SAERI Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary!
SAERI was established in March 2012, born out of the FIG’s Economic Development Strategy, which seeks to promote the development of new industries in the Islands. The institute was officially opened by the Duke of Kent on the 12th November 2012. It was always FIG’s intention to spin off SAERI as an independent institute as this provides greater opportunities for funding internationally. SAERI’s separation from FIG occurred on 1st July 2017 to coincide with the start FIG’s new financial year, and this year marks its 5th anniversary as in independent research institute since then.
To celebrate this anniversary we had Deputy Director – Business & Programmes, Teresa Bowers and Deputy Director – Innovation, Tara Pelembe join us in the Falklands. Their two week visit proved to be very productive catching up with various departments and looking at ways to further develop future projects.
A lovely evening at Government House was held to reflect on what SAERI has achieved and what lies ahead for SAERI. For this we would like to thank HE Alison Blake and the staff at Government House for very kindly hosting.
Above image: Tara Pelembe giving a speech at the Government House Reception to celebrate SAERI's 10 year anniversary
The concept for a research institute was not a new one for the Falkland Islands. It had been discussed over the years. FIG formalized this by commissioning a feasibility study, and creating SAERI.
The SAERI concept offered an opportunity to increase the level of scientific research undertaken in the Falkland Islands and the wider South Atlantic region, through the development of the Falkland Islands as an international research platform.
Since its formation in 2012 and as was hoped, SAERI grew to fill an important role not only in the Falkland Islands but also across the South Atlantic and beyond. Whether undertaking important scientific research in the region, or advising industry and governments on environmental issues, SAERI has found an important niche. With annual turnover in excess of £1m pa, and with significant room for growth in the future, 2012 – 2016 under FIG were exciting years for the Institute, with a firm foundation having been built going forward. Since 2017 the range of SAERI’s work has extended beyond the South Atlantic to implementing partnerships in the Caribbean, South America and Africa.
The Institute is now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered in the UK and the Falkland Islands. As part of its sustainable financing approach, SAERI the Charity also owns a local commercial subsidiary SAERI (Falklands) Limited, which conducts its commercial work.
SAERI consistently delivers quality projects, research and publishes in high impact science journals. The institute also supervises MSc and PhD students across the OTs.
Some of the key pieces of work completed over the past 10 years include:
• Supported the development of sister institutes in the Caribbean – Mid Atlantic Research Institute, and St Helena – St Helena Research Institute, which aim to follow the same model as created in the Falkland Islands.
• Developed the evidence base to provide the foundation for designating Marine Management Areas in the Falkland Islands.
• Produced updated comprehensive Soil Map of all of the Falkland islands.
• Host a Falkland Islands data portal that hosts 552 environmental datasets
• Host online WebGIS where everyone can view multiple maps of the Falkland Islands.
• Mapped the coastlines of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands
• Described 50 species new to Science
• SAERI authors have led on, or contributed to, over 121 peer-reviewed publications since SAERI’s first annual report was produced in 2015
Thanks to FIG for the vision of creating a research institute and for their continued support, the many FIG departments that we work with and thank you to all our past & present staff, students, supporters, collaborators and the Falkland Islands community for making this possible!
We look forward to following SAERI’s future progression as it delivers on its ambitions under its new 5-year strategy!