SOMOS second Workshop

Published on
January 30, 2018

In total 14 persons visited the second SOMOS-workshop on 9-11-2017. It was a fruitful and lively workshop with a lot of contributions of all. The subject of the workshop was the presentation of the framework the SOMOS-team prepared. In 3 rounds we discussed this framework. In round 1 there was an introduction to the framework an it's application in the North Sea. We explained our terms and definitions and we gave an overview of the different boxes of the framework.

In round 2 an update of the different work packages was given. An important remark was about the limits. The limits for safety are (also):

-         Weather conditions
-         Allowing fishing in the windmill park

Another remark was that we have to keep in mind why a company or companies want to start a multi-use project. What’s in it for them: what are the key benefits of seaweed and what are the key benefits of windmill parks. There must be a sense of urgency. This sense of urgency could be sustainability as a real driver to start. The sense of urgency for the energy-sector is that the sector is in a transition from fossil to wind- and solar energy. The sense of urgency for the food and feed sector is the growing food need worldwide. In our SOMOS-project this sense of urgency is not a topic for research. Our starting point is that companies are aware of this sense of urgency and want to do something with it.

In round 3 we discussed if the framework was 1) complete, 2) what tools are available next to the tools we have identified for each step and 3) who should be involved in each of the steps.

1)   The participants liked the framework and they had the opinion that it was complete. The comment on our framework was that it must be not to scientific, not a research project but keep it practical and simple for stakeholders. There was a discussion about merging the exploring and understanding steps.

2)   There was a discussion about the tools stakeholders could use. Important elements of a tool are:

a.    Information and Communication
b.    “label”/proof
c.    Pilot --> deciding steps/implementing – to improve knowledge base for 1-3
d.    In exploring/understanding step: make use of existing “reviewed” knowledge
e.    Environmental impact assessment
f.     Implementing the private sector (agreements)
g.    Trust (right decisions made)
h.    Stakeholder participation: who is(are) the stakeholder(s): sectors, governments, market. General public – the need for multi-use. Different between a stakeholder and a shareholder.

3) The participants named a lot of parties/stakeholders which could be involved:

i.     Everybody
j.     As many stakeholders + shareholders as possible with knowledge covering the lenses (bear in mind this is a new field, who are the experts? Need an open mind for stakeholders to integrate knowledge.
k.    Consumer organisations
l.     North sea foundation
m.   Retail organisation
n.    NVWA
o.    TKI-WOZ (Wind@sea)
p.    Government
q.    These organisations need to coordinate with their sister organisations

Observation from the participants: How can we get stakeholders to work in multiple use projects? We need more promotion about multiple-use and branding the framework.

Also information about the planning/implementation step could have an added value. At the implementation of the framework the recommendation was that we have to keep in mind that each sector apart do not have knowledge of the other sector and also the level of knowledge differ between the two sectors. There is a lot of knowledge in the wind-energy sector but not so much in the seaweed sector. Try to make a balance.