Task 8.2: Building Eurofleets legacy

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

Notable networking actions have been undertaken during the eight years of activities funded by the EC with Eurofleets 1 and Eurofleets 2. Those activities led to a huge number of documents, common standards and specifications, databases, reports on a wide range of topics, a fleet wide interoperability assessment, development of interoperable software tools and underwater vehicle payloads to foster co-ordinated and joint development of the Research Vessel fleet. These projects have also supported the creation of a community of operators and fleet users in Europe. As a next step, one way forward might be to set up a fleets permanent coordination platform able to consolidate common initiatives, encouraging knowledge-sharing and the emergence of joint projects, which could accommodate and nurture long-term coordination activities, coordination of fleets for JPI-style initiatives, technical groups for the exchange of best practices and shared developments, establishing a coordinated renewal plan for European fleets by consolidating and optimising national renewal plans as much as possible. Examples include: hosting temporary working groups on topics such as long coring, icebreakers…, and so on.

Such an arrangement would probably function as a larger, more structured support resource for joint and/or multi- member initiatives than ERVO or could be an evolution of ERVO.

The work plan involves three main steps towards i) the identification of a prioritised set of Eurofleets achievements to be maintained and update and ii) the outline of permanent fleets coordination platform:

Step 1 (M1-M16): SWOT analysis of Eurofleets achievements. It will be done by: 1) brainstorming sessions during teleconferences and side events, back to back with relevant European scale meetings (i.e. ERVO, OFEG, OFEG-TECH, IRSO, INMARTECH, Oceanology International), 2) presenting the draft SWOT during the first general assembly and new round of ideas; 3) formulating the final SWOT. The output will provide a prioritised set of Eurofleets achievements worth to be maintained and implemented, as well as best ideas for a better coordination of the European Research Fleets.

Step 2 (M16-M48): Sustainable management of the European Research Fleet.
In this Step 2, we propose the implementation of a permanent fleets coordination platform. Between M16 and M36, preliminary scenarios (thematic, technological, operational, at regional scale …) will be presented to provide an interim evaluation. Taking advantage from the participation of several WP8 beneficiaries as expert of the new EMB working group ‘Next generation European Research Vessels’, Eurofleets+ will ensure an open and constructive dialogue with EMB concerning the European and international research fleets evolution.
Also, in close relationship with the broad community, the final scenario will be finalized for M48. This scenario will include practical considerations and shall support the common use of networking tools and know-how at European level. It will be addressed to maximise the “re-use” of previous Eurofleets projects and ERVO outcomes.