In 2011/12 the marine and maritime sector, excluding fishing and oil and gas, provided a gross value added contribution to GDP of £35bn, supported 703,000 jobs and contributed £9.2bn to the UK exchequer.
The Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC) is composed of senior representatives of the major marine science funding Departments, the Devolved Administrations, the key marine science providers and four independent members. Established in 2008, in response to a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Report, ‘Investigating the Oceans’, it reports directly to a group of Ministers, chaired by the UK Marine Science Minister. It is the successor body to the Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (IACMST).
The MSCC has two main responsibilities: to deliver the UK Marine Science Strategy; and to improve UK marine science co-ordination. The MSCC published the first UK Marine Science Strategy in February 2010. It is a 15 year Strategy and was developed with significant input from the UK marine science community. It sets the general direction of travel for future marine science across the UK for the period 2010 to 2025.
In order to save public money, the MSCC webpages are hosted on one of its members’ sites – Defra.
- The last MSCC meeting was held on 12 March 2014 at the ExCel Centre in London to coincide with Oceanology International 2014. The agenda is available.
- The MSCC annual progress report is now available for 2013.
- MSCC meeting 12 September 2013: Agenda, minutes, Update report for MSCC and UKMMAS (no annexes), Presentation on Horizon 2020: Overview & update. The 5 key messages from this meeting were:
- MSCC is working with industry and the Marine Industries Leadership Council to progress major opportunities for UK marine science, and to further strengthen UK’s marine science ‘brand’ internationally.
- The MSCC group overseeing the strategic coordination of the UK’s fleet of large, public sector research vessels is focusing on improving links and co-operation with industry; identifying skill shortages; and ways to access European funding.
- MSCC is addressing issues of operational data collection that make better use of industry, models, autonomous vehicles to address funding reductions in a joined-up way.
- Key areas for MSCC to develop will be refining its work on science alignment and, through the Ocean Processes Evidence Group, renew focus on coordination of monitoring ocean processes.
- Following its recent review, MSCC will be building on its strengths and acting on areas for improvement identified in the review.
- A report on a review undertaken on MSCC is available.
- An e-bulletin of MSCC news updates has been issued to NGOs.
- The UK Marine Research Vessels assessment is now available.
- The marine science needs and capabilities study is now available.