Quebec, QC – A first-ever multi-sector research network for the maritime sector was recently launched in Québec. The Réseau Québec maritime (Québec Maritime Network) is being provided with funding of $3.3 million from Quebec’s Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
The network will bring together for the first time, under one roof, the various research players, training, knowledge transfer, mobilization and dialogue around key issues affecting sustainable maritime development. The term “maritime” refers to all coastal areas of Quebec.
Quebec’s minister in charge of maritime affairs and minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, Jean D’Amour, said that Quebec’s port traffic is 100 million tonnes each year, with dozens of merchant ships, cruise or fishing traveling the waters. “We need to be equipped to implement policies and technological and operational solutions that ensure the development of these economic activities while minimizing the risks and effects on the environment,” he said.
RQM activities will focus on interdisciplinary research topics, to promote scientific collaboration required for a systemic approach to the major issues facing maritime development. Focus themes will include healthy ecosystems, healthy communities, monitoring, maritime safety and security, sustainable and intelligent maritime transport and, finally, resources, marine energy and health of the maritime economic sector.
The network will be composed of members from different backgrounds in areas of training and research, government, industry and communities. A formal framework will define the status of members within the network depending on the nature of their involvement, their expertise, their expectations and interests. The coordination centre will be housed at l’Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR).
More information about Quebec’s overall maritime strategy, which is expected to generate 30,000 jobs in the province by 2030, is available here.