EUROFLEETS project launched for improved research fleet coordination in Europe

The EUROFLEETS project has been launched from the 1st September 2009 . This EU FP7 funded 4 year project comprises 24 partners (research institutes, fleet managing structures, SMEs or foundations) from 16 European countries. The project plans to improve the networking of operators and the use of European vessels, underwater vehicles and embarked equipment, the reception of multinational scientific teams on board modern research vessels and common technological development of software and innovating sensors. The project is coordinated by IFREMER of France.

The project workplan consists of the following activities:

1) Networking Activity in which working groups (specification, training and information) will meet to strengthen the coordination within research fleets, focusing on:
• shared strategic vision (future investment)
• eco-responsibility (guidelines of good practices) and environment friendly research vessels
• interoperability and operational progress
• European peer review of cruise projects and harmonization proposals
• training and education
• Dissemination and exploitation.

2) Trans National Access in order to welcome multinational scientific teams on board vessels with performing equipment. These include 5 Ocean large vessels with underwater vehicles and embarked equipment of international class (seismics or long coring), for 66 days, and 13 Regional vessels, carrying out cruises in 6 European eco regions, for 110 days, that will be opened to researchers through European calls. .

3) Joint Research Activity to modernize infrastructure or service regarding innovating software and on board data processing and interoperable sensors to equip European underwater vehicles.

Part of the EUROFLEETS workprogramme includes the development and population of the EUROFLEETS Integrated Information Portal, that will provide up-to-date information on the European research vessels, cruise plans and equipment. Later on this will be extended with functionality to follow operational cruises and to get access to data from the vessels underway and afterwards from the data centres, making use of the SeaDataNet infrastructure.

Clearly there will be a synergy with the POGO International Cruise Information website initiative through sharing of mutually interesting information and adopting common procedures.

For more info: www.eurofleets.eu