Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Marine Scientists Gather to Discuss Integration of Research Fleets

16th April 2013
Marine Scientists Gather to Discuss Integration of Research Fleets

#MarineScience - Gathering more than 60 marine scientists and research fleets operators from all European eco-regions, the kick-off meeting of the European project EUROFLEETS2 was held in Brest, France from 19-21 March last at the invitation of the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) and the French Polar Institute Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV).

Thirty-one research organisations, research fleet managers, universities, and industrialists from 20 EU members states or associated countries participate in the EUROFLEETS2 project, whose main objective is the integration of research fleets currently managed at national level.

This project amplifies the effort initiated since 2009 with EUROFLEETS, which ends in August this year. Again co-ordinated by Ifremer, EUROFLEETS2 has a strong operational component. The project receives significant funding from the European Commission (€9 million of a total budget of approximately € 10.8 million) over four years.

“This provides a fantastic opportunity for Irish researchers to access a wide variety of vessel and equipment across Europe,” said Aodhan Fitzgerald of the Marine Institute’s Ocean Science Services Team. “The Marine Institute is proud and pleased to offer ship time on the national research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager as part of this project.”

EUROFLEETS2 is organised into three complementary activities – trans-national access; joint technological research; and networking - promoting information sharing, identification of new collaborative frameworks, development of common software tools and also testing innovative integration schemes.

Trans-national access offers the opportunity, fully funded by EUROFLEETS2, to international scientific groups to access research vessels on the basis of scientific excellence of the cruise proposals. After seven European calls for ship-time organised within targeted maritime regions, these scientific groups will embark on eight global/ocean and 14 regional European research vessels distributed all over European and world seas and oceans.

Two new initiatives are also planned in EUROFLEETS2: the first aims to attract scientific leaders and/or non traditional end users to make proposals for a flagship project involving several vessels (‘super-integration’ call for ship-time), while the second makes available an original set of five underwater vehicles or scientific embarked equipment.

Joint research, through dedicated actions, contributes to more modern infrastructures and enriched information services. Three key activities are considered: the definition of regional research vessels guidelines and generic designs, the development of innovative functionalities for underwater systems, and the implementation of data acquisition systems in standardised formats, contributing to a higher interoperability between research vessels.

Networking activity will consist in working groups for a better co-ordination of European research fleets. It will aim to establish a common strategic vision including polar research fleets, experiment new integration schemes like the virtual fleets and strengthen links with industry. Floating universities will complement the actions already undertaken for the training of young European scientists.

The long-term objective of EUROFLEETS2 is to prepare the insertion of a group of innovative and inter-operable regional research vessels in the ESFRI(European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures) roadmap.

Calls are now open for fully-funded ship time in polar and subpolar regions as well as for expressions of interest in super-integration.

For the former, EUROFLEETS2 can provide 200 fully funded days of ship time and 104 fully funded days of marine equipment to carry out ship-based research activities within any field of marine sciences. The application deadline is 24 May 2013.

As for the latter, the call seeks a cross-cutting proposal that needs to mobilise a combination of EUROFLEETS research vessels together with other appropriate scientific tools like national research vessels, research planes or onshore infrastructures with their own EU or national funding. All EUROFLEETS research vessels and equipment are available for this call. The expression of interest is not binding but desirable.

The deadline for applications is 15 May 2013. Logistically accepted pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal from 14 June till 16 September 2013.

For more information and eligibility criteria visit www.eurofleets.eu.

Published in Marine Science
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating