grafika ilustracyjnaOn the 13th of May, 2021, the Minister of Climate and Environment Michał Kurtyka, the Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek and the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Marek Gróbarczyk, signed a letter of intent to acquire a scientific research vessel.

The aim is to support the activities of the supervised institutions: the Polish Geological Institute, the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Maritime Academy in Szczecin, whose cooperation will influence the effective research and development of Polish science.

The Minister of Climate and Environment Michał Kurtyka noted that one of the goals of this initiative is to deepen knowledge of the ocean floor and its raw materials, as well as to develop research technologies. "By owning a seagoing scientific research vessel, Poland will have a historic opportunity to conduct oceanic, environmental, and geophysical research. The research vessel will also be an important support for the Polish Arctic and Antarctic stations," the minister explained.


Letter of intent to acquire a scientific research vessel was signed

As emphasized by Przemyslaw Czarnek, Minister of Education and Science, the acquisition of a multipurpose vessel is the implementation of Polish raison d'État, placing Poland as a strong player in the arena of international research. This was also emphasized by the ministers during the Third Arctic Science Ministerial held in Tokyo last week.

According to Marek Gróbarczyk, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, the acquisition of a research vessel will make it possible to abandon costly ship charters and to become independent of their availability. It will also benefit the Polish shipbuilding industry, which will be involved in supporting this initiative.

Piotr Dziadzio, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Poland’s Chief Geologist, Government Plenipotentiary for the State Raw Materials Policy, informed that the rationalization of spending public funds and ensuring the certainty of task accomlishment are key in this project, which will be possible thanks to the implementation of the planned project by the institutes indicated in the letter. "The vessel will conduct research both in the Baltic Sea and the oceans. Poland lacks such vessels and its purchase will be an important step for the development of PGI-NRI, the Polish Academy of Sciences or the Maritime University, which will be able to conduct research and train scientists on their own Polish vessel. It will also strengthen our position in the world of science," explained Poland’s Chief Geologist. "Acquiring a scientific research vessel will also allow us to establish cooperation and exchange experience with foreign scientific research institutions," he added.

uring the panel discussion, the floor was taken by the directors of institutions forming the ship acquisition initiative: Agnieszka Kruszewska - Deputy Director for Administrative Affairs at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Krzysztof Otto - Deputy Director for Technical Affairs at the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Wojciech Slączka - Rector of the Maritime Academy in Szczecin, Jan Marcin Węsławski - Director at the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and Mateusz Damrat - Director of the Polish Geological Institute - National Research Institute. "Marine geology is an extremely important area of geological research and this direction of seabed exploration is obvious (...). The study of marine geology requires a vessel to which we will have access at a convenient time, with an appropriate degree of financial optimization" - Director Damrat said during the press conference.

zdjcie panelistw

Panel discussion

The purchase of the vessel is an important step for the institutions involved, which on the one hand will gain a basic tool for the implementation of research, and on the other will increase opportunities for training of staff and scientists. This initiative is aimed at increasing the potential of scientific and research centers and strengthening cooperation at the national and international level through the creation of new research topics. These activities will help strengthen the position of our country in the world of science.

The multipurpose vessel will be used for research and logistics work, including operation of polar stations located at both poles, and for tasks arising from international obligations, including a contract with the International Seabed Authority for the exploration of polymetallic massive sulfides within the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

How the vessel will be used by the Polish Geological Institute was presented by PGI-NRI Director Mateusz Damrat:

"I sincerely thank that the collective voice of the community has been heard and we are efficiently starting to move towards getting us all "onboard". In the nearest future PGI has to fulfill earlier contractual obligations in the form of concession obligations for the exploration of massive sulphides in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. According to the provisions of the contract, we have to carry out such exploratory research and such a [scientific research] vessel is indispensable for us to be able to satisfy this obligation. Another area of interest is the exclusive economic zone of the Baltic Sea, where such a vessel is also lacking ".

Important arguments in favor of acquiring an appropriate vessel are the possibility to spend public funds in the country and the optimization of the costs incurred, as well as making research independent of the availability of other vessels, which was emphasized by Piotr Dziadzio, Deputy Minister for Climate and Environment, Poland’s Chief Geologist and Government Plenipotentiary for National Raw Materials Policy. Szczecin will be the home port for the new vessel. Więcej informacji znajduję się w komunikacie MKiŚ oraz w zapisie video z tego wydarzenia.

For more information, see the announcement from the Ministry of Education and the video recording of the event.

Source: Ministry of Climate and Environment
Editing and text supplementation: Michał Tomczak, Agata Kozłowska-Roman
Translated by Tomasz Trzpil (PGI-NRI)