The North Sea is one of the world's most important commercial and environmental areas. The North Sea Marine Cluster (NSMC) offers the opportunity to capitalise on the wealth of regional marine experience across sectors and represents a geographic concentration of inter-connected interests and expertise. It provides a significant missing component of English regional maritime capacity and capability in this highly important coastal and offshore area.
The North Sea Marine Cluster is a not-for-profit organisation, self-funded by its members and founded on the principle that combining the expertise from the academic, private and public sector is an effective mechanism to share experience and expertise on the protection and sustainable growth of the marine environment.
The focus will be on activities within the North Sea, but application of the collective expertise and skills within the Cluster will also have an EU and international dimension.
The NSMC brings together the strengths and experience of its partner organisations: the University of East Anglia, Norfolk County Council, Marsh Ltd and the Gardline Group. It combines academic excellence with real marine experience acquired in the North Sea and worldwide. Capabilities are enhanced by the many other organisations that work with the Clusters partners, with expertise in renewables – in particular wind farms, offshore oil and gas, environmental monitoring, planning, surveillance, fabrication and construction.
EAST ANGLIA'S BLUE ECONOMY?
A concept used across European and UK institutions, a "Blue Economy" encompasses the broad range of increasingly specialised activities at sea and the challenges of utilising and conserving the marine resource in a sustainable manner.
'Marine activity' ranges from the most traditional and well known businesses such as fishing, tourism and pleasure-boating, to modern industries such as aquaculture, oil and gas exploration, shipping operations, and extracting gravel for concrete. The future of our economy will also be at sea in decommissioning energy infrastructure, developing renewable energy technology, marine bioengineering and in particular through the challenges of maintain good environmental quality and biodiversity in the face of climate change.
Working and building infrastructure at sea requires skills, infrastructure, knowledge and suppliers that are shared across all sectors. It has become increasingly difficult in policy and in practice to recognise how closely marine activities are linked together.
By promoting East Anglia's Blue Economy, NSMC wish to highlight that all of the resources are here to develop a globally important marine economy. We can create job opportunities, attract inward investment, and realise the region's aspirations by looking to the sea and using the available marine resources.
For more information, read our pamphlet (available in pdf) Realising the Potential: East Anglia's Blue Economy.
The North Sea Marine Cluster was honoured to be invited for a second time to appear before the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry into Marine Science.
On Tuesday 8th October the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) closes its online consultation on the first draft Marine Plans for the East Inshore and East Offshore zones, covering the coast, the southern North sea and some inland areas between Felixstowe and Yorkshire’s East Riding. The North Sea Marine Cluster has offered our expertise and recommendations by submitting a full response.
In order to promote the strength of the entire marine sector in the region, on 6th Nov NSMC will launch a pamphlet "Realising the Potential- East Anglia's Marine Economy" at a breakfast hosted by Hethel Engineering Centre.
The NSMC are pleased to publish a summary report on recent developments in marine policy.