All-Atlantic Summit to focus on inclusive ocean economies in Atlantic region

Patricia Craig
September 22, 2020

PHILADELPHIA — The All-Atlantic Summit will include the 6th High-Level Industry-Science-Government Dialogue on Atlantic Interactions (HLD) and technical sessions focusing on innovation to develop inclusive ocean economies in the Atlantic region. The event originally was to be held at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia but has transitioned to an online summit slated for Oct. 5-9. Registration is free and open to the public.

The 6th HLD will be followed by four days of technical sessions under the theme "Innovation for Sustainable Marine Development and the Blue Economy." The summit is hosted by Penn State’s Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Design with Africa (AESEDA) and co-organized by Atlantic International Research (AIR) Centre.  

“The AIR Centre is providing an innovation network organization to foster the articulation of the major challenges facing the Atlantic region,” said Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology, and Higher Education Manuel Heitor. “It definitely provides new horizons for future generations and we all should guarantee its continuous development and impact towards south-north and north-south cooperation in the Atlantic.”

The summit will bring together high-level representation from member nations of the AIR Centre, the international scientific research community and industry partners to discuss ideas, initiatives and projects around AIR Centre's thematic missions as well as supporting cross-cutting activities such as capacity building, infrastructure sharing, and space and ocean literacy.

The HLD will convene stakeholders for a ministerial meeting to discuss how space and ocean sciences can support economic recovery and job creation in a post-pandemic world.

"The solution of the great challenges that we face cannot be a task for a single country, it must be obtained with the collaboration of all,” said Miguel Belló Mora, CEO of the AIR Centre. “Now more than ever, international collaboration is extremely important to recover societies after this terrible pandemic. In the same way, there is no single scientific discipline that can answer all the challenges, it is necessary to have a holistic approach with the combination of multiple disciplines."

The scientific and technology thematic work sessions will launch a new phase of strategic cooperation across space, atmosphere, ocean, climate, energy and data science that addresses global challenges and advances the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through innovation for inclusive ocean economies in the Atlantic region.

“Solutions to address important societal needs and challenges across the global North and South such as extreme events, coastal pollution, climate change and equity can only be achieved thorough international collaboration, innovation, and community and youth engagement,” said Greg Jenkins, director of AESEDA, professor of meteorology, and co-host of the summit. “The 6th HLD and technical sessions are a bold step in this direction.”

The 6th HLD is the first meeting to be held in the United States and high-level officials from Europe, Africa, South America, United States and territories in the Atlantic region will be attending. Many members of the Penn State community will also be participating virtually, including Penn State President Eric Barron, who will give opening remarks, and Lee Kump, John Leone Dean in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, who will serve as moderator for the ministerial meeting plenary session. The signing of Philadelphia Declaration will conclude the first day.

“The Atlantic Ocean is the fluid connective tissue that joins our countries,” Kump said. “Together we will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, guided by science toward a blue economy that supports sustainable development goals and offsets losses from a warmer planet.”

The technical sessions will be held between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. EDT to accommodate speakers across various time zones and will include more than 100 speakers. Additional Penn State participants include:

  • Richard Alley, Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences
  • Guido Cervone, associate professor of geoinformatics and associate director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences
  • Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science and director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences
  • Klaus Keller, professor of geosciences
  • DK Osseo-Asare, assistant professor of architecture and engineering design and associate director of AESEDA
  • Tom Richard, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment

“I have been impressed with exemplary work of the AIR Centre, and I commend the AIR Centre team for continuing to move forward with and adapt the All-Atlantic Summit amidst COVID-19,” said retired Rear Adm. Jonathan White, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “It is hard to visualize what the world may look like post-pandemic, but it is clear that a healthy blue economy will be a key part of our global economic recovery. I look forward to the international, multisector collaborations and initiatives that the summit will kickstart to help responsible ocean industries and supporting ocean research recover and flourish.”

Penn State activity at the Navy Yard is promoting research and is part of the vibrant innovation linked to economic growth, said Jenkins.

The first HLD was in Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal; the second in Florianopolis, Brazil; the third in Praia, Cape Verde; the fourth in the Canary Islands, Spain; and the fifth in the Victoria Islands, Lagos, Nigeria. During the 4th HLD in Canary Islands, AESEDA formally signed a memorandum of understanding with the AIR Centre. 

“AESEDA partnering with the AIR Centre to host this summit demonstrates our global commitment to exponential impact — empowering the African diaspora on both sides of the Atlantic through education, science, engineering and design,” said Osseo-Asare.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 22, 2020