2008. The preparatory phase project (EMSO-PP, a 4-year project running till 2012) starts with the goal of creating the EMSO Research Infrastructure, supported by the EC Seventh Framework Program (FP7) and the ESFRI Roadmap. The main goal of EMSO-PP was to establish the legal and governance framework for the infrastructure serving scientists and other stakeholders within and outside Europe for long-term deep and shallow water observation and investigation

February 2010. On the 25th and 26th of February 2010 the first Funding Agencies Representatives meeting of EMSO takes place in Strasbourg at the European Science Foundation premises. The meeting is an important occasion to illustrate the progress of the scientific community towards the realization of the EMSO research infrastructure.

August 2012. The Italian Ministry for Education and Research sends an official letter to all the funding agencies of EMSO-PP partners stating the willingness of Italy to host the Statutory Seat of the EMSO-ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium).

September 2012.Following this manifestation, in September 2012, Italy invites all the involved funding agencies to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) where the Countries will express their (legally non-binding) commitment to create EMSO-ERIC. Italy is the first signatory of this document. 

On September the 28th 2012, the Natural Environmental Research Council, the EMSO funding agency for the United Kingdom, signs the Memorandum of Understanding for EMSO.

October 2012. During the first half of October 2012, two additional Countries sign the Memorandum of Understanding: Ireland (represented by the Irish Marine Institute) and The Netherlands (through NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). Therefore, by this time, four countries (Italy, UK, Ireland and The Netherlands) have joined the process. 

November 2012. Three more countries sign the Memorandum of Understanding: Portugal, Greece and Romania. In total 7 countries have signed the MoU.

February 2013. Following the signatures of France, Germany and Spain, as of February 2013, 10 countries have signed the Memorandum of Understanding: Italy, UK, Portugal, Romania, Greece, The Netherlands, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain.

19 December 2013. The EMSO consortium submitted to the European Commission the Step 1 application for the creation of an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). This is a fundamental step towards the establishment of a European legal entity that will manage the operation of ocean observing systems at European Scale.

22 April 2014. The European Commission issues the response to the Step 1 application for the establishment of the EMSO ERIC. The overall feedback is positive and the EMSO partnership proceeds with implementing the EC recommendations. 

29 September 2016. The European Commission grants the legal status of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory. With this measure, the EU provides the facility with many administrative advantages enjoyed by international organizations and therefore helps to successfully implement the infrastructure project


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