This theme falls into two parts; the real and potential challenges that face the research community in Scotland and the potential future directions for research in the marine and maritime sphere. The first part of the theme looks at the individual challenges; ranging from research questions and methodologies to management structures within the wider heritage sector and the methods of communication amongst the constituent research individuals, institutions and networks. This theme recognises that the environment within which marine and maritime research takes place is a challenging one and asks how a research framework can address the issues posed by this environment. The issues of datasets, their origins, sources, data curation, storage, dissemination, use and ownership are identified and the challenges facing the practitioners who work in this arena are illustrated.
The second part of the theme outlines the potential future directions for research in the Scottish Marine and Maritime sphere. It looks at the need for collaboration across the heritage sector and beyond, into specific areas of industry, science and the arts. This section will address the issues of training, skills and building capacity within the sector, to enable the research to be undertaken and developed in the future. Part of this area of potential includes the way in which researchers and the wider public can work together within wider programmes and specific projects, and this is addressed in public engagement and outreach.