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Implementation of the Strategy to Ensure the EMSO ERIC’s Long-term Sustainability

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EMSO-Link (Implementation of the Strategy to Ensure the EMSO ERIC’s Long-term Sustainability)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2020-08-31

EMSO-Link is a project underpinning the long-term sustainability of EMSO ERIC. EMSO ERIC coordinates the provision of services to various stakeholders, supplying power, communications, sensors and data for continuous, high-resolution, (near-)real-time, ocean observations across a multi- and inter-disciplinary range of research areas.
The EMSO-Link work plan has been successfully fulfilled. EMSO-Link increased the level of technical convergence between the EMSO ERIC Regional Facilities (RFs) by defining, promoting and implementing a set of standard and interoperability rules, wherever it was possible and desirable. The Regional Teams (RTs), that manage the activities of the 11 RFs, have fully established also nominating the Regional Team Leaders (RTLs). The RTLs are members of the EMSO ERIC Executive Committee (ExCom) together with the heads of the Service Groups (SGs). The ExCom is fully operational. The Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between EMSO ERIC and the RFs have been completed and signed. The ordinary/extraordinary optimal maintenance procedures were defined , and a plan for the enhancement has been depicted in a time span up to 10 years. A web-based system to handle requests for experiments from the application to the delivery of access has set-up. This system is based on the peer-review of the submitted applications, selection and post-assessment procedures, tools and policy to regulate and grant transparent and harmonized access to the EMSO ERIC RFs. The operational and capital expenditure of EMSO ERIC have been examined, and funding opportunities located. Intellectual Property Right (IPR) strategy, risk management procedures and KPIs have been defined. the new EMSO website ( has been developed, including training, innovation, industry, data, transnational access and news sections. EMSO-Link established a series of formal agreements (MoUs) between EMSO ERIC and analogous initiatives inside and outside European Union, with particular emphasis on infrastructural synergies and data sharing. Stakeholder meetings and workshops, including those in cooperation with industry, have successfully been organized and undertaken. EMSO-Link successfully established for EMSO ERIC all the planned SGs, Science, Engineering and Logistics, Data Management, Communication, Industry and Innovation. Thanks to EMSO-Link, EMSO ERIC was able to launch a Transnational Access (TA) call and three projects were approved and completed.
have been constituted, naming their leaders as members of the ExCom representing the eleven EMSO ERIC Regional Facilities at present.
Science and Technology plan. Comprehensive description of EMSO ERIC Regional Facilities and Tests Sites as of October 2017, used to define the EMSO ERIC long-term strategic plan.
Dissolved Oxygen (DO) sensors calibration bench exploited primarily for EMSO RFs but the service can also be provided to other users.
Underwater Intervention tools available for training pilots and demonstrations of subsea observatory intervention capacity with light means.
Handbook of Best Practices. The deliverable is confidential but the process of making it public and share it in the Ocean Best Practices Repository is in progress.
The EMSO Label contains definitions, technical criteria for the labelling acquisition, the description of its implementation process, an implementation roadmap and a communication plan to be exploited by EMSO ERIC. Confidential at this stage, but part of it is intended to be published soon.
The RTs managing the RFs are in place and fully working, the RTLs have been nominated, together with the SGLs.
The SLAs with the RFs are completed and signed.
The ordinary-extraordinary maintenance procedures have been defined at the present state, and a provision for future enhancement is outlined up to 10 years.
A web-based access system is fully established and it is operational to facilitate the TA access to the RFs with clear and transparent procedure.
The Business Plan of EMSO ERIC was completed, which includes cost analysis, funding sources, IPR strategy, risk management and KPIs.
The Science, Engineering and Logistics, Data Management, Communication, Industry and Innovation Service Groups have been established and are fully operational.
Several communications tools and initiatives have been completed: websites, videos, social media account and newsletter to share the results of EMSO-Link even to the public.
MoUs were signed with EuroGOOS, ONC, EMBRC-ERIC and LifeWatch-ERIC. Collaboration started with JPI Oceans. Links have been established with SAEON, IMOS, ICOS-ERIC, EPOS ERIC, Euro-Argo-ERIC.
Norway official applied to become an EMSO ERIC full member, discussions have been initiated with Germany and Cyprus. The 5-year strategy of EMSO ERIC to increase participation by EU member states leading to full membership has been established.
A common Statement in support the Horizon EU mission on “Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters” has been published after the Athens EMSO Conference by all the participant organizations.
EMSO ERIC fostered human capital development by providing world-class scientific/technological exchanges, opportunities for scientists, engineers and users within and beyond the Member States of the ERIC, proactively supporting capacity enhancement and the pursuit of scientific excellence. By reinforcing EMSO ERIC through technological convergence of its RFs and its promotion as a leader in observing technologies and methodologies, EMSO-Link contributed to all socio-economic benefits brought by EMSO ERIC.
EMSO ERIC has a clear fundamental role in the coordination and integration of the activities of the RFs and maintain all the infrastructure continuously running.
A list of KPIs with specific targets have been set up for EMSO ERIC to monitor its socio-economic impact. These KPIs are based on recommendations from the OECD and the RI PATHS project in relation to measuring the socio-economic impact of the RIs. The Business Plan highlights also the socio-economic benefits provided by EMSO ERIC in terms of the direct and indirect economic benefits, and the broader societal and social benefits.
EMSO-Link actively worked towards EU and non-EU countries and organizations that are not yet part of the RI in order to enlarge the EMSO membership and the network coverage maximizing the socio-economic impact. This international collaboration leads to greater science impact, access to facilities, filling gaps in data and promotes excellence through training, international comparison and knowledge exchange. These collaborations also underpin international development goals and help strengthen research capacity and local expertise in developing countries.
Our work toward more effective and visible ERIC-scale science services addressed its three thematic areas (Atmosphere & Ocean/Climate change; Marine Ecosystems; Geo-hazards & Geodynamics) that have key societal relevance, and users in the academic, institutional, and industrial domains. Our work involved developing synergies and providing training to both the users and the operators of the EMSO ERIC. We also helped to consolidate the ERIC, particularly regarding the activities of its Service Groups, and contributed to its increased visibility in the marine infrastructure landscape internationally.