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June 2016 - N°5

The FNCC opens the doors to...

        ... Oslo City

            with Geir Lippestad,

        Oslo city's commissioner for Industry and Ownership
Could you present in a few words the SeaOrbiter project? What are the major challenges in this project?
SeaOrbiter® is a unique "International Oceanic Station" with multi-disciplinary expeditions, complementary to the other oceanic vessels and research systems. The vertical vessel SeaOrbiter®, is 58 meters high (21 meters above water and 37 meters below) and is designed to conduct missions in the open seas and the deep underwater world. This operation continues 300 days per year, 24h a day over long periods in order to achieve 5 missions: explore, understand, warn, educate and valorize a world of unique opportunities for the planet. This first of its kind drifting scientific platform, has researchers on board that benefit by living and working in a pressurized laboratory with open access to the underwater world at -12 meters under the sea.
To extend its investigation field, SeaOrbiter® can deploy, directly under the sea, underwater observation devices up to 6000 meters in depth for exploration, analysis and sampling. 
The research program called "Blue Planet 2030" gathers 7 initiatives (Health & Nutrition, Biodiversity & Biomimicry, Climate Change, Environment & Anthropism, Technology & Innovation, Energy & Mineral Resources and Deep Sea Exploration & Ocean Mapping) that meet the major challenges of knowledge, discoveries and ocean valorization.
How did the French-Norwegian Day (Oslo 15/10) help the SeaOrbiter project?
The French Norwegian Day allowed me to meet people who didn't know the international program SeaOrbiter® and they were enthusiastic about the project. We reinforced existing contacts and made new contacts, especially with the Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems - AMOS. Moreover, since then several persons contacted me to have more detailed information about the project.
What are the next steps for SeaOrbiter?
The SeaOrbiter® project is supported by an international scientific committee (CNRS, IFREMER, NASA, ESA, EPFL...), an industrial consortium for the construction (Technip, ABB, Constellium, Bureau Veritas), and academic partners (Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Oceanic Museum of Monaco, UNESCO, IUCN, World Ocean Network). SeaOrbiter is in a fundraising process for the construction of the first vessel and is looking for new partners or private equity investors. If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact me: 

Web site:
Science Blog: 
Copyright of the pictures: SeaOrbiter®/Jacques Rougerie.
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