VISTA looking forward
Facts about the VISTA collaboration
• VISTA is a researcher collaboration between Equinor and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences that has lasted since 1985. The collaboration has developed along the way, including two VISTA centers, established as hosts for researchers from academia and relevant research partners.
• Two new centers have been established as host to PhD and researchers from academia and relevant research partners. Center for Modeling of Coupled Subsurface Dynamics (UiB) - / Trondheim NTNU VISTA CAROS - Center for Autonomous Robot Operations Subsea
• The VISTA program consists of PhD students, post docs and researchers who work to develop the solutions of the future energy solutions. The young professionals meet yearly for the VISTA Researcher Day.
The International VISTA seminar 2021 presented several outstanding researchers and topics:
• The Deep-Seabed in relation to ocean circulation and the UN Decade of Ocean Science, by Peter Haugan, Professor, Head of research, Institute of Marine Research
• The energy transition and resources of the seabed - environmental risks of exploitation, Matthias Haeckel, Professor, GEOMAR
• Cold seepages, gas hydrates and climate change, Karin Andreassen, Professor, UiT, The Arctic University of Norway
• Hydrothermal circulation along the mid-ocean ridge systems, Inga Berre, Professor/Project leader VISTA CSD / UiB
• Deep sea sediments and the carbon cycle – Industrial activity – A major concern?, Jack J. Middelburg, Professor, Utrecht University
• Hydrothermal vents and deep sea mining – Industrial adventure? Rolf Birger Pedersen, Professor, University of Bergen
• Hydrothermal vents and deep sea mining - are we interfering with the “origins of life”?, Antje Boetius, Professor/Director AWI
• Sustainable ocean research and exploitation – the future model for observing systems, Asgeir J. Sørensen, Professor/Project leader NTNU VISTA CAROS
• Deep se exploration – Legal aspects, Harald Brekke, Senior Geologist, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate / International Seabed Authority (ISA)
The VISTA seminar with invited researchers have discussed the consequences of harvesting resources from and in the ocean, in particular from the bottom of the ocean, also called the seabed. Not only discussing what the scientists already know, but also mapping uncertainties and what we need-to-know, and how new technologies can be sustainable in order to care take ocean health, was central for this year's international VISTA seminar.
The traditional VISTA collaboration is a cooperation between Equinor and the Academy, dating back to 1985.
The VISTA collaboration: Two centers
VISTA program now also includes two new VISTA research centers, one at the University of Bergen and one at NTNU.
– The VISTA seminar 2021 was a milestone for the VISTA program and the collaboration that the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters have had with Equinor, says Lise Øvreås.
Lise Øvreås is professor in geomicrobiology at UiB and recently participated at the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow.
– We see that research has changed over the years. Scientific problems can rarely be solved by individual researchers and complex issues related to energy and energy transition require a broader professional approach, says Øvreås.
– This is the reason why we, together with Equinor, recently have further developed the VISTA partnership by establishing VISTA centers where researchers come together to solve demanding and important research questions. The CAROS center at NTNU, Trondheim and CSD at UiB will be two such excellent centers for the VISTA collaboration, Øvreås says.
Educating for science advice
At the VISTA Researcher Day for young professionals, challenged PhDs, postdocs and researchers on how scientists can take the role of “the honest broker” and give good science advice, inspired by Roger A. Pielke’s book with the same title.
As a real life inspiration, Camilla Stoltenberg, Director General at the Norwegian Institute for Public Health (NIPH) shared her experiences as science advisor during the pandemic.
– Throughout these years, Equinor in collaboration with the Academy has supported Norwegian basic research in areas that have been of great importance to Norway as a nation, and contributed to the education of a large number of PhD candidates that both academia and business have benefited greatly from. The Academy has greatly appreciated this collaboration, says Øvreås.
Under: Ole Mathias Sejersted har been the chairman of the VISTA board and has led VISTA through this process towards the current center model. (Photo: Ola G. Sæther for DNVA)
Sources: International VISTA seminar 2021, VISTA Researcher Day, VISTA.no)
The leaders of the two VISTA centers