurofleets Final Conference. This momentous event, held in a hybrid format, marked a watershed moment in the project as it comes to an end.
Hybrid Conference: Bridging Oceans and Minds
The hybrid format of the Eurofleets Final Conference allowed us to bring together a diverse audience of project partners, operators, marine scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders, irrespective of their geographical location. Some attendees graced the halls of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in person, while others participated virtually, breaking down barriers to access and enabling knowledge sharing across borders.
Unveiling the Eurofleets Final Brochure
One of the highlights of this conference was the launch of the Eurofleets Final Brochure. This comprehensive document serves as a testament to Eurofleets’ achievements, its enduring commitment to ocean research, and the profound impact it has had on advancing our understanding of the world’s oceans.
Celebrating Eurofleets’ Successes
The Eurofleets Final Conference celebrated a series of remarkable achievements:
Transnational Access (TNA) Triumphs: Eurofleets’ TNA program opened the doors to cutting-edge research vessels for scientists worldwide. the Conference highlighted the groundbreaking work accomplished by researchers who had the privilege of accessing these vessels, showcasing advancements in marine science and exploration.
Nurturing Future Scientists: The education and training initiatives of Eurofleets took center stage. These programs have played a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of marine scientists, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle complex ocean challenges.
Joint Research Breakthroughs: The Eurofleets+ joint research activities were lauded for their contributions to data management, deep-sea equipment development, and innovative exploration strategies. These initiatives have propelled marine research to new heights.
Sustainable Ocean Governance: The conference underscored how Eurofleets’ research and projects align with Sustainable Development Goals and global policy frameworks. Its contributions to sustainable ocean governance are pivotal in addressing the urgent environmental issues facing our planet.
A Glimpse into the Future
The Eurofleets Final Conference didn’t just dwell on past accomplishments. It also provided a glimpse into the future. Eurofleets unveiled its ambitious plan to establish EUROFLEETS Research Infrastructure (RI), a formal entity aimed at advancing European-funded research activities related to research vessels. EUROFLEETS RI aspires to foster cross-border collaboration and address pressing global challenges like climate change, marine conservation, and sustainable fisheries.
Additionally, the conference reaffirmed Eurofleets’ commitment to supporting vital Transnational Access programs and securing funding through initiatives like Horizon Europe. These efforts will ensure that ocean science remains at the forefront of addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.
In closing, the Eurofleets Final Conference was a resounding success, uniting minds and perspectives from across the oceans.