The H2020 project JERICO-S3 Launches 1st February 2020

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The series of EU-funded JERICO projects starts a third edition with the launch of the JERICO-S3 project.

JERICO-S3: From 1st February 2020 to 31st January 2024

JERICO-S3 will provide a state-of-the-art, fit-for-purpose and visionary observational Research Infrastructure (RI), expertise and high-quality data on European coastal and shelf seas. The project will support world-class research, high-impact innovation and a window of European excellence worldwide.

It will be structured regionally around 4 Pilot Super Sites (PSS) and 5 Integrated Regional Sites (IRS). Through this innovative structure, JERICO-S3 is targeting a more integrative approach to better observe the coastal ecosystem, raising up the scientific excellence and developing the potential of the different sites, with consideration of the regional and local ecosystems.

The preliminary development of an e-infrastructure (VRE, Virtual Research Environment) will support scientists and users by offering access to dedicated services and help progress on the design of the RI and its strategy for sustainability. Major user-driven improvements will be realised in terms of observing the complexity of coastal seas and continuous observation of the biology, access to facilities, data and services, best practices and performance indicators, innovative monitoring strategies, and cooperation with other European RIs. 

Laurent Delauney is the project Coordinator and Ingrid Puillat is the Scientific Coordinator, both of whom are based in IFREMER, France.

Building a Pan European Sustainable Research Infrastructure: The JERICO-RI

JERICO-S3 follows 2 previous EU funded projects: JERICO-FP7 (2011-2014) and JERICO-NEXT (2015-2019). JERICO stands for Joint European Research Infrastructure of Coastal Observatories. The previous projects have also been coordinated by Ifremer, France. The projects aim at improving collaboration and harmonisation between coastal observatories in Europe. The key objective is to build a pan European sustainable Research Infrastructure: the JERICO-RI.

The JERICO community (39 partners and 17 EU countries today) is working together to provide powerful and structured services to observe and monitor the complex marine coastal seas with an ecosystem approach, offering state of the art capabilities to:

  • Support excellence in marine coastal research and cutting edge innovation in the domain, 
  • Access the research  observation infrastructure for international science collaboration, 
  • Access to high quality marine FAIR data, 
  • Provide expertise and best practices for an integrated multidisciplinary and interoperable system, 
  • Address societal and policy needs in the related domain and foster innovation potential and involving industry.

One of the fundamental characteristics of the JERICO-RI is that, rather than focusing on a single specific scientific question, it addresses a complex host of interrelated scientific issues regarding the marine coastal and shelf dynamics and environment. It will support national policy bodies to apply national environmental policies and EU ones like the MSFD by benefiting of the experience and know-how shared with other nations, specific services to get information, data, practices and expertise from a single shopping point.

 

What next ? 

In parallel to the JERICO-S3 project, a study of “how” to develop the JERICO-RI into a pan-European sustainable Research Infrastructure will be necessary. It aims at developing further the structuration frame and define a full structure that will interconnect the physical systems with the virtual part (as an extension of the pilot e-JERICO). The full design will consider the national strategies and visions to optimise the value of JERICO-RI for nations. The following steps are foreseeable today: 

  • A Design Study (proposal under evaluation – 2020-2023). It will design the place of JERICO-RI as the coastal component of EOOS. Above all JERICO-S3 will make a strong case for the national engagement on a business plan to propose at the end of 2023 a legal entity for an organised RI. 
  • An application to the ESFRI 2021 roadmap (2020-2021, call for proposals on May 5th 2020). A key evaluation at the European level to validate the next potential step:
  • A Preparatory Phase (only hypothetically, 2023-2027), preparing the implementation of the coastal RI in a continuum from land to ocean RIs in coordination with other ESFRI RIs in the marine domain. It would logically be followed by an Implementation Phase if all goes as planned.