On 1-3 March 2016, 60 participants representing 38 organisations and 11 countries converged in Brussels, Belgium for the EC H2020 COLUMBUS project’s1st External Advisory Board Meeting, 1st Annual Conference and 3rd Partner Meeting.
Representing the EC’s most substantial investment in Knowledge Transfer to date, COLUMBUS intends to capitalise on the EC’s much larger expenditure on marine and maritime research; by ensuring accessibility and uptake of research Knowledge Outputs by end users, policy, industry, science and wider society.
Coming together for the first time, the External Advisory Board spent a productive afternoon in lively discussion about how their vocational responsibilities, expertise and experience might best be utilised to contribute to COLUMBUS achieving its objectives, and imprint legacy on Blue Growth and Knowledge Transfer methodologies.
Opened by Dr Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP and Ms Sigi Gruber (Head of Marine Unit for DG Research and Innovation), COLUMBUS’ first Annual Conference was equally vibrant. All those in attendance, including representatives from every partner organisations, explored external Knowledge Transfer initiatives to draw lessons within the marine and maritime sector which could inform and improve COLUMBUS’ five-step knowledge transfer methodology. The afternoon’s enthusiastic and participatory expert panel discussions looked at the increasingly important areas of defining impact from EU funded research and how to achieve it through Knowledge Transfer.
On the final day of meetings, COLUMBUS consortia met for a partner meeting, to review the first twelve months of the project and to plan for the next year. With nine full-time Knowledge Fellows in place and having already collected over 500 Knowledge Outputs, COLUMBUS is well on its way towards ensuring measurable value creation from research investments contributing to sustainable Blue Growth within the timeframe of the project.
The COLUMBUS project was designed and written by AquaTT, a Dublin-based SME, and is coordinated by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). To achieve the above ambitious objectives, COLUMBUS has carefully constructed a multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary partnership comprising strategic marine and maritime organisations with past experience, relevant mandates and extended networks.