Marine Board (MB-ESF)

Marine Board


Established in 1995 as an expert Board of the European Science Foundation (ESF), the Marine Board “provides a pan-European platform for its member organisations to develop common priorities, to advance marine research and to bridge the gap between science and policy, in order to meet future marine science challenges and opportunities”. As an independent non-governmental advisory body, the Marine Board develops insight and foresight, recognising opportunities and trends, and presenting compelling and persuasive arguments that shape the future of marine research in Europe. Adopting a strategic role, the Board provides a forum within which marine research policy advice to national agencies and governments and to European institutions and agencies is developed, with the objective of promoting the establishment of a European Research Area (ERA) for marine science and technology. To achieve this, the Board employs its own scientific foresight instruments, draws on its extensive network of scientific expertise, and delivers high level position papers, vision documents, and strategic statements. As of September 2011, the Board has 33 member organisations from 20 European countries. The membership is made up of a combination of major national marine research institutes, research funding agencies and large national consortia of universities. The Board is supported by a five-member Secretariat based in Ostend, Belgium, which implements strategic actions and activities on its behalf and works to actively link the Board with other relevant European stakeholder networks, EU institutions and the wider marine and maritime stakeholder community. The Secretariat also participates on behalf of the Board in relevant Framework Programme coordination and support actions.

Role of Marine Board in STAGES

The primary work of the MB-ESF will focus on the development of an effective science-policy interface platform to support implementation of the MSFD. The MB-ESF will lead WP4 of the project. MB will utilise its already extensive network of contacts and stakeholders to collate strategic information on needs and challenges for European and national MSFD stakeholders. The Board also has long experience in bringing together expert scientific working groups to deliver strategic advice through position papers and vision documents targeted specifically at EU and national policy makers and research programme managers.
The Marine Board will also support the activities of STAGES WP3, in particular in the design of MSFD foresight workshops and in the framing of science policy briefings (Task 3.5). Additionally, the Board will provide support to WP2 and WP5 by contributing to the identification of previous research and research actors at national level (WP2), and in identifying the best means of disseminating project results (WP5).

Description of personnel involved in the project:

Niall McDonough (PhD. 1998): Marine Board Executive Scientific Secretary. Niall originally trained as a marine biologist with research interests in aquaculture, fisheries and marine resource management. He has previously been Development Manager with the Environmental Change Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway and Manager of the Centre for Marine Resources and Mariculture (C-Mar) at Queen’s University Belfast, attracting significant research funding to both centres and coordinating a number of national and international research projects. He has provided scientific advice to the Northern Ireland government on the ongoing development of sustainable marine aquaculture and fisheries, and chaired the Northern Ireland Review of Inshore Fisheries in 2005-2006. From 2007 to 2009 he worked with the Irish Marine Institute’s International Co-operation Programme. In his current role as Head of the Marine Board Secretariat, he directs the work and operations of the Board’s Secretariat on behalf of its 33 member organisations. He also oversees the Board’s involvement as WP Leader in several FP7 coordination actions including, MARCOM+, EMAR2RES, CLAMER, SEAS-ERA and MARINEBIOTECH CSA. His position also requires input as a member of the senior management of the ESF. A Marine Board Science Officer (as yet unspecified) will also contribute time to stages.



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