Oceanography and earth sciences are truly international pursuits. The NOC collaborates with colleagues around the world and we attract staff and students from many nations. International collaboration can offer many benefits, including greater science impact, access to facilities, filling gaps in data and the promotion of excellence through training, international comparison and knowledge exchange.
Collaboration can also underpin international development goals and help strengthen research capacity and local expertise in developing countries.
We work in partnership with a number of the world’s leading oceanographic institutes, establishing close links in order to further relations. Where necessary we established formalised agreements through memorandums of understanding (MoUs). To date we have 17 agreements in nine different countries spanning four continents.
If no formal agreement is necessary, bi-lateral partnerships are fostered by way of common interests. We highlight here some of the key partners we engage with in pursuit of ensuring a global community of likeminded partners working together to address regional and global challenges.
We participate in numerous European projects and programmes through European framework projects and work with the European Space Agency and other international funders. Institutionally we have particularly close links with the following organisations:
- France – IFREMER
- Germany – GEOMAR
- Ireland – Marine Institute
South Africa – The NOC hosts a jointly funded Newton-National Research Foundation research Chair, based jointly between the Nelson Mandela University and the NOC, the partnership supports the establishment of a new centre of excellence in marine and maritime affairs and undertakes research into food security.
Bangladesh – we have a long establish relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where a number of projects have been developed in support of Bangladesh’s Blue Economy aspirations.
Working with the RCUK China Office we have a number of partners including those within the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the State Oceanic Administration of China and the China Geological Survey and its institutes. Our developing links and exchanges with Chinese Universities with shared marine science interests include the Ocean University and the Universities of Xiamen, Nanjing and Tsinghau.
We work closely with the UK Science and Innovation Officer(s) who supports our engagement with a number of Indian Ministries and leading research agencies.
We have a MoU with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
We work closely with the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and recently signed an MoU.
Pacific Island States
Through, primarily, capacity development initiatives the NOC is increasingly engaging with partners in the Pacific. Recent collaborative efforts have taken place in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Enabled by the NERC-FAPESP joint funding the NOC collaborates with partners from Sao Paulo, working jointly on research projects on deep seafloor mineral deposits on seamounts in support of the NERC Security of Supply of Mineral Resources programme.
Through shared interests in the north Atlantic and Arctic the NOC engages with a number of Canadian agencies, including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). With increasing UK-Canada cooperative initiatives we look forward to working closer with regional governments and research and academic institutes, including the Ocean Frontiers Institute.
The NOC has a history of collaborative projects with a number of leading US marine research institutes, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Scripps Institute of Oceanography, San Diego. We also work closely with colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in developing international collaborations and coordination efforts, in particular at the IOC-UNESCO.
Through, primarily, capacity development initiatives the NOC is increasingly engaging with partners in the Caribbean. These include via ODA projects or with UK Overseas Territories. Recent collaborative efforts have taken place in Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.