Last week, the NOC’s Associate Director for Innovation and Enterprise, Kevin Forshaw attended the opening of the new Ocean Sciences Campus at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) – South Africa’s first and only campus dedicated to marine research and technology.
In establishing and running the Ocean Science Campus, the NMU will work in close collaboration with the NOC and other academic and industry partners, to focus research efforts on South African oceans, extending to East Africa and, countries within the Indian and Southern Oceans.
Research, training, innovation and engagement will focus on four themes:
- Marine food security and sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities
- Ocean governance and global change
- Oceanography and marine biodiversity and conservation and
- Marine technologies and infrastructure.
The first major research collaboration led by the NOC and the NMU, is the recently awarded Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) on Sustainable Oceans, Livelihoods and food Security Through Increased Capacity in Ecosystem research – the SOLSTICE project.
Prof. Mike Roberts, who holds a joint NMU-NOC Research Chair in Ocean Science and Marine Food Security commented, “This partnership creates an invaluable innovation bridge between the NOC and Nelson Mandela University, with a continuous flow of people and research between the northern hemisphere and Africa. SOLSTICE, is just the first of many collaborative projects with the NOC that we hope will address the challenges facing West Indian Oceans and communities.”
Kevin Forshaw added, “The NOC is delighted to be part of the collective effort to help the University take its place in the blue economy through its new Ocean Sciences Campus. Through collaborative research projects, and transferring our experience in developing and operating of marine technologies, the NOC is looking forward to working with staff and students at the new campus.”