The “Flagship” Project RITMARE, coordinated by the National Research Council, with the participation of research institutions and industry, aims to provide what has been suggested by the European Commission Blue Book. It highlighted the need to implement an integrated maritime and marine policy to "strengthen Europe's ability to meet the challenges of globalization and competitiveness, climate change, degradation of the marine environment, maritime safety, security and sustainability of energy supply" and that "must be based on excellence in research, technology and innovation in the maritime and marine environment. "
RITMARE intends to accomplish a national scientific and technological program that has a long-term nature and is open to the wider participation of public and private actors. The project targets can be summarized as follows:
1. to support integrated policies for the protection of the environment ("the health of the sea");
2. to allow sustainable exploitation of resources ("the sea as a production system");
3. launching a strategy to prevent and mitigate the impacts of natural ("the sea as a risk factor"). To achieve these objectives, the excellence in research, technology and innovation of work, growth and sustainability has to be considered as a priority.
In this context, RITMARE is a great opportunity for the Italian scientific, marine community, since it will allow:
- To increase the synergies between research Institutions and University consortia involved in marine research, highlighting the excellence and stimulating collaborations;
- To strengthen the cooperation between research and Italian industry to achieve two main targets. The first one will be addressed to create a constructive dialogue between research and industry, whereas the second one will be focused to re-launch the marine research technologies. The possibility of training a new generation of researchers, also through joint research-industry PhDs will be created.
- To stimulate the Italian participation in European projects and initiatives with the aim of increasing the coordination positions and to promote participation in joint programs (e.g. JPI) where the multiplier effect of the deployment of resources is clearly set.
The RITMARE priorities can be then summarized as follows:
- To pursue important scientific and technological achievements in specific research areas, described below;
- To achieve a real transformation of the national sea economy, providing a support to networking activities and international cooperation, through the networking of research actors, the activation of public-private partnerships and of national and regional synergies;
- To implement a supply chain approach for the maritime research, by identifying new opportunities for research and development alliances:
- To set up national infrastructures required for the construction of the European Research and Innovation Area.
OGS will participate in the following RITMARE Sub-projects:
- Sub-project 2. Demonstrator ship. Participation in strategic decisions in the definition of the functional characteristics of the new demonstrator ship.
- Sub-project 3. Technologies for sustainable fisheries. Development of models to support the sustainable management of fisheries; in particular, models addressed to stock assessment, to the evaluation of the impact on ecosystems of different methods of fishing, to the development of alternative monitoring techniques and of resource analysis.
- Sub-project 4. Maritime spatial planning: coastal environment. Participation in the development of an ecosystemic approach for an integrated management of the coastal zones. Participation in the evaluation of anthropogenic and natural impacts on the biological communities, to understand the response trends of the coastal ecosystems to the anthropogenic and natural, global changes.
- Sub-project 5. Maritime spatial planning: deep-sea environment. Participation in the study of the oceanographic dynamics and of their impact on the deep-sea ecosystems, especially in the central Mediterranean Sea. The final target will be the identification of the most sensitive aspects, which have to be taken into account in any open-sea planning, in the light of current and future climate change.
- Sub-project 6. Observatories. Participation in the implementation of in-situ observatories, satellite observatories and operational forecasting models in an integrated system. OGS will also provide an important contribution to this Sub-project, through the implementation of innovative observatory infrastructures, i.e. gliders and the technological development for Lagrangian platforms.
- Sub-project 7. Research, formation and communication infrastructures. Participation in the development of specific laboratories, such as the Oceanographic Calibration Center and coastal radars.
- Sub-project 8. RITMARE cyber-infrastructures. Collection, management, preservation and processing of different types of data. Participation in the cyber-infrastructure implementation, especially regarding oceanographic data.