The AIR Centre

The Atlantic International Research Centre is an international collaborative framework to address global challenges and local priorities in the Atlantic Ocean.

It promotes an integrative approach to space, climate, ocean and energy in the Atlantic, supported by emerging technological innovations and advances in data science, and through South-North and North-South cooperation.


The AIR Centre aims at becoming a leading internationally distributed and collaborative network. We want to act as a framework for scientific and technology collaboration and development of ideas, policies, research programmes and projects within the context of the Atlantic Ocean, aligning national priorities and global challenges through joint actions.
Our activities are oriented to attract the youngsters and to foster local skilled job creation through “user-driven and open innovation platforms” that test new solutions and facilitate social appropriation of scientific knowledge. Collaborative action research should be transdisciplinary and involve start-ups, SMEs, large firms, engineering centres, research institutions and potential users throughout Atlantic regions.


  • To become a long-term intergovernmental platform for international collaboration in the Atlantic
  • To be a knowledge and data-driven networking organization which links and engages governments, academia, industry and citizens in addressing and aligning diverse national priorities to global challenges
  • To advance Science and Technology in the preservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and ultimately result in achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals for the benefit of all people living around the Atlantic Ocean

Guiding principles

Historical development

The AIR Centre is the outcome of a long process of scientific diplomacy called Atlantic Interactions, which is an ongoing intergovernmental initiative to unleash the full potential of the Atlantic Ocean for society. These diplomatic discussions resulted in an international collaborative scientific agenda for space, climate, energy and ocean sciences in the Atlantic that started in 2012.

The 1st Atlantic Interactions International Workshop (New York City, United States of America, June 2016) was driven by the Portuguese Government and initiated a systematic process of scientific diplomacy. This was followed by five High-Level Industry-Science-Government-Dialogues and other scientific and policy workshops under the title of “Atlantic Interactions”.
The formal establishment of the AIR Centre was achieved as a conclusion of the 2nd High-Level Dialogue on Atlantic Interactions (Florianopolis, Brazil, November 2017). It was acknowledged that the AIR Centre would become a multilateral networked organization, in association with national and international scientific and research infrastructures.

The Association for the Development of the AIR Centre was legally formed in April 2018 as a non-profit association with headquarters in Terceira Island, Azores, and facilities in Lisbon (Portugal). An Implementation Team was appointed to support the transition to permanent staff. In the process, the first CEO of the AIR Centre, Joaquin Brito, was nominated in late 2018.
A mission-oriented approach for the AIR Centre in the 2020-2030 decade was recommended in August 2019, in the context of the installation of two AIR Centre offices in Brazil.