The Future Ocean

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cluster of Excellence - The Future Ocean
Established November 2006
Provost Martin Visbeck
Location Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Federal Republic of Germany

The Future Ocean is a Cluster of Excellence founded in November 2006 in line with the German excellence initiative by the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU), the Muthesius Kunsthochschule (MKHS), the Institut für Weltwirtschaft (IfW) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung (GEOMAR). It is an interdisciplinary marine research group and it is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Part of the cluster is the Integrated School of Ocean Sciences (ISOS) which is a post graduate school for ocean sciences in Kiel.


The ocean plays an important role in the global climate, holds dangers, but simultaneously provides opportunities in the form of resources that can be exploited by mankind. The scientists in the Kiel Cluster of Excellence have a common goal: to reassess the opportunities and risks of global change for the ocean and to allow a sustainable management of the ocean's rescources based on these insights.

First Funding Period[edit]

During the first period of funding the Cluster of Excellence was structured as followed:

  • Research themes (A/B)
(A) Greenhouse Ocean
(B) Resources and Risks

The research themes where divided into the following 13 sub-research themes:

(A) Greenhouse Ocean (B) Resources and Risks
(A1) Ocean Acidification (B1) Fisheries and Overfishing
(A2) Seafloor Warming (B2) Marine Medicine
(A3) Oceanic CO2-Uptake (B3) Seafloor Resources
(A4) Ocean Circulation (B4) Submarine Hazards
(A5) CO2 Sequestration (B5) Sea-Level Rise and Coasts at Risk
(A6) Sea-Surface Chemistry (B6) Law of the Sea
(A7) Valuing the Ocean
  • Central services (Z)
  • Research platforms (P)

Second Funding Period[edit]

The research themes (A) and (B) will be terminated during the second funding period. Instead the cluster will introduce the completely integrated research area (R). The research platforms and part of the central services will be merged into the new science support (S). There will still be a central management. The integrated research area (R) will again be divided into 11 sub-research areas.

Research Area (R)
(R1) Our Common Future Ocean
(R2) Ocean Governance
(R3) Ocean Resources
(R4) Ocean innovation
(R5) Ocean Sinks
(R6) Dangerous Ocean
(R7) Ocean Interfaces
(R8) Evolving Ocean
(R9) Ocean Controls
(R10) Ocean Observations
(R11) Predicted Ocean


The Cluster developed an operational framework, which has been approved by the General Member Assembly in 2008. The Cluster framework defines the decision making process, advisory mechanisms and several core groups:

The General Member Assembly elects the Cluster's speaker, vice speaker and members of the Executive Committee. It also votes on new full and associate membership applications. The General Member Assembly meets at least once a year.

The Cluster Council is the assembly of principal investigators, Cluster JRG leaders, and consists currently of 55 members. It advises the Executive Committee on research-related matters, overall budget allocations and meets at least twice a year.

The Executive Committee is composed of a number of representatives from various Cluster research and science support topics and participating institutions, including platforms, graduate school, junior research groups, postdoc network, and PhD students. The Executive Committee meets monthly and makes all operational, management and funding decisions of the Cluster.

The External Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is currently composed of 15 national and international experts. The SAB meets in Kiel once a year and provides guidance and advice to the Cluster.

The cluster has several international partners, e.g. the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, Columbia University in New York, USA, the Ocean University of China in Quingdao and others.


  • Future Ocean: Annual Report 2008. Kiel 2009. Online
  • Future Ocean: Annual Report 2009. Kiel 2010. Online
  • Future Ocean: Annual Report 2010. Kiel 2011. Online
  • Future Ocean: Renewal proposal for a cluster of excellence The Future Ocean. Kiel 2011.

External links[edit]