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SANOCEAN Launching Conference March 2019

The governments of South Africa and Norway have both given oceans and the blue economy high priority over the last few years, emphasizing the importance of maintaining clean and healthy oceans while ensuring the sustainable use of ocean resources for growth and development.

Researchers from the SANOCEAN team Researchers from the SANOCEAN team pictured at the Launching Conference 25-27 March 2019. From left: Prof. Magne Sydnes (Norwegian PI, University of Stavanger), Prof. Leslie Petrik (South African PI, University of the Western Cape) and Dr. Christo Rautenbach (South African Weather Service and University of Cape Town).

The two countries have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of science, technology and innovation (STI), higher education, the marine and maritime sectors, energy, environment, and climate change.

One of the instruments to promote this cooperation is the bilateral research program SANOCEAN 2018-2023, “South Africa – Norway Co-operation on Ocean research, including blue economy, climate change, the environment and sustainable energy" that started in 2018 with the signing of a framework agreement and the launching of a call for proposals.

The program is funded jointly by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria. The program is managed by a joint Secretariat composed of officials from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Research Council of Norway (RCN). In November 2018, 10 joint research projects were granted funding from SANOCEAN. One of these projects, Marine Sewage Outfalls - Environmental Impact Evaluation, is a collaboration between the University of Stavanger and the University of the Western Cape ().

In accordance with the SANOCEAN Framework Agreement, each project was required to present their updated plans for their activities at a launch conference which took place at at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 25-27 March 2019.