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The A-Team Behind PERMAGOV: The Good, The Smart and The Passionate

Ask your colleague or friend about what makes a successful project and chances are you will hear that it's all about people, those passionate individuals who work together toward a shared goal.

In the case of PERMAGOV, our goal is to improve performance of EU marine governance. We aspire to optimise it for the European Green Deal by promoting more open, agile and collaborative governance arrangements and management practices that draw upon transdisciplinary research to deliver on cross-cutting policy priorities in several areas of key importance to sustainable development: energy, transport, biodiversity, digitalisation. Making this vision a reality is what makes us tick and sustains a collaborative spirit within a 15-strong international consortium.

This article is rich in quotes from PERMAGOV partners. As well as giving you an idea as to who they are and their role in the project, we hope that these testimonials will serve as an inspiration to act on the many challenges facing our seas and oceans. If you share our vision, drop us a line to explore opportunities for collaboration.

PERMAGOV consortium team

Consortium partners and Team Members

Wageningen University

PERMAGOV is coordinated by a team of experts from Wageningen University & Research led by Judith van Leeuwen. Thanks to their skilled leadership we know we're in good hands and are most definitely on course to reach all our objectives, but above all to make marine governance more integrated, agile, collaborative, data driven, and fully aligned with the European Green Deal.

"I have the pleasure of being the coordinator of the PERMAGOV consortium of social scientists, decision-makers, industry and NGOs that will advance our understanding of the potential role of digitalization in improving marine governance to build a resilient and climate neutral Europe by 2050. Wageningen University will contribute with expertise about the role of digital tools in fostering the capacity of actors to collaborate and navigate the complex policy landscape for dealing with climate change, plastic pollution and loss of biodiversity that effect the European Seas."
Judith van Leeuwen Wageningen University

- Judith van Leeuwen, Associate Professor and PERMAGOV Coordinator


Aalborg University

With Aalborg University's Centre for Blue Governance on board we know we have key parts of the Blue Dimension of the European Green Deal covered in different seas and national waters in Europe. Jan van Tatenhove and his team will lead 3 case studies:

  • Motorways of the Sea in the Adriatic Sea

  • Energy Islands Denmark

  • Sustainable Fisheries in the Italian MPAs

"The Centre for Blue Governance at Aalborg University is a multidisciplinary social science research group focused on the interactions between people and the sea. In PERMAGOV CBG is responsible for the development of a Multi-layered Collaborative Marine Governance Model (WP4) and is Case Leader of the cases “Motorways of the Sea” in the Adriatic Sea (Regime Complex Marine Transport), “Energy Islands” in Denmark (Regime Complex Marine Energy) and “Sustainable fisheries in MPAs” in Italy (Regime Complex Marine Life)."
Jan van Tatenhove Aalborg University

- Jan van Tatenhove, Professor of Marine Governance and Maritime Spatial Planning


Queens University Belfast

Marine Governance is hampered by institutional barriers that impede effective policy performance. Leading PERMAGOV work on the analysis of barriers, and how to overcome them, is Wesley Flannery of Queen's University Belfast, who is also in charge of the case study 'Floating Wind Energy in the Celtic Sea.'

"Queen's University Belfast (QUB) is a member of the Russell Group, a collection of top UK universities focused on excellent research and teaching. In PERMAGOV, QUB will lead the analysis of institutional barriers to improved marine policy performance. QUB will also undertake a case study of floating wind energy in the Celtic Sea."
Wesley Flannery Queen's University Belfast

- Wesley Flannery, Reader in Environmental Planning


The Arctic University of Norway

Up north in the Arctic Circle lies the city of Tromso known for - inter alia - its mesmerising northern lights and the world-class university UiT The Arctic University of Norway, our project partner. The UiT team Kåre Nielsen and Maaike Knol-Kauffman will leverage their expertise in marine governance to support the analysis of institutional barriers and a case study on the offshore wind energy in Norway.

"The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) is the world’s northernmost university and contributes to knowledge-based development at the regional, national and international level. UiT’s PERMAGOV team is specialised in marine governance. We will develop knowledge to help actors overcome institutional barriers to meet the objectives of the European Green Deal. Together with end-users, we will explore sustainable pathways for developing offshore wind energy and ocean multi-use concepts."
Kare Nolde Nielsen UiT Arctic University of Norway

- Kare Nolde Nielsen, Researcher


Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS)

The Ocean Governance group at Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS) conducts multi-disciplinary research at the intersection of science-policy-society to advance ocean governance and support transformation to a healthy, sustainably managed ocean. Thanks to the involvement of Ben Boteler and Cristian Passarello we can tap into the group's expertise to guide PERMAGOV's work on Multi-Layered Marine Governance arrangements and their alignment with the European Green Deal.

"Innovative marine governance approaches are needed to address challenges such as climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of natural capital. At RIFS, we want to understand how the formulation and implementation of policies can be refined to overcome institutional barriers and enhance governance to better meet these challenges as well as create transformative action towards the objectives of the EU's Green Deal."
Ben Boteler Research Institute for Sustainability Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS)

- Ben Boteler, Senior Research Associate


The Finnish Environment Institute

The Baltic Sea is strained by human activities that affect its inhabitants and ecosystems. Understanding these impacts and how current solutions address them is an important focus of the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke). We are going to tap into this expertise by working with Riku Varjopuro and Päivi Haapasaari on the 'Seabed Integrity' case study, as well as new governance arrangements for the Baltic Sea to make it healthier and more resilient, and its exploitation more sustainable.

"The Finnish Environment Institute is a government research institute that supports a transition towards sustainable societies. We provide inter-disciplinary research and expert services on a broad range of environmental issues, from climate change to urban development to terrestrial biodiversity and marine environments. In PERMAGOV we contribute to social science analyses in relation to the case study on seabed integrity in the Baltic Sea. Syke leads WP6 that produces strategies and pathways for improved, multi-layer marine governance in the EU."
Riku Varjopuro Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)

- Riku Varjopuro, Senior Research Scientist


LifeWatch ERIC

Biodiversity loss is a major global challenge. To address it we need a diverse solutions toolkit, including ICTs to support biodiversity monitoring, decision making, awareness raising, and greening measures, among others. Thanks to the involvement of LifeWatch ERIC we'll be able to leverage advanced e-science capabilities to drive better outcomes for marine ecosystems.

"LifeWatch ERIC is the European e-Science Infrastructure for Biodiversity & Ecosystem research. It provides access to: 1) Open access (FAIR) data, 2) Reproducible analytics and 3) Mobilised communities, enabling the exploration of new frontiers in ecological science, and supporting the development of science-based governance strategies. In PERMAGOV, we will use our expertise in developing tools based on new technologies, through co-creation, information provision, engagement and scientific knowledge of the marine environment, in order to contribute to shaping a more agile and cross-cutting marine governance."
Christos Arvanitidis LifeWatch ERIC

- Christos Arvanitidis, CEO


Celtic Sea Power

Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) is gaining momentum as an alternative to traditional fixed offshore wind turbines. The Celtic Sea offers huge potential to develop this pioneering technology but requires collaboration and investment across sectors and borders. We are working with Celtic Sea Power to improve governance arrangements and unlock all the benefits of developing FOW in the region.

"Celtic Sea Power is based in Cornwall, England and Pembroke in Wales providing geographical coverage for our particular area of interest in the Celtic Sea. Celtic Sea Power bring their strategic regional development activities and floating offshore wind expertise into the PERMAGOV project with a particular focus on joining up marine governance across international borders."
Neil Farrington Celtic Sea Power

- Neil Farrington, Strategic Offshore Development Manager



The Helsinki Convention has been in force for almost 50 years, uniting countries in the region around the common cause: to protect Baltic Sea's marine environment from all sources of pollution, and to restore and safeguard its ecological balance through intergovernmental co-operation. PERMAGOV will work with HELCOM (The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission) to further this objective, focusing on seabed integrity and marine litter.

"The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – also known as HELCOM – was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental body focused on the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. The HELCOM Secretariat coordinates the work and meetings of HELCOM. HELCOM has extensive experience operating in a multi-level governance environment and provides PERMAGOV with a ready testbed for practical applications of project results."
Luke Dodd HELCOM

- Luke Dodd, Project Researcher


Plan Bleu

The Mediterranean Sea is home to 17000+ marine species! But this biodiversity hotspot is facing many threats, including plastics pollution. We will work with Plan Bleu to improve coordination efforts in the Mediterranean to reduce marine plastics through better data collection, sharing and management.

"Plan Bleu is a regional institution acting as an observatory of the environment and development, and a foresight analysis center. Its role in PERMAGOV is to support the development of E-governance tools and an in- depth analysis of the marine litter regime complex in the Mediterranean."
Antoine Lafitte Plan Bleu

- Antoine Lafitte, Head of the Environment and Sustainable Development Observatory


WWF Italy

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an important tool for safeguarding critical habitats, species and biodiversity in the world's oceans. We will work with WWF Italia to ensure that MPAs in Italy are

  • Well managed

  • Adequately funded

  • Effective

  • Integrated into wider sustainability framework

"WWF is firmly engaged in helping to improve the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and in engaging with Small Scale Fishers so that they can continue contributing to sustainable seafood consumption by local communities, tourists and in the domestic market through short supply chains. Getting formal recognition of co-management of fisheries will be the first step to improving the management of fishing activities within and outside of MPAs, also the livelihoods and ecosystems’ health all at the same time."
Alessia Bacchi WWF Italy

- Alessia Bacchi, Marine Officer


European Shippers Council

Maritime Transport represents 3-4% of EU's total CO2 emissions. Without adequate measures, this share is projected to increase, threatening to undermine European Green Deal's ambitions. With the European Shippers' Council onboard, we will be able to

  • support green shipping transition (case study on decarbonising shipping in the EU)

  • better understand energy efficiency tradeoffs between road-maritime transport (the Motorways of the Sea case study)

"For the last 70 years, the European Shippers Council has been an advocate for shippers´ interests in the European Union, and throughout the world via its sister organisation, the Global Shippers Alliance. The ESC proudly participates in the PERMAGOV project as ESC´s members are impacted by the EU Green Deal. The ESC will provide shipper´s input on initiatives to decarbonise shipping and optimise maritime trade. Shippers have (as transport buyers) a key role in making transport more sustainable. In the years to come, sustainability in maritime transport may become a vital precondition for booking with a specific liner. This requires visibility of the supply-chain and it also makes it more reliable."
Godfried Smit European Shippers Council

- Godfried Smit, Secretary-General


Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy

Denmark is constructing one of the world's first energy islands in the Baltic Sea and North Sea. Working with the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy we will examine the transformative potential of the energy complex to adapt to novel large-scale projects/solutions and achieve renewable targets set for 2030.

"Folkecenter is an NGO which acts as a linking point between academia, SMEs and the general public. Our role as an end-user in PERMAGOV is to follow the process development of energy islands and to identify good practices, the cross-section collaborations and eventual challenges. We also hope to influence policies, so that future energy islands are developed with the citizens ownership concept in mind."
Daniele Pagani Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy

- Daniele Pagani, Project Manager


Arctic Energy Partners

In Norway the urgency to act on climate change is accelerating energy transition. Recently 20 new offshore wind areas were identified. But their development is often complex and controversial. Working with Arctic Energy Partners we will

  • Generate knowledge about institutional barriers that hamper performance and integration of marine and energy policies

  • Provide insight into the implementation of the European Green Deal in an EU non-member state with close connections to the European market and governance regimes

  • Develop recommendations for improved environmental policy integration

"The climate changes more rapidly in the Arctic, and so it is vital to have stakeholders from the North involved in PERMAGOV and the European Green Deal more broadly. Not only because of the consequences of climate change, but also because the Arctic is a big part of the solution. We have vast amounts of natural resources that can be used to develop green energy. Today, Norway is the most important supplier of gas to Europe, and a lot of these gas resurces come from Northern Norway. Given the future energy demands and transition to renewables, Northern Norway can play a key role in ensuring sustainable delivery of green energy."
Nina Kivijervi Jonassen Arctic Energy Partners

- Nina Kivijervi Jonassen, Project Director


21c Consultancy

Marine related digital tools are proliferating. But their deployment is usually domain-specific which can lead to silos and hamper coordination of efforts within and between sectors. We will work with 21c Consultancy to ensure that ocean data, ICTs and standards are geared towards the multi-layered collaborative governance needed to reach the European Green Deal.

"21c Consultancy is a digital innovation SME that helps organisations in the public and private sector leverage new technologies to deliver better services. In PERMAGOV will be drawing upon this experience to facilitate co-design and adoption of marine e-governance strategies so that EU marine policies can become more agile, data driven and fit for the European Green Deal."
Susie McAleer 21c Consultancy

- Susie McAleer, Managing Director


PERMAGOV consortium team members

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PERMAGOV has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-03 under grant agreement No 101086297, and by UK Research and Innovation under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee grant numbers 10045993, 10062097, 101086297.

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