The time is ripe for the Eurofleets community to establish a long-term sustainable system to ensure the coordination of the European Research Vessels, the ability to handle Transnational Access to Research Vessels and Large EXchangeable Instruments, together with strengthening the sharing of knowledge, experience, best practice and collaboration among research vessels and/or LEXI operators and various stakeholders across Europe (Figure 1).
Based on the analysis of the current European Research Infrastructure Landscape conducted within WP8 “Foresight: Legacy and Roadmap”, the EFs+ community are discussing to move towards a legal entity, an AISBL (Association internationale sans but lucratif), or Memorandum of Agreement model, in a transition phase.
Next step towards will be the execution of a feasibility assessment of the two options; it will take all relevant factors into account – including economic, technical, legal and scheduling considerations – to ascertain the likelihood of working these two options in practice. A draft version of a business plan will be also provided, encompassing all components needed to establish, operate and grow this pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure beyond the Eurofleets+ project life-time (e.g. strategic analysis and strategic plan, market analysis and strategy, legal and governance model, management and organization, finance model, timeline).