Background

 

The Ghent University (UGent) hosts the Marine Training Platform and is since its foundation 200 years ago, a centre of excellence in academic education and research. Maritime and Marine skills were ubiquitous in the history of the University and in its current research are education curricula. Within the principles of crossdisciplinarity, transferable skills, internationalization, industry collaboration, lifelong learning and branding, an interdisciplinary consortium within the university has been set up in order to generate innovative results, enhance technological innovation and boost Marine science training. Consequently, that vast expertise in Marine human capacity building allowed Ghent University to coordinate and to participate in numerous EC (European Commission) funded research projects and joint programmes for enhancement of human potential to fully integrate higher education, research and industry.

In the light of this background, the Marine Training Platform has been initiated in 2013 as one of the services of the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) EMBRC project (European Marine Biological Resource Centre | www.embrc.eu) to facilitate and centralize access to Marine human capacity building opportunities in Europe.

Within the open-source and open-access mind-set of the Ghent University and EC (project OpenAire), open-source tools were privileged. The EMBRC Marine Training Platform technical backbone is a Webservices run on a PHP Drupal Platform fitting the XCRI-CAP standard (eXchange of Course Related Information). Consequently, possibilities of exchange of data with similar platforms in other domains is ensured. Work on this platform was initially supported by seed funding from EWI in the framework of mapping the Marine and Maritime educational landscape in Belgium. Since 2015, funding was respectively obtained from the Hercules foundation and the FWO for the continued development of this initiative.