Task 8.1: Feasibility study toward a long-term TA system of Research Vessels

Task 8.1: Feasibility study toward a long-term TA system of Research Vessels
Task 8.2: Building Eurofleets legacy
Task 8.3: Eurofleets+ roadmap and guidelines

Eurofleets TA experiences have proven to be an efficient mechanism to strengthen collaboration through multidisciplinary groups of users with complementary skills and expertise and to allow access, on basis of scientific excellence, to maritime resources for countries that do not have appropriate infrastructures or marine equipment, such as deep-water systems, long coring equipment, etc. Considering such a critical mass of resources and expertise consolidated during the Eurofleets projects, the task will focus on the best way to set up mechanisms for a long- term sustainable TA system of research vessels. The work plan involves three main steps towards i) the identification of a sustainable legal environment and funding model and ii) the promotion of a strategic roadmap:

Step 1 (M1-M16): SWOT analysis of the legal frameworks supported by EU policies. It will be done by: 1) desk study of possible legal entities, 2) brainstorming sessions during teleconferences and side events, held back to back with relevant European wide meeting (i.e. ERVO, OFEG, IRSO); 3) presenting the draft SWOT during the first general assembly and generating a new round of ideas; 4) formulating the final SWOT. The output will provide a prioritised set of legal frameworks whose feasibility will be investigated in the following step.

Step 2 (M16-M36): Feasibility assessment and business plan. The study will identify a model of management and funding mechanisms, sustainable streams to establish, operate and grow a pan-European TA system beyond the project life-time. To this aim, meetings back-to-back with WP5 workshops, possible on-line consultation, interviews and tailored communication initiatives will foster a general dialogue with suitable political (Government Research Ministries and Associated Countries, EU representatives of Directorate General, Service Department and Executive Agency – CLIMA, ENV, ERCEA, JRC, MARE and RTD), European and International Funding Agencies and industrial subjects/channels to create interest and capture commitment. Between M26 and M28, a preliminary business plan will be presented to external experts to provide an interim evaluation. Based on that and in close relation with the level of input received from the broad community, the business plan will be finalized.

Step 3 (M32-M48): TA pilot groups: opening to spare vessel capacity. Pilot groups, at both pan-European and Regional dimensions or for thematic area, based on the spare vessel capacity will be identified to be the test-bed for the developed operational and funding model with the goal of stepping forward the ERA key priorities and supporting “scientific super idea/excellence science”. Based on trustful relationship with ERVO, this activity could be developed within the ERVO “regional focus” workshop.