Project Name: An alliance of European marine research infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of the research and industrial communities
Project Acronym: EUROFLEETS+
Programme: Integrating and opening existing national and regional research infrastructures of European interest
EU Financial Contribution: € 9 999 360,58
EU Project Officer: Agnès Robin
Duration: 48 months
Start Date: 01 February 2019
Completion Date: 31 January 2023
Coordinator: Marine Institute (IE)
EUROFLEETS+ is an H2020 project funded under the Infrastructures initiative, coordinated by the Marine Institute that brings together a significant group of key marine research actors (in particular research vessel operators) in Europe, North America and Oceania – 42 marine institutes, universities, foundations and SMEs from 24 countries (full list).
The EUROFLEETS+ project will facilitate open free of charge access to an integrated and advanced research vessel fleet, designed to meet the evolving and challenging needs of the user community. European and international researchers from academia and industry will be able to apply for several access programmes, through a single-entry system. EUROFLEETS+ will prioritise support for research on sustainable, clean and healthy oceans, linking with existing ocean observation infrastructures, and it will support innovation through working closely with industry. The project will enable access to a unique fleet of 27 state-of-the-art research vessels from European and international partners. Through competitive Calls, researchers will be able to access the entire North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Black Sea, North Sea, Baltic Sea, Pacific Southern Ocean and Ross Sea. In addition to ship time, researchers will also have access to new AUVs and ROVs. A unique portable telepresence system will enable remote access by researchers and diverse end users including the public; a first for Europe. In addition to comprehensive transnational access activities, the project will undertake joint research in challenging and highly relevant areas, including deep ocean research and exploration, data management, and enabling future virtual access. Multiple networking activities will ensure robust Call processes, wide stakeholder engagement, and development of a strategic roadmap and sustainability plan. To maximise the impact of the project, EUROFLEETS+ will implement diverse training and education activities, strong management of innovation in collaboration with industry, and widespread dissemination and communication actions.
EUROFLEETS+ is intentionally ambitious, building on achievements in two preceding Eurofleets projects. It will integrate a larger number of research vessels and extend the research infrastructure by adding a range of advanced mobile marine equipment. The project is likely to create excitement and interest in marine research communities, in particular given the unprecedented access to European and global seas and oceans. Plans for open science will provide access to new data and information for scientists from different domains. The number of days of ship time has been increased relative to previous projects, and new user groups will be sought; from emerging early stage researchers, to those from less equipped countries, to increased participation by women scientists. Advanced IT systems, a multi-functional website, and robust logistical management will provide seamless integration of services and easy access for user groups.
EUROFLEETS+ will extend and enhance the capabilities of the European research vessel infrastructure, bringing new perspectives, new ideas, and new research and innovation tracks.