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K.G. Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research

Official opening

Being a Flagship!

At the vanguard of deep sea research - leading UiB, Norway, and internationally …

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Rolf Birger Pedersen
Photo:
Elinor Bartle

The K.G. Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research (JCDeepSea) is the pinnacle achievement of many years’ strategic focus. As a number of speakers at the Official Opening of the K.G Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research mentioned, the requirements for excellent research are highly competent researchers, an international dimension, teamwork, and financial support. These take time to establish.

 

Requirements for Excellence

  • Many of the members of the Centre’s research team either led research themes at the Centre for Geobiology (CGB), a Centre of Excellence (CoE) that is drawing to the end of its 10-year Centre period, or they were groomed and trained there. Worthy of note is that 2 are recipients of Bergen Research Foundation’s recruitment grants.
  • CGB, JCDeepSea’s host Department, the Department of Earth Science (GEO), and the University of Bergen (UiB) have extensive international networks. Throughout the CGB CoE-period there have been many international exchanges involving researchers and students, both here to Bergen and abroad.
  • Deep Sea Research is, by definition, both multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary. The success of CGB as a CoE attests to the strength of the teamwork founding the new Centre.
  • Finally, CGB was made possible through the generous CoE funding from the Research Council of Norway (RCN). With this backing, researchers at CGB were able to initiate and seek funding for a broad portfolio of projects that nearly match the RCN support. Deep Sea Research is tremendously resource demanding. Without the generous support from the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation (KGJ Foundation), the new Centre would not have been possible.

 

A Showcase for Officialdom

The University of Bergen’s high calibre marine competency is being recognised nationally. The Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen, was the latest of several national government leaders to visit UiB, and the Norwegian Ocean Laboratory (Ocean Lab), in particular this past year. Ocean Lab is a cluster of national infrastructures for marine research and will provide much of the advanced equipment required for JCDeepSea’s research activity. It is an impressive showcase for on-going marine research at UiB.

In addition to Vidar Helgesen, UiB Rector Dag Runar Olsen and Hans Peter Jebsen, the Chair of the KGJ Foundation Board of Directors, were on hand to officially open the new K.G Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research, 29 May 2017.

  • A flagship for marine research and deep sea research in particular (Dag Runar Olsen)
  • A research investment that will make a difference and impact the future (Hans Peter Jebsen)
  • Providing the fundamental knowledge necessary for sustainable economic development (Vidar Helgesen)

 

From Basic to Applied

One of the unexpected, but extremely positive outcomes from CGB’s decade as a CoE is that while the Centre focused on fundamental research questions, there were unanticipated applied consequences. JCDeepSea will continue to build on this model, actively pursuing both fundamental and applied research questions.

 

Journey into the Deep Sea

JCDeepSea Director, Professor Rolf Birger Pedersen invited those attending the Opening on a virtual journey into the deep sea. Together he took us down below the depths affected by sunlight to the poorly known, but largest ecosystem on Earth. He highlighted some of the advanced technologies that are necessary to help us to try to “see” beyond the narrow “flashlight” beam underwater vehicles illuminate. He presented the JCDeepSea research leaders who will study different parts of the deep sea puzzle, focusing on deep geological and biological questions, fluid circulation, animal communities and movements, the vast microbial universe, resource potentials both mineral and biological and more. When the new Norwegian ice-breaker research vessel, “Kronprins Håkon”, comes into service, Pedersen says that Norway will be a world leader in Arctic deep sea research.

 

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