The “Azores Symposium on Advances in Ocean Observation” was held on Terceira Island in Angra do Heroísmo from 4 to 7 July, an innovative event where more than thirty international scientists and specialists in robotic methods of ocean observation, met to discuss innovative ways of advancing ocean knowledge.
The goal was to bring together researchers from various areas, including junior researchers, competitively selected, from countries under-represented in ocean research, and to stimulate the sharing of innovative ideas concerning the measurement of ocean processes, contributing to their improvement. The areas of focus of the symposium were related to the development of new techniques, namely of the physical and biogeochemical processes that occur in the upper layer of the ocean.
The venue was the Caracol Hotel and the program consisted of sessions where each researcher presented ideas and results in his area of interest, and was then challenged with questions and critics, posed by a researcher in another area. This moment of constructive criticism allowed the debate among scientists from different scientific fields, presenting various points of view and exposing weaknesses and strengths, in order to make the original ideas more robust. At the end of the event there was a session where the ideas discussed during the week were gathered in the interest to submit documents to international funding institutions. Following the achievement of the stipulated objectives and positive feedback of the event, it was deliberated the possibility of a second meeting in this context, scheduled for next year, again in Terceira Island.
The AIR Centre, based in the Terceira Island Science and Technology Park (TERINOV), played a crucial role in organizing the event, providing local logistical support and having the opportunity to discuss with some of the scientists’ future initiatives to be developed from the Azores.
The organisation of the event was the responsibility of Aida Alvera Azcárate (Belgium) specialist in Physical Oceanography and OceanDetection; Jo Eidsvik (Norway) specialist in Statistical Sampling; and Kanna Rajan, (United States and Portugal) specialist in Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence. The symposium co-organised by the AIR Centre – Atlantic International Research Centre, The Research Council of Norway, FLAD – Luso-American Development Foundation and The Ocean Foundation.