Partners of the FORWARD Project, “Fostering research excellence in EU Outermost Regions”, visited the facilities of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands during the KickOff Meeting of the project, which was held at the Elder Museum in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The overall objective of the FORWARD project is to improve ORs' (Outermost Regions) excellence in research and their innovation potential to improve their participation in EU research and innovation funded projects and link research activities with territorial development. The project commits the regional governments from the nine ORs (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Saint Martin, Réunion, Mayotte; the Canary Islands; and the Azores and Madeira) in charge of R&I regional policies together with key R&I actors from each region. FORWARD will perform an initial analysis of R&I ecosystems and, based on these results, it will put in place tailored actions including definition of joint strategy and thematic action plans, capacity building and networking activities, and approaches for connecting research and policy-making. The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands is one of the partners of the FORWARD Project together with the ACIISI (Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Sociedad de la Información), the ITC (Technological Institute of the Canary Islands), the ULPGC (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) and the ULL (University of La Laguna), among others. The FORWARD Project is funded by EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 under the Grant Agreement nº824550.
During the visit, they were informed in detail about the features and capabilities of the Multi-purpose Offshore Platform, the Test Site and the Observatory. Furthermore, they were able to discover the specific characteristics of the glider and the ROVSTEAM Projec which proposes the construction of programmable marine robots in several areas for educational purposes, from low cost tools, with free hardware and software. The ROVSTEAM project is part of the Educational, Marine Robotics Initiative EDUROVs, with the collaboration of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECyT), the Cabildo (Island Government) of Gran Canaria and the Obra Social Charity of La Caixa bank.