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EMSO Project

April 2008
September 2020
Web Site:
The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) is a large scale, distributed, marine Research Infrastructure (RI) of fixed-point observatories serving marine science researchers, marine technology engineers, policy makers, and the public. EMSO consists of ocean observation systems for sustained monitoring of environmental processes end their interactions. The variables address natural hazards, climate change, and marine ecosystems. EMSO observatory nodes have been deployed at key sites around Europe, from the Arctic to the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, to the Black Sea. At present it focusses on the open ocean beyond the continental shelf but strongly collaborates and complements shallow-water initiatives. Since 29th September 2016, EMSO is an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) An ERIC is the legal framework specifically created for pan-European large-scale research infrastructures. This specific legal form is designed to facilitate the Member States to jointly establish and operate research infrastructures of European interest. Research infrastructures play an increasingly important role in the advancement of knowledge and technology. They are a key instrument in bringing together a wide diversity of stakeholders to look for solutions to many of the problems society is facing today. RIs offer unique research services to users from different countries, attract and retain young people in science, and help to shape scientific communities. RIs help to create a new research environment in which all researchers - whether working in the context of their home institutions or in national or multinational scientific initiatives - have shared access to unique or distributed scientific facilities (including data, instruments, computing, and communications), regardless of their type and location in the world. The term ‘research infrastructure’, as used by the European Commission, refers to facilities, resources and related services used by the scientific community to conduct top-level research in their respective fields, ranging from ocean sciences to astronomy, genomics to social sciences. RIs may be ‘single-sited’ (a single resource at a single location), ‘distributed’ (a system of distributed resources, such as EMSO), or ‘virtual’ (the resource is electronic where informatics and services are provided through the web).

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