MASTS was launched on 4th November 2009 in Edinburgh following the award of seven years funding by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).
This pooling of marine research talent has a constituency of some 700 researchers with the management of resources consisting of over £66 million annually.
The SFC support for MASTS lasts until 2016, however, MASTS has the ambition to become an integral and important part of the national framework of excellence in marine science in Scotland and is working to become self-supporting as an independent entity beyond the SFC funding period.
MASTS will promote the following primary goals:
- To enhance scientific excellence in marine research through communication, collaboration and co-ordination within the Scottish marine research community
- To support a healthier environment as a result of better informed policies to manage human activity based on the best available scientific knowledge (BASK)
- To enhance Scotland as a world player in marine science through the delivery of scientific excellence in the field of marine science
- To raise public awareness of the value and heritage of Scotland's marine environment
- To promote wealth creation and environmental protection facilitated by sound science supporting industries such as renewable energy, marine fisheries and aquaculture
- To help establish an economy able to plan for the effects of climate change
- To provide experience and training to the next generation of marine researchers and opinion makers through the MASTS graduate school and related bespoke events
In the process of working towards these goals, MASTS will deliver:
- A culture of research innovation and cooperation across the marine science community and government in Scotland
- The critical mass necessary to ensure that Scotland's marine science is able to compete at an international level
- A novel training ground for marine scientists and policy makers of the future
- Higher quality integrated marine science, with improved communication and coordination
- A marine science community that is well resourced and run, and that will attract researchers of international standing
From left to right: Dr Bruce McAdam (MASTS lecturer); Dr Michael Bekaert (MASTS lecturer); Alice Doyle (MASTS student); Prof Nick Hanley (Coastal Zone Forum Convenor); Dr Mark James (MASTS Operations Director); Prof David Paterson (MASTS Executive Director) and Prof Jimmy Turnbull (Productive Seas Theme Leader).