The Azores hosted iFADO workshop on novel technologies

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During the 5th project meeting, in Horta, FRCT (Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia) and other local partners enabled a full agenda of events

Last 22nd October, a reconverted sperm whale processing factory (Fábrica da Baleia de Porto Pim) was the venue of the iFADO workshop Novel technologies to aid MSFD monitoring and interregional integration. This event gathered almost 50 participants, representing the consortium, public authorities, industry and research centres. The invited speakers included representatives of several organizations (e.g. OSPAR Commission, INTERREG Atlantic Area, AIR Centre, EMS Sistemas de Monotorización Medio Ambiental), AA project JONAS and FCT project WAVEBUOY.

The workshop focused on international cooperation and the involvement of innovative technologies in ocean monitoring. The participants discussed the relevance of regional collaboration and new technologies for a cost-effective monitoring of large maritime areas, such as the European Atlantic Waters. After the workshop, the attendees visited the Maritime Terminal of Port of Horta, to assist to: i) a demonstration of how a WaveGlider is controlled through its software, performed by EMS Sistemas; and ii) the departure of Slocum glider (from partner Marine Institute – Foras na Mara), which was deployed into Azorean waters, on the scope of a transnational mission. During this deployment (onboard the R/V “Águas Vivas”), several researchers and public authorities were invited to join and assist from the R/V “Arquipélago”. The transnational mission will be completed soon with the deployment of a WaveGlider from partner Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN).

On the eve of the workshop, the Slocum vehicle was exhibited to the public at the Maritime Terminal. This activity was very appreciated by local school students, who had the opportunity to interact with iFADO team members, as well as to watch several videos about glider operations and missions. Finally, to the joy of the students, they were allowed to leave written messages on the glider prior to its deployment.

These initiatives complemented the 5th project meeting (23rd and 24th October), also held at Fábrica da Baleia de Porto Pim. During this 2-day activity, the work package leaders presented project’s last results and associated partners showed updates about the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Altogether, these inputs allowed discussion about future synergies and following actions.

Finally, on 23rd October, FRCT organized a public presentation of iFADO at Oceanic Cafe. In this session, on the scope of WP2 (Project Communication), iFADO team contributed for raising public awareness about ocean literacy and the MSFD. The presented issues included different approaches for ocean monitoring, such as satellites, mobile apps and novel technologies.

The iFADO consortium acknowledges the contribution of all local organizations involved during planning, communication and holding of project’s events, namely University of the Azores, Azores Sea Observatory, Portos dos Açores S.A., Captaincy of the Port of Horta and Oceanic Café.