June 17, 2021

Marine scientists ask for unity to qualify for recovery funds


“We have had very little information, and we learned in March that the Canary Islands Agency for Research, Innovation and Information Society commissioned Plocan -Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias- to draft the marine science proposal, “said Pedro Vélez. The director of Canary Islands Oceanographic Center -Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) – regrets that “at no time” they contacted their research center. «We found out after being elaborated, and in this case the bet of Plocan It was not to do an innovative or novel project, but rather a generic project where no new ideas were contributed ».

Vélez considers that the Autonomous Community should have included all the institutions involved in marine sciences in the preparation of the proposal, not only Plocan, since both the two public universities and the Canary Islands Oceanographic Center lead world-class research. “The autonomous scientific policy is carried out by the Government of the Canary Islands, the decisions they make are what they want, but the best thing would be for it to have all of them”, points out the director of the COC, who considers that the Canary Islands “will not be left out of recovery funds in the field of marine sciences ”.

The director of Institute of Oceanography and Global Change (Iocag) from the University of Las Palmas, Alonso Hernández, has also regretted the lack of information and consensus in the preparation of the proposal to apply for the complementary R & D & I plans in the marine field. «We have not intervened as an Institute in the elaboration of that proposal and I do not even know it. In fact, I was surprised to learn from the press that the Canary Islands have been left out of these funds for the moment, and I hope that the Autonomous Government and the director of the Canary Research Agency, can redirect this unreason and that the Canary Islands grant marine sciences within the R & D & I framework program ».

The Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Marisol Izquierdo, one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of aquaculture and marine biology, has gone one step further and has already announced that the ULPGC has begun to work on a joint proposal that brings together all the Canary Islands centers and researchers in the marine field.

The ULPGC is already working on a joint document with all the Archipelago researchers


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Director of the University Institute of Sustainable Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems-Ecoaqua, until she took office as vice-rector last March, Marisol Izquierdo pointed out that at no time has she been aware that the Government of the Canary Islands was preparing a proposal to apply for the funds recovery states, and does not conceive that the Canary Islands will be left out in the area of ​​marine sciences. “Faced with this situation, the ULPGC is determined to send a proposal and we are already working on it, where we bring together all the institutions that work on marine science issues in the Canary Islands, and if the Government of the Canary Islands wants to defend it, we would be delighted”.

The researcher insisted that it is not understood that at the national level there are no Canarian researchers in the area of ​​marine sciences. «It is not a question of bringing more money to the Canary Islands in research, which is also important, but rather that when these national R & D & I programs appear, we cannot stop counting on Canarian researchers, because in this matter, we are pointers and we are very well positioned in all the rankings ».

Izquierdo clarified that they are already working on a consensus document, solid, aligned and supported by researchers from other autonomous communities. “At the ULPGC we have a lot of weight at the international level, but the important thing here is not who leads the initiative, but rather that it be a proposal developed by all of us.”

On the part of Plocan, they indicated that they will not make statements “until the matter is closed.”

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