37 professional participants from 22 European and African countries attended the H2020 JERICO-NEXT summer course on ‘Operational Oceanography for Blue Growth’ which was held this week.
Prof. Aldo Drago planned this course hosted by the Physical Oceanography Research Group of the Department of Geosciences. The course was funded by JERICO-NEXT and had the support of experts from the COPERNICUS Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), the European Marine Data and Observation Network (EMODnet) and Bangor University.
The course attracted international attention with several applicants hailing from non-EU countries. 'In collaboration with the Small States Centre of Excellence, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, we are reaching out to support capacity building in the African continent states, strengthening the role of UM to spread its range in the Mediterranean and beyond, and serving to accomplish the outreach targets of the JERICO-NEXT project by showcasing European platforms, endeavours and knowhow to other continents' , said Prof. Drago
The course programme was shaped to present how marine data and information services from operational oceanography support the marine sector and how they are expected to evolve to further provide the basis for research and innovation towards Blue Growth and excellence in the sea-based economy.
A large component of practical sessions aimed to empower participants to source, interpret and merge available data, and to acquire the key skills to transform data into knowledge and added value products. More specifically the course was intended to give a broader perspective of the impact of technological development on the marine and maritime sector, on how the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, cloud computing and data analytics can provide new approaches to data management and knowledge creation in a smart technology-enabled future.
On the final day a mini-hackathon for selected groups was held where each group was tasked with the design of an applicative project targeting one of a set of challenges. This activity enabled the participants to put in practice their skills and knowledge acquired in the course, to create innovative solutions to specific problems appealing to specific stakeholders or the general public.