MITIN Maritime Innovative Territories International Network

 

Field 1: Innovation & blue growth

Per definition, the members of the network have based their development strategies on innovation. The network will consolidate these strategies by setting out the most relevant development axis and programs, by favoring synergies between research in marine science and technology and its applications in the private and public sectors; but the network has also the capability to accelerate the integration of these research results in regulatory frameworks and policies and thus to establish new patterns of economic viability.

“Innovation” and “blue growth” being transverse themes, these studies will be applied to the different fields of marine science and maritime economy.
 
 

Field 2: Knowledge & protection of marine environment

The network can be a truly efficient platform to increase knowledge and preservation of the ocean and to develop local centers of expertise supporting new needs of the public and private sectors regarding the protection /management of the marine environment. The network will establish an efficient link with the works carried out at international level, and accelerate the harmonization of practices, observation networks and data.

Several areas of common interest have been proposed:

  • Observatories, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP): There are essential tools for decision makers, to preserve/restore local ecosystems, to manage the resources and conflicts between sectoral activities. Due to the complexity of the marine environment, the development of such tools requires the support of experts and advanced technologies (eg: to monitor and forecast local eco-systems and to better manage coastal/ maritime activities). In addition, these tools require an important harmonization work, particularly for the definition of observation data. The network is thus also a support to the works carried out for years by international organizations such as UNESCO / IOC
     
  • Marine biodiversity and marine protected areas: Preservation and restoration of marine biodiversity has become an international issue. Biodiversity is closely linked to the quality of local ecosystems. The fast development of coastal areas alters, or even removes, these ecosystems. Public authorities are more and more aware of their own role and integrate “marine protected areas” as part of their management plans of marine areas. The topic is thus to be studied in liaison with the previous one (observatories and their applications)
     
  • Valorization of littoral areas: for all maritime territories one challenge is attractiveness. The valorization of littoral spaces, with new quality labels, is thus one common topic of interest and for which innovative solutions can be set out within a global network

 

Field 3: The Ocean, resources & services

All sectors of the maritime economy are affected by the dilemma of a blue growth. All must invest in research and development of new techniques/practices in order to reduce their environmental impact, to improve their business efficiency and safety of their operations at sea.

With a very diverse range of scientific and technical expertise, the network is a unique resource for identifying and supporting research and development programs targeted to these needs, but also to undertake concerted actions by standardization, regulation and funding agencies.

Only such a global and concerted action can enable the emergence of a new economy.
 

 

The following axis have been proposed, as being subjects of international interest (not limited to):

Exploitation and production of marine bio-resources: As examples, the development of “clean aquaculture”, a better management of fisheries by improving practices, techniques, by providing incentive measures for diversification of fishing activities, biotechnologies and valorization of bio-resources such as algae, deep sea molecules are all typical topics addressed by the “blue growth”. They require “innovation” and stronger cooperation between science and companies, while representing a true market potential (food and healthcare industries, pharmacology, agriculture...).

Sustainable Transportation: Based on initiatives such as  the "ports of the future", “ships of the future”, “motorways of the Sea” in Europe, “Green Alliance" in Canada, the programs “e-navigation " / "e-maritime" of IMO, coordination and cooperation actions would drastically accelerate research, development of new practices and techniques, but also associated standardization and regulation processes, for a faster adoption by the markets.

Maritime safety: improving surveillance networks, and convergence with observation networks, are topics of international interest that represent also a growing market for the ICT industry (space technology, radar, under -marine, information technology ...) and important applications in the public and in the private sectors.

Energy and Minerals: The increasing demand for raw materials pulls the demand for advanced offshore exploration / exploitation technologies (oceanography, safety, environmental quality), opening opportunities for the creation or diversification of companies (eg: coastal engineering).

Marine renewable energy: The development of a viable industrial sector, creating synergies with other sectors (eg: shipbuilding, ports, offshore, oceanography.) would benefit from exchanges of experiences on ongoing projects, of joint economic, technical and regulatory studies.

Marine instrumentation and information technologies: They are transverse domains and major sources of innovation and core components of the blue growth. These areas deserve special attention of the network to support their integration into business applications by working collaboratively on research, regulation and standardization.