WP1 is dedicated to Project Management [MGT] to ensure that the Eurofleets+ project is properly established and implemented, and that there is strategic oversight of all transnational access, joint research, and networking activities. WP1 will ensure excellence in the overall project, building on the success and learning outcomes of preceding Eurofleets projects. There are dedicated tasks for data management, and a designated gender action group.
WP2 is dedicated to Transnational Access [TA] to ensure that research vessels and related infrastructure are opened up to researchers from academia and industry.WP2 is the core activity of the project, focused on providing transnational access to twenty-seven research vessels, seven Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), and five Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUVs). Remote access will be facilitated through an advanced Portable Telepresence Unit.
WP3 is dedicated to Joint Research Activities [JRA] and prioritises three main areas of research to develop new tools for European research vessels that advance their capabilities to explore the oceans, manage the data obtained and facilitate access to these data. Researchers from academia and industry will work closely together. Innovation potential and exploitation opportunities arising from the JRA activities will be captured via WP7. JRA3.1 is focused on advancing shipboard data management systems and data access. JRA 3.2 will investigate and develop equipment innovations for deep sea operations from research vessels. JRA 3.3 focuses on intelligent robot exploration.
There are six work packages related to networking activities in the Eurofleets+ project, as follows:
WP4 Call Management and Proposal Evaluation [NA1]: To facilitate transnational access (see WP2) free-of- charge’ to researchers, WP4 is dedicated to Call Management and Proposal Evaluation. A user-friendly online access system will be developed, building on systems used in previous Eurofleets projects. Submissions will be invited in a minimum of two scheduled Calls for Proposals for three Access Programmes. Evaluations will be conducted in an independent peer review process, with a strong focus on scientific excellence and innovation potential.
WP 5 Stakeholder Engagement [NA2]: The aim of WP5 Stakeholder Engagement is to involve a wide range of stakeholders to inform on the development, operation and strategic direction of the European research fleet. Planned activities and events in WP5 will involve stakeholders from ocean observing systems, research and mapping communities, academia and industry, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, legislators and regulators, policy makers, standards bodies, key marine users, and the general public. The ultimate goal is to assess the dynamic needs and perspectives of stakeholders and user communities to ensure that the relevant marine research infrastructures are coordinated, designed and operated optimally for user’s challenging requirements.
WP6 Training and Education [NA3]: Comprehensive and interesting activities are planned in WP6 Training and Education to: support early stage researcher’s careers and train the next generation of ‘blue professionals’; increase participation of less equipped countries and attract women to science; encourage young people to consider science careers; spread good scientific practices and facilitate exchange of personnel; and attract new users to using the fleet infrastructure. WP6 activities will build on and improve actions launched in previous Eurofleets projects.
WP7 Innovation Management and Exploitation [NA4]: A dedicated work package WP7 Innovation Management and Exploitation will ensure effective innovation management and capture of results with high innovation potential. It involves an Innovation Committee and industry platform, to ensure social and economic impacts.
WP8 Foresight: Legacy and Roadmap [NA5]: For better coordination and optimisation in the future, WP8 Foresight: Legacy and Roadmap is dedicated to consolidating the legacy of the Eurofleets+ project and developing a strategic and coherent vision for the future European Research Fleet.
WP9 Dissemination and Communication [NA6]: There will be wide dissemination of project results and communication of project activities to raise awareness of the central role of Europe ́s fleet of Research Vessels in relation to advancing our knowledge of marine processes and resources and thereby our management of the ocean. This will be achieved through WP9 Dissemination and Communication. Key actions include support to WP1 for the project launch, to raise awareness through a vibrant website, promotional materials, and social media. Support to WPs 2 and 4 to promote Calls for Applications and capture information from funded cruises. Research data collected during the funded cruises, and en route data will be made widely available including through remote access in line with FAIR and Open Research Data principles. This will also be applied to joint research activities (WP3). Data to be protected for later exploitation will not be disseminated, through working closely with the Innovation Committee (WP7). Support for WP5 for engagement of stakeholders and with WP6 for training activities. WP9 activities will continue throughout the project to ensure that decision makers are aware of the need to support a fit-for-purpose Research Vessel capability in Europe, that target end-users can maximise their research opportunities, and that the public will be aware of the importance of the research fleet in marine research and the sustainability of the planet.