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Nippon Foundation and POGO initiatives

The NF-POGO Alumni Network for Oceans (NANO) was established as a joint effort between the Partnership for Observations of the Global Oceans and the Nippon Foundation.

The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) is an international network of collaborators that fosters partnerships to advance efficiency and effectiveness in studying and monitoring the world’s oceans on a global scale. POGO is a partnership of institutions involved in oceanographic observations, scientific research, operational services, education and training. POGO also includes representatives of existing international and regional programs and organizations. The POGO Secretariat is located in Plymouth, UK.

The Nippon Foundation (NF) was established in 1962 as a non-profit philanthropic organization, active both in Japan and abroad, based in Tokyo, Japan. Since 2005, the Nippon Foundation has been funding various training programmes coordinated by POGO and both organisations work closely together to achieve common goals.

The main joint NF-POGO initiatives have been:

1. Visiting Professorship Program.

This program was established in 2005 to allow distinguished professors of renowned oceanographic institutes to teach young scientists in developing countries. One of the aims was to promote collaborations and networking among institutions of developing and developed countries. The programme often allowed the donation of a piece of scientific equipment to the host institution so that the capacity building effort could be sustained in the long term.

2. Centre of Excellence (CofE) .

The success of the Visiting Professorship Program led to the creation in 2008 of the NF-POGO Centre of Excellence (CofE) in Observational Oceanography which allows scholars from developing countries to receive training from world-class scientists for ten months. The phase I was held at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences while the phase II has being hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute.

3. Centre of Excellence Regional Training .

This intensive training course on "Evaluation of Satellite Ocean-Colour Algorithms and Products in Coastal Regions of Central and South America" was conducted as part of the Bermuda CofE in 2009. This was the first "training programme in a developing country" implemented as part of the CofE, and built on the success of the Visiting Professorship Programme, with similar goals and outcomes.

How did NANO get started?

The idea of building a Network of Alumni was first suggested by the Nippon Foundation, as a means of keeping track of the career progression of the Alumni and of providing them with further support after their training. The NF and POGO organised a first Network Planning Meeting in October 2010, at the Royal society in London. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Nippon Foundation and POGO, as well as alumni and trainers of the NF-POGO training programmes. The meeting laid the foundations for the establishment of the network of former scholars, that was to be called the NF-POGO Alumni Network for Oceans (NANO). It defined the principles and potential structure of the Network, discussed plans for a major Alumni Meeting and ideas for joint research projects that could be carried out by the Alumni.

What are the aims of NANO?

The goals of the network are to maximize the benefits to the alumni from the training they have received; to facilitate active contacts among the alumni and with the training faculty; and to promote joint research activities that will build on the training.

Structure of NANO

The general organisation of NANO is overseen by the POGO Secretariat, which maintains a database of former NF-POGO scholars and a website, and is responsible for communication with potential funding bodies.
The Network is composed of Regional Coalitions (at the present stage, four), each fully coupled to the global network and each managed by a Regional Coordinator. The activities of the Regional Coalitions will include regional co-ordination, workshops, information exchange and assistance with placement for prospective graduate students (see NANO organization chart for more details).
Regional Coalitions:
  • Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Europe and Northern Africa
  • Latin America

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