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Friday, September 21, 2018

Prosperity – the key to EU research

In a European marine science conference held in Ireland last week, INTERTANKO presented an overview of the principal environmental concerns relating to oil transportation by tanker, as well as the solutions in place, both mandatory and voluntary.

Organised by the European Presidency in combination with the Ireland’s Marine Institute and the European Science Foundation’s Marine Board, EurOcean 2004 was held in Galway, Ireland, and aimed to provide information on European marine science policy, and a forum for policy makers and strategic planners from EU and member state administrations to mix with the marine research community and other maritime stakeholders. A key session on ‘forecasting and transport research in support of the security of the maritime environment’ drew in those researchers interested in the impact of shipping on the marine environment and in understanding the issues of concern to the shipping industry.

Seen as the key marine research conference in preparation for Europe’s 7th Framework Programme, a number of keynote speakers spoke of the need to balance the research interests of the scientific community with the needs of the private sector. A major element of this balance was to ensure the prosperity of the private sector entities that participated in research programmes under the 7th Framework Programme.

INTERTANKO’s Environmental Manager, Tim Wilkins, illustrated the need to further the use of risk based rule making, combining practical knowledge from the industry with in-depth research from the scientific community. Using parts of INTERTANKO’s environmental agenda as case examples, Wilkins explained that, “the industry and the research community could cooperate more effectively with the regulators to extensively research and test future regulatory requirements, ensuring that the true source of the problem is addressed without any consequential impact to the environment or ship operations”.

Nils Telle, speaking on behalf of Norwegian ship owners, also spoke on shipping and the environment. He stressed the importance of providing incentives for the shipping industry to participate in research programmes and also spoke of providing incentives for ‘green’ shipping in general. Other speakers saw the shipping industry as benefactors of ocean research programmes, particularly with regard to wave forecasting and ocean observations. Ms. Konstanze Reichert of OceanWaveS GmbH noted that the wave information being used by classification societies during design calculations was out of date by up to 30 years, with new research still being under-utilised.

A copy of the INTERTANKO presentation is available on the INTERTANKO website.

Contact: Tim Wilkins