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University-led international course on Blue Growth
13th July 2018
37 professional participants from 22 European and African countries attended the
H2020 JERICO-NEXT summer course on ‘Operational Oceanography for Blue Growth’ which
was held this week.
Prof. Aldo Drago planned this course, hosted by the Physical Oceanography Research
Group of the Department of Geosciences. The course was funded by JERICO-NEXT and
had the support of experts from the COPERNICUS Marine Environment Monitoring Service
(CMEMS), the European Marine Data and Observation Network (EMODnet) and Bangor
The course attracted international attention with several applicants hailing from
non-EU countries. 'In collaboration with the Small States Centre of Excellence,
within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, we are reaching out
to support capacity building in the African continent states, strengthening the
role of the University of Malta to spread its range in the Mediterranean and beyond,
and serving to accomplish the outreach targets of the JERICO-NEXT project by
showcasing European platforms, endeavours and knowhow to other continents' , said
The course programme was shaped to present how marine data and information services
from operational oceanography support the marine sector and how they are expected
to evolve to further provide the basis for research and innovation towards Blue
Growth and excellence in the sea-based economy.
A large component of practical sessions aimed to empower participants to source,
interpret and merge available data, and to acquire the key skills to transform data
into knowledge and added value products. More specifically the course was intended
to give a broader perspective of the impact of technological development on the
marine and maritime sector, on how the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, cloud
computing and data analytics can provide new approaches to data management and
knowledge creation in a smart technology-enabled future.
On the final day, a mini-hackathon was held where participants were divided into
groups based on their areas of competence and each group was tasked with the design
of an applicative project targeting one of a set of challenges. This activity enabled
the participants to put in practice their skills and knowledge acquired in the course,
to create innovative solutions to specific problems appealing to specific stakeholders
or the general public.