United Nations
Atlantic Interactions A strategic research agenda Integrating Space, Climate-Energy, Oceans and Data Sciences through North-South / South-North Cooperation
by Government of Portugal (Government)
The 28 countries and the organizations that participated in the Azores High-level Industry-Science-Government Dialogue, acknowledged the Atlantic Interactions strategic research agenda, and recognized:

The relevance of an integrative approach to space, climate change and energy, earth and ocean sciences in the Atlantic, together with emerging methods of data science, data visualization and science communication to better understand the emerging issues associated to climate change and the sustainable management of common resources affecting our planet and the lives, prosperity and wellbeing of our citizens.
The need to foster and further develop a shared and international environment to support North-South/South-North cooperation in science and technology towards new climate, earth systems, space, and marine research activities benefiting a wide range of stakeholders.
The urgent need to develop advanced data and network systems including integrated instruments for space, air, ground and ocean domains, allowing sustained data gathering to produce better and more precise models which can supply all scientific disciplines involved in accurately projecting the future sustainable pathways.
The relevance of space science and technology in Atlantic regions to address great challenges such as climate change, natural hazards, energy dependency and sustainable ocean exploitation, considering that satellite data processing opens opportunities for new ventures with economic, environmental and social impact.
The urgent need to foster knowledge as our common future, and to recognize the need to bring to the center of our attention all of those in the margins of knowledge driven societies and knowledge-based economic activities.
The opportunity Azores offer for the potential development of international launch services to space, providing low-cost, frequent and regular access to space for small satellites as a way to boost the utilization of space for the benefit of all citizens.
The critical role of Atlantic islands as ecosystems suitable for holistic research studies through experiments and observation of natural processes. They represent natural living laboratories enabling and facilitating the design of scientific studies of international relevance.

These key issues will be addressed by the Atlantic Interactions research agenda, which will provide a new interdisciplinary research initiative, extending the capabilities of research centers and research infrastructures around the world to address synergies between Space, Climate-Energy, Oceans and Data Sciences. This intends to enhance the potential of the existing Atlantic research infrastructures since it would focus on disciplines that combine more than one scientific area, acting as catalyst for research and innovation in multiple domains ranging from renewable energies, to the interactions of the ocean with the atmosphere and global climate phenomena, the impacts of global changes on the open ocean and the deep sea, including their biodiversity, as well as blue economy.

The Atlantic Interactions research agenda is to be governed by an international network of research, academic and business organizations worldwide, across both south and north Atlantic countries, as well as non-Atlantic countries, through an intergovernmental scientific organization: the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center). This center is to be established in the form of an inclusive international research network organization with headquarters in the Azores Islands.
Progress reports
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
June 2018
Establishment of the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center), as an intergovernmental initiative to be established in the form of an inclusive international research network organization, with the purpose of implementing the Atlantic Interactions strategic research agenda. Ratification of the AIR Center is expected by the beginning of 2018.
November 2017
Development and setting up of a bottom up strategic research agenda Atlantic Interactions for the Atlantic region through an integrative approach to Space, Climate-Energy, Oceans and Data Sciences. A white paper formalizing the Atlantic Interactions research agenda is due November 2017.
Other, please specify
FCT support to develop the Atlantic Interactions: FCT is providing financial support to convene the workshops intended to promote the Atlantic Interactions strategic research agenda across different nations.
Other, please specify
FCT-Fulbright Annual Award: In order to promote the Atlantic Interactions initiative, the Fulbright Commission with the support of FCT, through CORE FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR PROGRAM, will ensure the annual selection of an American professor / researcher to teach
Basic information
Time-frame: June 2017 - December 2030
The Atlantic Interactions strategic research agenda has been promoted by the Portuguese Government through the Foundation for Science and Technology, FCT, and developed by a group of international experts from leading research institutions and corporations through an open international consultation and a series of research workshops and high level events. The last High-level Industry-Science-Government Dialogue "Atlantic Interactions" that was held in April in Terceira Island, Azores, brought together representatives of Governments, business and scientific and academic institutions from 29 countries and delegations of the European Space Agency, the European Commission and Parliament, and the United Nations. The participants have noted that the results of the series of workshops on Atlantic Interactions held throughout 2016 in New York, Ponta Delgada, Lisbon, Brussels, Paris, Braslia, Cartagena, Bogot, Cambridge (Mass) a Austin (Texas), as well as other related meetings in Bangalore (India), Luanda (Angola) and Abuja (Nigeria) have mobilized researchers worldwide towards the development of a new science and technology agenda for an integrative approach to the Atlantic focused on space and ocean sciences, as well as the implications of climate change and the development of sustainable energy systems. Participants also note the progress achieved by Southern nations in discussing and establishing a scientific agenda for the Tropical and South Atlantic and the Southern Atlantic Ocean.
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
  • South Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Paulo Ferro, Professor, President of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), presidencia@fct.pt, + 351 213 924 385
Fundao para a Cincia e a Tecnologia (FCT), Lisboa, Portugal
Other SDGs
United Nations