The Foundation launches a new platform to optimise the role of ocean sailing in scientific research

The FNOB continues to roll out its strategic plan across four key areas: education & training, business & industry, sport and science. With a focus on the area of science, this week the FNOB headquarters played host to the second of two meetings with scientists and scientific institutions who have previously collaborated with the Barcelona World Race. Joining them were research centres with brand new proposals for the round the world competition. Up until now, projects have included measuring sea temperature, salinity levels and the concentration of pollutants in the sea, as well as a study of sleep and nutrition during three months of non-stop racing in extreme conditions.

Ocean sailing, and in particular a round-the-world regatta such as the Barcelona World Race, is a fantastic platform for scientific research projects which can have an incredible positive impact which reverberates well into the future; for society, the environment and human mental and physical performance and wellbeing.

The FNOB is keen to expand the reach of its scientific collaboration. The aim is for the benefits for society to be amplified and more efficient, providing coordination between projects which complement each other whilst guaranteeing financial sustainability and continuity beyond the round the world regatta, which will also increase its appeal to sponsors.

The projects have been divided into two categories; the first aimed at the ‘human factor’, physical and psychological performance in extreme conditions; and the second aimed at studying the state of the world’s oceans. For the latter, the FNOB is supported by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee.

Both meetings with the scientific organisations taking part have highlighted the convenience of creating a coordinated platform from the FNOB, which may be known as the FNOBLab-Barcelona World Race. The aim of the lab would be to bring together the opinions, requirements and objectives of each of the projects proposed in order to optimise objectives and resources. It would also be a point of contact for other organisations, businesses, universities and scientists who may be interested in using ocean sailing as a platform for research projects which complement the projects already up and running.

An agreement has also been reached with the University of Barcelona for students submitting their final projects for official master’s programmes to link those to the mission, values and activity sphere of ocean sailing with content proposed by scientific institution partners in the platform, with the support of the FNOB.

To date, the organisations and institutions taking part in the meetings are: the University of Barcelona (UB); the Biomedical Engineering Research Centre (CREB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC); the Catalan National Institute for Physical Education (INEFC); IQS-Instituto Químico de Sarriá, founding member of the Universitat Ramón Llull; the Sea Sciences Institute (ICM) at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); Leitat Technological Center; Eurecat, Catalonia Technological Centre; the Sant Cugat High-Performance Centre (CAR); Gastrocultura Mediterránea; and the Estivill Sleep Foundation, who have all agreed to formulate a list of projects which fit into the mission of the scientific area of the next edition of the Barcelona World Race. The FNOB will then be able to take these to the IMOCA AGM during the first week of April to be given support by the teams taking part and therefore open up the possibility of these being incorporated into the IMOCA World Championship.

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