The NOC Association of Marine Science National Capability Beneficiaries (NOCA) is the main vehicle for our engagement with the beneficiaries of NOC-led marine science National Capability (NC). NC comprises: science, large-scale research infrastructure, small-scale NC-services, facilities and data and National and Public Good.
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) leads all Marine Science NC, working in partnership with our Delivery Partners, namely the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Scottish Association for Marine Science and the Continuous Plankton Recorder Programme delivered by the Marine Biological Association of the UK.
The NOCA also provides advice to the NOC on wider issues such as the NOC’s role in providing wider national and international leadership; helping convene and coordinate marine science in the UK, and strategic horizon scanning. It is not the role of NOCA to influence the NOC’s wider non-NC activities as an independent research centre.
In addition, two other initiatives fall under the umbrella of the NOCA, these being The Marine Facilities Advisory Board and Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science Advisory Board, where the NOC International & Strategic Partnerships Office provides secretariat support.
The National Oceanography Centre Association is a strategic platform that brings together the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded marine science community to enhance its influence on funders, policy makers and the impact that science has on society.
The NOC Association provides a channel to seek input and share outputs and information with the wider marine science community and its stakeholders. As such, the NOC Association is responsive to the needs and suggestions of its members.
Current activities include the following.
- Focusing effort on strategic matters affecting UK marine science in the national and international context
- Developing and targeting inputs to consultations and other marine science briefings
- Showcasing UK marine science capabilities and achievements to policy makers, industry, learned and professional societies, and the public
- International engagement in UK, European and International forums, to inform new funding programmes such as Horizon 2020 and the Joint Programming Initiative ‘Oceans’.
The NOC Association formed during the merger of the NERC-managed activity at Liverpool’s Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, on 1 April 2010. The NERC Council tasked this newly formed National Oceanography Centre to work in closer partnership with institutions across the UK marine science community, not just in research collaborations, and also in a more strategic way.
The NOC Association was created with the view to support wider engagement with the marine science community in an open and impartial way. In particular the NOC Association has the following objectives.
- Enable the community to formulate and express its views to NERC, the Government and elsewhere
- Inform policy and influence wider society for support for marine science in the UK
- Champion the expertise of the NERC-funded marine research community nationally, (through the Governments Marine Science Coordination Committee) and internationally (through representation on international panels and boards).
The NOC Association has developed a community vision, which takes a broad view of the priorities for science and national capability, within the context of the NERC and UK Marine Science Strategies.
The National Oceanography Centre was tasked by NERC with bringing the UK’s marine research community together to develop and produce the document ‘Setting Course – Vision and Priorities for Marine Research’. This new vision statement for the future of marine science was unveiled on 13 December 2011.
Prof. Ed Hill outlined the goals and priorities identified by the marine research community.
This vision statement details the priorities for the next five to ten years. ‘Setting Course’ makes the case for a more integrated marine research community ready and willing to address the big questions about how the earth functions as a whole system. We need to ensure that the oceans are fully recognised for their ability to provide solutions to the big challenges facing society, which concern sustainable use of natural resources and the management of environmental risks and hazards.
The vision will guide the National Oceanography Centre Association in providing large-scale research infrastructure such as Royal Research Ships, deep submersibles, ocean sensors, sustained observations and data management which support the UK’s marine science community.
Understanding the marine environment and its interactions with Earth systems and human society is one of the most complex and challenging questions of our age; the vision is that this greater understanding will make a profound contribution to sustainable development globally and also to the UK’s wellbeing and competitiveness in the green economy.
Upscaling of Marine Autonomy: Marine research community consultation
A recommendation of the landmark Net Zero Oceanographic Capability (NZOC) report was that "NERC should expect to double the size of the autonomous fleet it supports every five years." In response, the NOCA and the Challenger Society for Marine Science have formed the joint Upscaling Autonomy Working Group (UAWG). The UAWG is running a series of information webinars, followed by a consultation, on the future shape of upscaling of marine autonomy in the UK. For further details and to register, please click the flyer link below. The link to the questionnaire (and a copy of the questions) for the consultation is also below.
Impacts of COVID 19 on the UK Marine Science Community – SURVEY
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted everyone, and will likely continue to do so for years to come. Those in the UK marine researcher community may have had direct health effects, or may have been impacted indirectly through an increase in caring duties, cancellation of fieldwork or laboratory closures, or economic set-backs. The National Oceanography Centre Association of Marine Science National Capability Beneficiaries (NOCA) decided to document and understand the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK marine researchers. In July 2020 we approached the community to seek members for a working group to tackle this issue. The working group created an anonymous survey which was intended for UK-based marine scientists working in research (academia, industry, education, public sector).
The Working Group produced a written report on the findings and a short video presentation in early 2021.
UK Marine Science and Technology Compendium
The UK Marine Science and Technology Compendium has been compiled with input from across the UK’s vibrant marine community. The database provides an overview of marine research institutes, university departments, the marine industry sector, government bodies representing marine and marine-related Non-Governmental Organisations. Please check your institution’s entry and advise Jackie Pearson, NOC Partnerships Office, of updates needed.
The NOC Association Steering Board
The overarching objective of the NOC Association Steering Board is to facilitate those engaged in the NERC funded marine science community to work together to advance UK marine science.
The Steering Board for the NOC Association is a non-executive body whose primary role is to provide advice to the Executive Director NOC on the development, activities and priorities of the NOC Association to deliver its objective; to enhance its impact and to assist in optimising its engagement and synergy with the wider UK and international marine science community.
NOC Association members and their participation in meetings, events and activities, drive the NOC Association.
General membership of the NOC Association is open to all who are part of the NERC marine science community. Membership requires a willingness and commitment to engage positively. Participation will help to enable the NOC Association community to influence the direction of key areas of marine science and national capability.
Formally, membership of the NOC Association is institutional (for example at the level of a University School) with nominated individuals representing the institution. Clusters or consortia of institutions are also welcome.
- 12th Annual Meeting of the NOC Association Wednesday 7th – Thursday 8th June 2023 (conducted by Zoom)
- 11th Annual Meeting of the NOC Association, Wednesday 22nd to Thursday 23rd June 2022 (conducted by Zoom)
- 10th Annual Meeting of the NOC Association, Tuesday 11 - Wednesday 12 May 2021 (conducted by Zoom)
- 9th Annual Meeting of the NOC Association, Thursday 9 May 2019, London
- 8th Annual Meeting of the NOC Association, Tuesday 1 May 2018, London
- 7th Annual Meeting of the NOC Association, Thursday 30 March 2017, London
NOC Association Steering Board Meeting Minutes
Membership of the Decade Working Group
At the May 2021 AGM of the NOC Association of Marine Science National Capability Beneficiaries, we announced a call for volunteers to create a ‘Decade Working Group’ (DWG), whose remit will be to help generate proposals for potential funding opportunities for UK researchers, either through the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) or central UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) routes.
We received a high number of excellent applications and, based on a balance of expertise and perspectives, have now appointed the following as members of the DWG:
The DWG will be chaired by Prof. Angela Hatton, National Oceanography Centre Director of Science and Technology. Dr Michael Webb, NERC, will provide advice on UKRI’s perspective on opportunities.
Updates about the activities of the DWG will be circulated via NOCA mail shots and on this web site.
Decade Working Group update, December 2021
Jackie Pearson, Secretary to the NOCA,
National Oceanography Centre