Creation of a maritime research network



June 29th, 2015

Strong momentum for maritime research and innovation

The Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) and the Ministère de l'Éducation, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (MEESR) propose to create a new interinstitutional and intersectoral network on maritime issues, including the development of partnerships between the academic, government, public, community and private sectors in Québec. The establishment of the network will give impetus to knowledge building in the field. Above all, it will prove to be a significant milestone in the implementation of the provincial government's maritime strategy since it will mobilize Québec expertise to foster the sustainable development of local resources and maritime environments. The Fonds is therefore seeking feedback from members of the research community and stakeholders focused on maritime issues to provide added value to the process to create the network.

Québec has made a strong commitment to develop a maritime strategy and enhance maritime regions across the province with a view to foster economic stimulus and job creation. More specifically, Québec's maritime strategy will aim to implement measures to promote economic development in shore and coastal areas to ensure safe and ecological maritime transport, expand maritime tourism and support research and development in the blue economy and new environmental and marine technologies. Québec is seeking to advance its maritime sector so that it may become an engine for economic and social development and will sustain this ambition by determining research issues that require an approach that mobilizes a large number of stakeholders in various sectors, including the government, industry, academia and the community.

On November 7, 2014, it was to this end that the FRQ and Université du Québec à Rimouski, with the support of the Secrétariat à l'implantation de la Stratégie maritime du Québec, held a forum for dialogue on the contribution of the research community to Québec's first maritime strategy and the formalization of the ties between Franco-Québec maritime experts. By the end of the day, it was clear that the complexity of the issues surrounding the maritime strategy require an integrated approach that naturally invites researchers in all fields to join forces and consider the situation from a Québec-wide intersectoral perspective. This complexity also calls for joint efforts by representatives in various settings and university, college, industry, government and community partners. For this reason, there was acknowledged need to foster the emergence of an intersectoral research, collaboration and knowledge and technology transfer network on maritime issues leading to economic leverage effects and the synergy and development of new economic, technological, environmental and social knowledge and innovations. Thus, Québec will gain a powerful tool to develop and share scientific knowledge and infrastructures for intersectoral collaborations to support government, community and private sector decision-makers. The network will also serve to help Québec focus on partnerships with scientific communities in Canada, around the world and France in particular.

In the Québec government's 2015–2016 budget, three envelopes are allocated to research and innovation under the maritime strategy, including $3.3M administered by the MEESR to develop the Réseau Québec Maritime and the Institut France-Québec pour la recherche et l'innovation dans le secteur maritime. While the network aims to pool maritime expertise in Québec to make the province a concerted hub for the development and transfer of maritime knowledge and innovation, the institute will bring together driving forces in France and Québec to drawn on the complementarity of expertise on either side of the Atlantic and the many Franco-Québec maritime initiatives that are already underway. On March 6, 2015, at the 18e Rencontre alternée, the Québec Premier and French Prime Minister signed a declaration of intent to formalize the initiative. The FRQ and MEESR were tasked with setting out the process to develop the maritime research network.

It is in this context that the FRQ are working to create a new maritime research network in Québec and seeking feedback from members of the scientific community and stakeholders focused on maritime issues to provide added value to the process. For more information on the project, click on the Avis de création du réseau.

Key dates
Publication of the notice to create the network June 29, 2015
Deadline for comments August 12, 2015
Announcement of the creation of the network September 2015

About the Fonds de recherche du Québec

Reporting to the Ministre de l'Éducation, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, the Fonds de recherche du Québec mandates are to ensure the strategic and coherent development of research in Québec, to provide financial support for research and for the training of researchers, to create any partnerships necessary for fulfilling their mission, and to promote and provide financial support for knowledge mobilization.

-30-

Information:

Maryse Lassonde
Scientific Director
Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies
140, Grande-Allée Est, 4th floor, Suite 450, Québec, G1R 5M8
Denise Pérusse
Strategic Advisor, Intersectoral Initiatives
Bureau du Scientifique en chef du Québec
140, Grande-Allée Est, 4th floor, Suite 450, Québec, G1R 5M8