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New European research infrastructure to provide key data on the sea and climate change

Brussels, 29 September 2016

The European Commission today granted the legal status of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory (EMSO), a network of observatory nodes installed in European seas providing key data on marine ecosystems, natural hazards and climate change.

With this measure, the EU provides the facility with many administrative advantages enjoyed by international organisations and therefore helps to successfully implement the infrastructure project.

Based in Rome, EMSO has been established by eight countries: France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. It will collect high-resolution data from the ocean surface, water column, seafloor and sub-seafloor, and transmit it to shore via satellites or cable connection in real or near-real time. These measurements are crucial for our understanding of climate change and its impacts, and for improving geo-hazard early warning.

EMSO-ERIC is the 13th European Research Infrastructure Consortium established. The EU has contributed €3.9 million of funding to the preparatory phase of this infrastructure and is providing additional support of €4.3 million to its implementation phase through Horizon 2020, the EU's research funding programme.