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Prof. Dr. Douglas McCauley, Wilfried Vandaele, Prof. Dr. Jan Mees

Flanders signs agreement with UC Santa Barbara

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Last week, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and the Benioff Ocean Initiative (BOI) signed an agreement to join forces and collaborate in marine research. With this international cooperation, both institutes agree to exchange their expertise in order to tackle marine issues in the future.

The Benioff Ocean Initiative is named after Salesforce founder Mark Benioff and based at UC Santa Barbara, a renowned institute working on actionable solutions for issues including marine pollution, overfishing and coral bleaching, Notwithstanding the distance between the state of California and Flanders where the institutes have their headquarters, both target to solve similar pressing marine issues.

VLIZ and BOI will cooperate in research on, amongst others, the anthropogenic change in/and human-induced impact on Europe’s North Sea ecosystem and agree to exchange expertise and foster the mobility of researchers to strengthen their common missions and strategic goals. For both institutions, it is their first agreement with an American/European renowned counterpart.

The agreement was be signed by Prof. Jan Mees, general director of VLIZ, and Prof. Douglas McCauley, executive director of BOI, in presence of the Flemish House of Representatives (Committee for Nature Preservation, Energy & Animal Care) and Mr., Clyde Roberson, Mayor of the city of Monterey, on Thursday 26 October, in Monterey. The agreement was facilitated by Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), which actively promotes sustainable international business throughout Flanders.