The European Commission today granted the legal status of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), a research infrastructure that will provide a better understanding of the physical processes controlling earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, tectonic movements and other such geo-hazards with potentially grave impact on the environment and the welfare of citizens.
With this measure, the EU provides the facility with a stable legal structure that brings also administrative advantages enjoyed by international organisations, thus contributing to the long-term sustainability of EPOS.
Based in Italy, EPOS was established by nine countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Greece, Iceland and Switzerland will initially participate as observers. By linking up hundreds of individual research infrastructures located in the European countries, it will provide open access to a large pool of integrated data, data products and facilities for researchers.
The project received €4.5 million of EU funding to support the preparatory phase of EPOS from FP7, the EU’s research programme between 2007 and 2013. Under Horizon 2020, the EU’s current research and innovation programme, it has received €18.4 million to support its implementation by 2019.
EPOS ERIC is the 20th European Research Infrastructure Consortium established and is the fifth ERIC in the environment sciences area after Euro-Argo ERIC (a European infrastructure examining the role of oceans in the global climate system), EMSO ERIC (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory), ICOS ERIC (Integrated Carbon Observation System) and LifeWatch ERIC (e-Science and Technology European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research).
30 October 2018