EPÁ – Europe Portugal, the Azores and the Atlantic: a new AIR Center

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The Atlantic Interactions conference, held on Terceira Island, last April 20-21st, aimed to stablish a common ground for an international partnership focused on research on space, climate change, oceans, renewable energy and data processing of these areas, which should end up on the establishment of the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center) in the Azores. In its conclusions, it was proposed to align research strategies on a bottom up agenda, acknowledging the need to guarantee an increasing effort and global initiative on “Knowledge for Space – Space for knowledge”. There are a few facts that frame this initiative that must be taken in account, like the Continental Shelf Extension process, the downsizing of the American military presence at the Lajes Airbase, the Brexit and the European Union’s crises, as well as the opportunities that the space technologies offer to new players in the Atlantic. In this paper, we propose a historical overview to the use of the Azores as a technological and logistical platform for Atlantic kinetics, naturally base on scientific knowledge and industries; how Portugal has managed this Atlantic function and how other players have accessed to it. With this approach, we aim to analyze this proposed AIR Center, it’s novelty and its recurrence.

Keywords:  Azores; AIR Center; Atlantic Interactions; Scientific Research

António Monteiro (asousamonteiro@gmail.com)