MASTS - International
MASTS actively collaborates with partners at EU level through representation on a number of strategic groups and organisations, including the Marine Science Co-ordination Committee, the Marine Strategy Forum and the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (watch a video about EMRC here).
MASTS is recognised as a national body which brings together the majority of Scotland’s marine science capacity and can offer a collective voice for a significant proportion of that community. As such, MASTS has been accepted as one of the three UK organisations represented on the European Marine Board. Through this membership, MASTS is well placed to engage with other European partners and the Commission. In addition, this membership offers important opportunities to influence EU calls for funding, inform Commission thinking on a range of marine related issues and be party to strategic initiatives with third countries favoured as partners by the EU.
Currently, Andres Payo (BGS) has been accepted to contribute to the EMB Working Group on Coastal Resilience. The final product of this WG will be ready in Spring 2021.
MAST-Scotland has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with international organisations including MEOPAR, the University of Nagasaki and the Pitcairn Islands Council. MASTS’ legal and charitable entity; MAST-Scotland, also has the potential for members to bid for funds through this entity as a single applicant.
The Directorate together with invited members of the MASTS community have been involved in relevant initiatives led by Scottish Development International (SDI), Connected Scotland and the UK Science and Innovation Network (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) sponsored missions. These have largely focused on aquaculture and marine renewables, but we remain alive to other opportunities as they emerge.
The MASTS Productive Seas Theme has, through its members, strong links with Europe, North and South America and South East Asia. Within the Marine Biodiversity Function and Services Theme there are links to Latin America and the Caribbean as well as East Africa and the Indian Ocean. The Dynamics and Properties of Marine Systems theme has members embedded in a range of international oceanographic initiatives including activity in the Arctic and Antarctic through collaborations with Norway and Canada for example.
Through the Scottish Funding Council, MASTS is also a member of Scotland Europa and has access to office and conferencing facilities in Scotland House in Brussels which we have used to engage EU “Pools”.
MASTS will continue to develop its reputation as the UK’s premier marine research consortium, maintaining and exploiting its relationships at national, UK, European and global level. This will ensure that the MASTS community remains visible and has the power to influence decision making relevant to future research funding, as well as promoting the vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.
Current examples of International projects being run by MASTS members:
- One Ocean Hub - The Hub specifically addresses the challenges and opportunities of South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Fiji & Soloman Islands, and will share knowledge at regional and interntional levels. The Hub is led by the University of Strathclyde with 24 research partners and 35 project partner organisations.
- Atlas - a transatlantic assessment and deep-water ecosystem-based spatial management plan for Europe. Atlas is run by Prof Murray Roberts (Edinburgh University)
The MASTS Directorate hosted a chinese delegation in St Andrews in June 2018.