The state of Bremen already possesses an outstanding range of maritime research capacities. In Bremerhaven, these include in particular the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and Bremerhaven University. In Bremen, there is the Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) at Bremen University, with the Research Centre Ocean Margins, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and the Centre for Marine Tropical Ecology. The aim is to utilise the existing maritime science capacities by means of intensive co-operation with the broad spectrum of commercial maritime enterprises also located in Bremerhaven and Bremen in a way that benefits the region. A contribution is thus to be made towards improving the economic structures and towards safeguarding and creating jobs.
A key role is to be played here by the newly established Institute for Marine Resources (imare), which in the pilot phase was initially located within Bremerhaven University. The new Institute is intended to bring together scientists from the AWI and Bremerhaven University to develop technological applications from basic research and to transform them into products in co-operation with regional companies.
Five themes have so far emerged in the course of co-operation between the AWI and the University:
(v.l.) Prof. Jörn Thiede (AWI), Dr. Bela Buck (AWI), Prof. Angela Köhler (AWI), Dr. Christian Hamm (AWI), Dr. Christof Baum (AWI), Prof. Oliver Zielinski, Prof. Josef Stockemer (beide Hochschule Bremerhaven), Dr. Markus Geisen (AWI), nicht im Bild: Sonja Einsporn (AWI). Foto: Ude Cieluch, Alfred-Wegener-Institut.
mare regards itself as a bridge between ideas and innovations. Here, the emphasis is on the development of marketable innovations. To this end, various projects are already being realised. One example is "AquaINNO", the development of a special pool-in-pool facility for sustainable fish-farming, for which imare and the Bremerhaven-based firm Optimare Sensorsysteme AG aim to attract partner companies from all round Germany. Rostock University is also on board.
In the case of the "AquaFAMOS" project, which imare is implementing together with the Bremerhaven-based company TriOS Mess- und Datentechnik GmbH, the emphasis is on using modern online sensor technology for the environmental monitoring of aquacultures, bodies of water, and waste water.
A further example from the scientists in Bremerhaven: marine honeycomb structures identified in certain marine organisms are being imitated in the manufacture of medical materials, as these fulfil criteria such as open porosity or low weight better than the materials currently in use, and might thus be able to replace traditional plaster casts in future.
Following the successful conclusion of the project phase, imare is to be established as a limited liability company from 2009. It will then operate as an independent institute outside Bremerhaven University. imare is to make a lasting contribution towards improving the economic situation in Bremerhaven.
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