The Oceans Research in Canada Alliance (ORCA) hosted a meeting in Ottawa, April 24-25, 2018 under the theme: Creating a Culture of Successful Collaboration. The meeting hosted a wide ranging series of key note and challenge area presentations and discussions that engaged over two hundred and fifty members from across the ORCA community. There was a wealth of information shared across diverse participants from over one hundred and ten different organizations including government departments, academic institutions, and private sector and Indigenous organizations. The opportunity to network amongst such a cross-section of members of the Canadian ocean science and technology (OST) community was unprecedented in Canada. The meeting was successful in enabling new potential partners to get to know one another and to discuss common challenges and opportunities. The creation of a successful culture of collaboration is based on factors such as trust, respect and the common belief that collaboration will achieve much more than by working individually - all of which were encouraged over the two-day meeting.
Building on the first ORCA workshop that took place in 2017, and efforts over the past twelve months, break-out sessions were held to advance progress towards six challenge areas within Canadian oceans science and technology (OST). The meeting included presentations and discussions on the challenges and opportunities to advance efforts in each challenge area. The identified challenge areas are: Align Efforts, Plans and Funding Around Shared Priorities; Advance the Sharing of Infrastructure; Science in Support of Public Policy, Regulation and Decision-making; Encourage Innovation and the Commercialization of Knowledge and Technology; Work Towards a Cohesive Voice for the Ocean Science Community in International Fora; and Communicate Ocean Science and Technology.
The Paths Forward for each challenge area, outlined within this report, speak of new ways of collaborating to advance efforts. Amongst the outcomes was the identified need for the ORCA Community SharePoint Platform to be a critical piece in the forward actions of ORCA. The Platform has the potential to encourage the culture of collaboration and cooperation that would advance the alignment of efforts, plans and funding around shared priorities, and to share knowledge on international science priorities and potential partners.
New partnering opportunities emerged at the ORCA meeting and at the same time it was recognized that greater efforts need to be made to reach out to the Indigenous and local community levels to increase their participation in OST activities, such as the sharing of infrastructure and data. A diversity of science knowledge - natural, social and Indigenous knowledge - should be brought together in support of public policy, regulation and decision making in OST.
Creating a culture of collaboration is foundational to ORCA. Societal challenges surrounding global oceans are increasingly complex and require enhanced collaboration at the local, regional, national and international levels and across disciplines and sectors. The oceans science and technology needed to respond to these challenges must be multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral. New partnerships are needed to achieve this and a new culture of collaboration must be encouraged across the OST community. The ORCA 2018 meeting was an opportunity to create a culture of successful collaboration in OST collaboration in Canada and to work towards addressing the gaps identified in the CCA reports regarding the coordination and alignment of the ocean science community.
The ORCA Council and community will continue to work towards achieving these goals through the implementation of recommended initiatives.
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