Providing Leadership in Deep Sea Mining
The Centre for Geobiology (CGB) at the University of Bergen (UiB) is assuming an important leadership role in deep sea research, both in Norway and Internationally.
This role is increasingly important as resource exploitation issues, such as deep sea mining, are attracting interest internationally. CGB researchers have now discovered 7 hydrothermal vents along the Arctic mid-ocean ridge. Hydrothermal vents are associated with sulphide mineral deposits. The Centre has built up broad competency in deep sea research. Its researchers conduct interdisciplinary studies that include microbiology, marine biology, geology, and fluid dynamics, to mention a few.
CGB hosted an international workshop on the deep sea resource exploitation in May 2015. Researchers from the Centre are now travelling in consulting roles, to present the latest Centre research on this subject. Both Associate Professor Filipa Marques and Post-doc Ingeborg Økland have recently been guest speakers at national and international gatherings.
Advocating UiB’s expertise
Marques represented CGB and deep sea research at the recent opening of UiB’s new office in Brussels. The office will enable UiB, and the other two office partners, NTNU and SINTEFF, to be more involved in EU research funding and decision-making activities. The Deep Sea is one of UiB’s strategic interest areas. (Read more about the opening)
Marques also represented CGB/UiB at a global technology summit in Finland, Cleantech Summit 2015. While the focus of the summit was on green, ecological innovation, many energy-efficient, green processes actually have new and different resource requirements. Marques was invited to help the delegates learn more about deep sea resource exploitation.
One of the main themes emerging from CGB and other’s research about deep sea resources is that the need for new resource sources has to be balanced with the unknowns in terms of environmental impact. Solid scientific data, such as that being generated at CGB, is needed to serve as a foundation for establishing management and monitoring guidelines.
Next on her calendar will be an official meeting in Portugal, hosted by the Norwegian Embassy. Norway and Portugal have enjoyed a long history of marine collaboration, from research vessels to fisheries, and now to deep sea resources. Marques underlines the importance of building bridges between institutions and countries.
Sub Sea Day in the Sogn and Fjodane Region
Industry leaders in the Sogn and Fjordane Region of Norway hosted a day-long seminar aimed at stimulating long-term growth in the region. Academic and industrial leaders were invited to give presentations. Post-Doc Ingeborg Elisabet Økland, represented CGB/UiB. Økland said that it had been an interesting experience, and feels that it is important that the university participate in such public outreach activities. One of UiB’s responsibilities is to share knowledge and results. Økland’s presentation dealt with some of the applied spin-off potentials resulting from CGB’s deep sea research.