At the end of the 2015 calendar year, the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Partnerships (IWG-OP) transitioned from an interagency working group under the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST) to an independent, interagency NOPP committee. Maintaining a connection with the SOST, the NOPP committee will focus on identifying, facilitating, and fostering engagement on priority interagency ocean research projects through engagement with representatives from Federal ocean agencies, SOST interagency working groups, and other appropriate venues. This new committee will also continue to develop and foster specific NOPP ocean science and technology partnership projects that are supportive of the National Ocean Policy.
The NOPP Committee focuses on research objectives felt to be too big for any single agency, which cut across multiple missions, or require government-private-academic partnerships for success.
The Biodiversity Ad Hoc Group was formed as a sub-group of the IWG-OP in 2008. The topic of biodiversity has many applications for U.S. agencies but is too large for any one U.S. agency to take on itself. Current topics of interest include biodiversity technology and science, biodiversity metrics, indices and proxies, applications and data sharing, and international conventions and frameworks.
The Federal Renewable Ocean Energy Working Group (FROEWG) was formed in 2010 to address renewable ocean energy issues within the Federal community. FROEWG addresses ways to advance science and policy in support of environmentally responsible development of ocean renewable energy resources. Examples of topics of interest include developing polices and guidance for coordinated, responsible and efficient review of permits, licenses and leases; in addition, data sharing coordination between agencies and outreach to stakeholders are top priorities.
In 2012, according to the directives of Public Law 111-11, the Task Force on Ocean Exploration and Undersea Research Technology (TFORT) was established under the IWG-OP framework. The purpose of the TFORT is to advise, assist, and make recommendations to the NOPP on policies, procedures, plans, and activities related to ocean exploration and undersea research technology and infrastructure.