On behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The Natural Environment Research Council (UK) has sent a formal letter of request to the Italian government in the person of the Minister of Education, University and Research, Professor Giannini, for the setting-up of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (EMSO-ERIC). Following Italy (hosting country) and Greece, the UK is the third country to formally commit to the formation of the ERIC.