Hoek van Holland, Rotterdam
NEWS | 06.05.2021

Launching of the DAM Stakeholder Forum

First meeting of the independent advisory body for marine research, including political, business and civil society representatives

Berlin. The constituent meeting of the Stakeholder Forum of the German Marine Research Alliance (Deutsche Allianz Meeresforschung, DAM) was held on 6 May 2021, tasked with strengthening the exchange between society and science, and identifying the key challenges facing society in the field of marine research. The Forum’s 30 or so members, who are drawn from politics, business and civil society, exchanged views in an online meeting on the tasks and working methods of the newly established body and their expectations towards it.

The Stakeholder Forum is an independent advisory body to the DAM and is intended as a “sounding board”. To this end, the Forum receives information about ongoing and planned DAM activities and provides feedback on them from the different perspectives of its members. The Forum also serves an important function in generating new ideas and identifying topics for future research missions and other DAM activities.

The context is provided by global challenges – such as climate change or the loss of biodiversity – along with the United Nations’ ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Because the DAM’s goal is to promote the sustainable use of the Earth’s largest ecosystem.

Making research and knowledge more effective

The DAM’s sponsors at the federal and the Northern German state level are themselves involved in the Forum and welcome the participation of representatives from different sectors of society in the Forum. Susanne Bowen, a permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, emphasised the importance of stakeholders when it comes to transferring knowledge to society at large: “With the help of the various stakeholders, coastal and marine research can better reach out to people, engage them, and provide a better understanding of how coasts and oceans can be managed sustainably. Even among people living on the coast, this is sometimes not self-evident. Communicating this to society, from child daycare centres to retirement homes, together with the DAM is an issue that is close to my heart.”

“We want research to be even more effective,” said Rudolf Leisen, head of the Marine, Coastal and Polar Research Division at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). “The early and continuous involvement of stakeholders is important in order to achieve this. Science-based decision options can be jointly developed, and the concrete implementation of results and solutions is more effective as well.”

Marine research assumes its responsibility towards society

“By engaging regularly with the members of the Stakeholder Forum, we hope to identify the different needs of society, politics and industry – in addition to science itself – with regard to coastal and marine research,” explained Michael Schulz, Deputy Chairman of the DAM Board. “An open dialogue helps marine science to assume greater responsibility towards society, as well as acquiring solution-oriented knowledge and making it accessible.”

The DAM invited institutions and organisations involved in marine research issues and sustainability to participate as members of the Stakeholder Forum. This invitation met with a positive response, so that the DAM was able to attract the following 28 members to the Stakeholder Forum:

Politics / Federal

  •  Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  •  Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
  •  Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
  •  Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI)
  •  Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg)
  •  Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs (BMWi)
  •  Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Politics / North German States

  • Public Authority for Science, Research, Equal Opportunities and Districts, City of Hamburg
  • The Senator for Science and Ports, Bremen
  • Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania
  • Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in the state of Schleswig-Holstein
  • Ministry of Science and Culture, Lower Saxony

Business / Associations

  • German Maritime Centre (DMZ)
  • Society for Maritime Technology (GMT)
  • German Association for Mechanical Engineering (VDMA)

Civil Society / NGOs and Foundations

  • Brot für die Welt
  • Friends of the Earth, Germany (BUND)
  • German Society for Marine Research
  • German Ocean Foundation
  • Fair Oceans
  • Greenpeace Germany
  • Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union Germany (NABU)
  • Futur Zwei! Foundation
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany

European Level

  • Joint Programming Initiative Oceans (JPI Oceans)
  • Mission Board for Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters


  • International Conference for YOUNG Marine Researchers (ICYMARE)
  • Wissenschaft im Dialog (WID)

Open and constructive exchange

“We have high hopes for the DAM Stakeholder Forum,” explained Michael Bruno Klein, Chairman of the DAM Board, “as a place where different perspectives and conflicting goals will be discussed. The DAM aims to thereby actively engage in a constructive dialogue about marine research as a field for solutions and applications.”

The Stakeholder Forum will meet twice a year. The next meeting is scheduled for the autumn.

Eva Söderman
Head of Press and Public Relations / Political Communication
German Marine Research Alliance (DAM)
Phone +49 (0)30 804 945 66

Header image: Hoek van Holland, Rotterdam: Photo: Anant Chandra / Unsplash

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The federal government and the governments of the five northern German states support the current development and sponsor the DAM.