ACCESS TO THE INFRASTRUCTURE 2022 CALL

Welcome to the first EMSO ERIC call for physical access to the Regional Facilities.

This 2022 call is a pilot call and is intended to become permanent by renewing the budget every year, enabling this way a continuous use of the facilities by the user community at large for the years to come.

The objective of this call is to offer physical access to EMSO Facilities where users’ devices can be installed, including sensors, instruments, systems, new technologies and where new procedures/experiments can be tested/take place. The set of Regional Facilities offered for access provides the broadest scientific and technological capabilities to future users. At the moment, four Facilities are available and more will be added as the physical access program grows within EMSO ERIC.

This is a unique opportunity for scientists and research engineers to avail of high-quality, interlinked instrumented platforms operating in open ocean for carrying out research and/or testing activities. Regional Facilities’ engineers and scientists can also provide training and codevelopment to users interested in learning specialised techniques/methodologies and developing new products, taking advantage of years of experience gathered in EMSO Facilities’ labs. Tailored data collection by the Facilities’ instruments is another service that may be provided.

The evaluation of project proposals will be performed every two months and the selected ones will be funded.

Funding consists in Facility Access Units (days of usage) and economic support for operations, travel, shipping and consumables. This economic support amounts to 45000 Euro for all projects in 2022 and will be distributed evenly among the four cut-off dates. This 2022 call is expected to fund a minimum of four projects.

All material for responding to the call and requesting access will be made available through this website section: Application Steps, Application Rules, Available Facilities, Letter of Intent, Application Form.

IMPORTANT DATES

Deadline Extension: The 1st Cut-off date has been postponed to May 20th 2022.

The 2022 call is currently open and applications can be submitted until October 31st, 2022. There are 4 cut-off dates in which proposals received before their deadlines will be evaluated and, if positive, given green light for execution in the programmed dates. Please check the selected regional facility special requirements, provided services, availability, costs and operational constraints.

HOW TO PROCEED

  1. Send to EMSO ERIC this Letter of Intent
  2. The chosen Facility manager will get back to you to prepare the application Application form
  3. Send the proposal to EMSO ERIC and wait for evaluation
  4. Sign contract and execute project

Signed application forms should be sent in PDF to physical-access[AT]emso-eu[DOT]org

APPLICATION STEPS

Call opening

The call is open from April 7th to October 31st 2022, proposals can be sent anytime and will be evaluated on four cut-off dates: April 30th, June 30th, August 31st and October 31st. The period of access needs to be discussed with the chosen regional facility. Depending on the nature of the experiment it can be days, weeks or months and can be performed in 2023 in case the host facility’s operational constraints require it. The project starting date and kick-off meeting must be within 6 months of the cut-off deadline it is submitted to. For a clear view of the process, from Letter of Intent to Project Execution, please consult the chart at the bottom of this page. The physical access contact point is available for questions regarding the call. You can send an email to physical-access@emso-eu.org.

Letter of intent

The interested applicant needs to fill out a letter of intent and send it to the EMSO physical access dedicated email. In this letter, the applicant formalises the interest to participate in the EMSO physical access programme and provides a one-page project proposal. EMSO will treat the information in a totally confidential manner and will by no means distribute or publicise the applicant’s ideas and proposals.

Host facility assignment

The managers of the regional facilities selected by the applicant will be contacted by the order of preference provided by the applicant and shown the one-page project proposal. The available facility manager will contact the applicant to prepare the project proposal. If the one-page proposal is seen as unfeasible by the facility managers, the applicant will be contacted and asked to reformulate the proposal.

Joint project proposal

The applicant will fill in the project proposal form once a host facility has been appointed. This will be a more detailed document in which the applicant will expose its know-how, ideas, work plan and budget for the execution of the project. This is the document that will be reviewed and evaluated by the Evaluation Panel.

The host facility manager will help the applicant in order to adjust the experiment to the facility features and also will be the link to the EMSO Physical Access contact point. He or she will intervene in the proposal writing also in terms of adjusting the work plan and the budget, whether it is in Access Units (Regional Facility use time) or in monetary support provided by EMSO ERIC. None of those is unlimited and the applicant will have to take the budgetary constraints into account.

Evaluation

Once a cut-off date is reached, all received project proposals will be sent to an Evaluation Panel. The panel will be formed of 3 experts from EMSO ERIC and will set its own functioning rules to evaluate the proposals, always having in mind the established evaluation criteria to rank the proposals. To avoid conflict of interest, the experts will not belong to any of the facilities participating as hosts in the intermediate call. The evaluation criteria can be found in the project proposal form and in the Access Rules tab.

Waiting List

EMSO physical access coordinator will have the evaluation results one month after the cut-off date. If the evaluation fulfils the thresholds, the project will have the green light to be executed unless other projects being evaluated during the same intermediate call have a higher score and, due to budget constraints, make the lower-rated projects unfundable. If this is the case, projects can enter the next intermediate call without the need to be evaluated again but will need to compete again with the new incoming proposals. Another way to be able to carry out the project in the same call is for the user to provide the funding necessary to complete the available budget.

Contract signature

A three-party written contract or agreement between the “Access Provider“ or host facility, the “End User” or applicant and the “Call Coordinator” or EMSO ERIC will delineate the actions to be undertaken, the resources that will need to be allocated, the length of planned user stays (if any), and the period of use. It will also define the rights and obligations of all the parties involved, including data sharing and eventual provisions for early termination of the conferred access. It will also clearly define the Intellectual Property Rights policy in case the project yields a patent or a commercial product.

Project execution

Once the contract is signed, the project can start following the work plan. The user will be given guidelines on administrative matters, especially those concerning monetary refunds due to travel and consumables costs. The project will be executed taking into account the contract clauses and any deviation from them will need to be reported and, if needed, renegotiated.

ACCESS RULES

Eligibility

Research centres, universities, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies are eligible to benefit from access to EMSO facilities. A single PI, researcher, PhD student or research engineer is also eligible to participate in the programme. There is no restriction regarding the country of origin of the user. This programme tries to foster international partnerships and exchange and therefore international collaboration is taken into account and enforced in the evaluation criteria.

Modality of access

A user or a user group shall be given access to an infrastructure listed in this call to test an instrument, technology or to collect data and samples. There is also the possibility to access an infrastructure for co-developing or training on specific technologies/methodologies.

Modality of Access (MoA) can be of the three following types:

MoA 1 – Remote: the presence of the user or user group is not required

  • MoA 1a  – Access that contemplates the hosting and monitoring of one or more sensors or the exclusive use of one or more of the Facility’s sensors for the experiment.
  • MoA 1b  – Access for training remotely and having virtual access to the lab.

MoA 2 – Partially remote: the presence of the user or user group is required at some stage. The project will be composed of MoA1 and MoA3 Access Units.

MoA 3 – In­person (“hands­on”): the presence of the user or user group is required

  • MoA 3a  – Access for hosting and monitoring of one or more sensors or the exclusive use of one or more of the Facility’s sensors for the experiment. The user is present at the Facility’s lab/site/cruise.
  • MoA 3b  – Access for training on-site with a host expert. It does not include sensor hosting.

Access Units

The Access Units (AU) needed to execute the project are defined as units of access to the Regional Facility.

The Modality of Access MoA 3a defined above is taken as 1 AU. The other modalities are multipliers of that depending on the workload they represent, which can vary among Facilities. Access Units will be used internally within EMSO and will give an idea of the effort provided by the Regional Facility throughout the call. They will also be used to provide the applicant an idea of the availability of the Host Facility.

Under the ‘Facility Description’ tab, every available Regional Facility displays the Modality of Access it can provide to potential users. The Regional Facility provides these AU for free (in-kind) to the users. Information on the available free AU can also be found in the ‘Facility Description’ tab.

In the event that the user needs more AU than those provided for free by the Regional Facility, the user will have to fund the additional AU needed to run the project.

Funding

EMSO ERIC will provide financial support for the current 2022 call.

In particular, financial support can be provided through the following mechanisms:

  • Access Units
  • Direct funding

Access Units:

The facilities will contribute to the current call through Access Units (AU). The quantity of AU includes preparatory work, installation, operation of the instruments, and uninstalling. If the access entails training or co-development, AU will also be provided. When the access is shared by several user groups, the units will be shared accordingly for the period of joint operation/training. For practical and logistical reasons, the final decision remains with the Facility as to whether multiple access users can be facilitated at the same time. The amount of Access Units available and their monetary equivalent will be provided to the applicant before the elaboration of the Project Proposal and after sending the Letter of Intent.

Direct Funding:

Aside from Access Units, EMSO ERIC will provide direct funding to cover expenses related to the following costs categories:

  • Operations
  • Hardware adaptations
  • Shipping of equipment necessary to carry out the experiment
  • Consumables such as batteries, sensor calibrations, communications or others.

The maximum amount of the funding per project proposal is up to 8.000 EUR. There is also a budget for travel of members of the user team or host facility personnel that can reach 3.000 EUR per project. Therefore, a project cannot exceed 11.000 EUR of direct funding.

The total direct funding available for 2022 is 45.000 EUR, which will be distributed evenly among the four cut-off dates. The unused funding of a cut-off date will be distributed evenly among the remaining 2022 cut-off dates. This way EMSO ERIC makes sure to have available funds throughout the year to fund incoming project proposals.

Each Regional Facility can host projects for a maximum amount of direct funding equal to  11.000 EUR for 2022.

If the proposal’s budget exceeds the Facility’s capacity in terms of direct funding, either because the single proposal needs more than 11.000 EUR or because the Facility hosted other projects with funding support in 2022, the user shall cover the costs of its project or adapt the project’s budget to the available funds.

The user will be informed in advance of the Regional Facility availability in terms of direct funding and Access Units after sending the Letter of Intent and before preparing the Project proposal.

Evaluation criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate the proposals. Thresholds need to be achieved for four of the five criteria and a minimum threshold of 30 points is needed for the total score.

Evaluation Criteria (& maximum number of pages) Max score Threshold
Scientific and technical objectives (Potential interest for the EMSO community, Originality and innovation, European relevance) – 2 pages 10 7
Quality of the methodology and implementation: clarity, adequacy in relation to set objectives, work plan, adequacy with the infrastructure (incl. e.g. prior scientific, technical or logistical arrangements, risk table) – 3 pages 10 7
Scientific/technical excellence of user group – 2 pages 10 7
International collaboration. 4 points if the user is from a different country than that of the access provider. 3 points if the user group is multinational (i.e. members working in entities from two or more countries). 7 3
Bonus points. Links or potential for seeding links with European Industry (for Research Institutions) or Innovation and potential new products or patents (for SMEs and Industries)  – 1 page 8
Total score 45 ­30

Prioritisation of successful proposals with equal score

A successful proposal is a proposal that is evaluated by the Evaluation Panel and which fulfils all the thresholds. EMSO ERIC is interested in the execution of all successful proposals and mechanisms are foreseen in case there is no funding available for all of them at the same time.

Evaluation of received proposals will start after the cut-off date. One month is the expected time needed to evaluate all proposals. If two successful proposals require funding -whether in Access Units or economic support for operations, shipping, consumables or travel- and the funding only can cover one of them, the one with the highest score will be granted. If the score of the proposals is equal, priority will be given in the following order: research centres and universities, then SMEs and lastly large companies. If this criterion is not sufficient to select between two equal score proposals, applicants from countries where no similar infrastructures are available will be prioritised.

However, being rejected with a successful proposal does not mean the project will not take place. EMSO ERIC will talk to the applicant in order to find a way to execute the project; maybe on some other dates -by joining the Waiting List- or giving the chance to the user to provide the missing funds to execute the project.

If users do not require any funding from EMSO to carry out the project, neither in monetary support nor Access Units, access will be granted, provided that the Evaluation Panel scores fulfil the minimum thresholds and that the Facility has available Access Units.

Intellectual Property Rights

If the project is entirely or partially funded by EMSO ERIC, the data and know-how derived from it will be made available to the public through journal publications, specialised congress presentations and the EMSO ERIC data portal. If a patent or commercial product is to be obtained, the intellectual property rights (IPR) will be negotiated at the time of signing the access contract.

If the project is entirely funded by the user, the user will keep the IPR and all knowledge derived from the project. EMSO ERIC will have the right to publicise the project main features through its website and social media channels.

Contract

The contract will involve the “Access Provider“ or host Facility, the “End User” or applicant and the “Call Coordinator” or EMSO ERIC. It will define the relationship among the three parties involved and will need to be signed before the project is executed. It will be written tailored to each project and will define the rights and obligations of each party. Clauses will be written regarding infrastructure use, insurances, access documentation, safety, performance, force majeure project cancellation, intellectual property and other topics.

FACILITIES DESCRIPTION

The EMSO Facilities offered for physical access provide a unique opportunity for scientists and engineers to avail of high‐quality, interlinked instrumented infrastructures operating in coastal and/or open-ocean observatories for carrying out research and/or testing activities.

Interested users can request access to EMSO infrastructures and installations. They will be provided with technical assistance and ancillary data that may be necessary to their work. Visitors and projects will be selected on the basis of the scientific and technical quality and novelty of the proposed activities. The capability to transfer the research performed in the project to the industry will also be valued.

The map below shows the four Facilities providing access in this 2022 Call. Each Facility has its particular features as they are operated by different institutions and their goals are diverse. Therefore it is advisable for the potential user to read the Facility information prior to sending the Letter of Intent. If specific technical information is needed to better identify the Facility that best suits the applicant needs, the contacts provided for each Facility will gladly advise the potential user.

1.Hellenic Arc

Access Provider: Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece

Location: 36°84′ N, 21°61′ E; 1670m water depth

The station is located in the South East Ionian Sea, offshore Pylos (Peloponnese), Greece

Intermediate Call Participation: June 30th, August 31st and October 31st

Operational constraints: None

Costs and Funding: EMSO provides 100% funding of Access Units and up to 8000€ for Operations and Consumables, aside from up to 3000€ for travel

Available Daily Access to Facility  Access Units
MoA1a: Remote Access with Sensor Hosting 0,50AU
MoA1b: Remote training 0,39AU
MoA3a: In Person Access at Lab or Cruise with Sensor Hosting 1,00AU
MoA3b: In Person Access at Lab or Cruise for training 0,83AU

Website address: http://www.poseidon.hcmr.gr

Contact: George PETIHAKIS (gpetihakis@hcmr.gr)

Description of the infrastructure

The Pylos observatory has been operating since May 2007 in the SE Ionian Sea at a depth of 1670m. The observatory includes a water column component, an autonomous seabed platform and a cabled observatory. The site location is on the pathway of the Aegean Sea dense water that travels to the north along the western Greek coast, while it is also located in a very geologically active area with lots of earthquakes and landslides as well as a potential source for Tsunamis that may affect the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The water column component consists of a surface Wavescan type buoy equipped with sensors for meteorological, waves and surface oceanographic parameters as well as a suite of CTD sensors attached on the inductive mooring line down to 1000 m depth. All sensors provide real time hydrological observations of this key-area where the Cretan Intermediate and Deep Waters (CIW, CDW) spread northwards towards the Adriatic and meet with the Eastern Mediterranean Deep Waters (EMDW). The seabed component consists of an autonomous platform equipped with a high accuracy and sampling frequency pressure sensor for tsunami detection as part of an early warning system. The platform is also equipped with a CTD probe and dissolved oxygen sensor, offering at the same time near-floor deep observations in the Eastern Mediterranean sea. The cabled platform extends the measurements for the Pylos observatory, providing real time measurements at a depth of approximately 1800 meters with instruments measuring conductivity, temperature, pressure, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, currents (upward looking 500 meters), tsunami monitoring system, pH, CO2 partial pressure, passive acoustics, magnetic data, seismic data and gravity data.

Hosting components

  • Surface buoy
  • Mooring line
  • Cabled observatory
  • Additional stand-alone moorings
  • Autonomous platform

Measured variables

  • Atmosphere: Air temperature, air pressure, wind speed/direction
  • Ocean-Air interface: Wave height/direction, temperature, salinity, pressure, currents (1m)
  • Water column:
    • Salinity, temperature, pressure, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, turbidity (20m, 50m, 75m, 100m)
    • Salinity, temperature, pressure (250m, 400m, 600m, 1000m)

Other capabilities and services

  • Data and sensor inter-comparison tests and validation missions.
  • Conductivity and Temperature calibration lab

Support offered

Logistical, technological and scientific support for all components.

2. Expandable Seaflor Observatoy (OBSEA)

Access Provider: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain

Location: 41°10′ N, 1°45′ E; 20m water depth

In front of Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain

Intermediate Call Participation: April 30th, June 30th, August 31st and October 31st

Operational constraints: None

Costs and Funding: EMSO provides 100% funding of Access Units up to 40 AU and up to 8000€ for Operations and Consumables, aside from up to 3000€ for travel

Available Daily Access to Facility  Access Units
MoA1a: Remote Access with Sensor Hosting 1,00AU
MoA1b: Remote training 1,00AU
MoA3a: In Person Access at Lab or Cruise with Sensor Hosting 1,00AU
MoA3b: In Person Access at Lab or Cruise for training 1,00AU

Website address: https://obsea.es/

Contact: Joaquin del Rio (joaquin.del.rio@upc.edu)

Description of the infrastructure:

OBSEA is a cabled seafloor observatory located in front of Vilanova i la Geltru coast in a fishing protected area. A 5km of electro-optical cable and a telephony network wireless link are connecting the observatory to the land station providing energy and communications. The main objective of this site located at Western Mediterranean is to be a test bed for the development of oceanographic instrumentation while being a shallow-water observatory providing real time data and database with historical values.

 Hosting components:

  • Land station
  • Surface buoy
  • Coastal cabled Seafloor station

Measured variables

  • Atmosphere:
    • Land station: Air temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction and rain.
    • Sea station buoy: Air temperature and pressure, wind speed and direction. Additional measures are platform GPS position, orientation and attitude
  • Water column: Acoustic wave and current Doppler profiler (0-20m)
  • Seafloor: Temperature, salinity, depth, sound, seafloor acceleration, video (20m)

Other capabilities and services

  • Support for real time communication with your deployment
  • Devices can be deployed at 20m depth or at the surface buoy
  • Our team can develop custom instruments drivers
  • Custom LabVIEW applications and PHP for web generation
  • Acoustic modems for underwater wireless communications
  • Hyperbaric test facilities
  • Special cables development to connect specific instrumentation
  • Data curation (acquisition, validation, storage)
  • Training
  • Inter-comparison tests

Support offered

Logistical, technological and scientific support for all components; including boat and divers.

3. Southern Adriatic (E2M3A)

Access Provider: National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS), Istituto di Scienze Polari (ISP CNR), Italy

Location: 41°31′ N, 18°04′ E, 1185m water depth

The station is located in the South Adriatic Sea

Intermediate Call Participation: August 31st and October 31st

Operational constraints: None

Costs and Funding: EMSO provides 100% funding of Access Units and up to 8000€ for Operations and Consumables, aside from up to 3000€ for travel

Available Daily Access to Facility  Access Units
MoA1a: Remote Access with Sensor Hosting 0,64AU
MoA1b: Remote training 0,75AU
MoA3a: In Person Access at Lab or Cruise with Sensor Hosting 1,00AU
MoA3b: In Person Access at Lab or Cruise for training 1,00AU

Website address: http://nettuno.ogs.trieste.it/e2-m3a/

Contact: Vanessa Cardin (vcardin@inogs.it)

Description of the infrastructure:        

The EMSO Regional Facility for the South Adriatic Sea includes two sites, namely the South Adriatic Pit observatory (E2M3A) and the Shelf-slope observatory site (BB and FF) located in the Western part of the basin. The E2M3A site is a two mooring system where the main one hosts the surface buoy instrumented with meteorological station and radiometers to collect air-sea interaction measurements, sensors for physical (temperature and salinity) and biochemical (oxygen, partial CO2 and pH) parameters distributed in the mixed layer, telemetry and services. The surface buoy collects the acquired data and transmits them in real time to the on-line server. The secondary mooring line houses an instrumental chain with sensors at different depths for physical and chemical measurements from the seafloor to the intermediate layer. Each of the BB and FF moorings consists of a single mooring of about 100 m that measures physical and geochemical parameters and have the role of intercepting the passage of North Adriatic Dense Water (NAdDW), which forms during the winter between Trieste and Ancona, as it sinks.

Hosting components:

  • Surface Buoy
  • 3 mooring lines
  • Additional stand-alone moorings

Measured variables

  • Atmosphere: Wind speed and direction, relative humidity, air temperature, sea temperature, atmospheric pressure, solar radiation
  • Ocean-Air interface: Temperature, salinity, oxygen, pCO2, pH, fluorescence (2m, 15m)
  • Water column: Temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence,  currents, sediment trap
  • Seafloor: Sediment trap

Other capabilities and services

  • Data curation (acquisition, validation, storage)
  • Training
  • Inter-comparison tests

Support offered

Logistical, technological and scientific support for all components

4. Western Mediterranean (W1M3A)

Access Provider: National Research Council (CNR), Italy

Location: 43.826 N, 9.111 W, 1200m water depth

The station is located in Western Mediterranean Sea

Intermediate Call Participation: August 31st and October 31st

Operational constraints: Access to observatory 3 to 6 times per year

Costs and Funding: EMSO provides 100% funding of Access Units and up to 8000€ for Operations and Consumables, aside from up to 3000€ for travel

Available Daily Access to Facility  Access Units
MoA1a: Remote Access with Sensor Hosting 0,75AU
MoA1b: Remote training 0,67AU
MoA3a: In Person Access at Lab or Cruise with Sensor Hosting 1,00AU
MoA3b: In Person Access at Lab or Cruise for training 1,00AU

Website address: www.w1m3a.cnr.it

Contact: Roberto Bozzano (roberto.bozzano@cnr.it)

Description of the infrastructure:

The infrastructure is a single multidisciplinary observatory mooring located in the Western Mediterranean sea with real-time and delayed mode capability. The W1M3A observing system is composed of a large spare buoy and a sub-surface mooring. The spar buoy was specifically designed for air-sea interaction studies and the collection of meteorological data even in rough seas. Stability is the basic feature of this type of buoy with respect to the other more classical approaches based on discus-shaped buoys. The buoy is a stable measuring platform since its total mass, the unity buoyancy at the sea level, and presence of a damping disk allow for negligible sensitivity of the waves. The overall structure is 51-meter-long with a dry-weight of about 12 tons. The observatory is permanently moored on the seabed through a 2000 m long slack polypropylene mooring cable terminated by ship chains and an anchor. The buoy spans a watch circle of 3 km of diameter to sustain ocean currents, winds, and waves. The pole emerges about 15 meters above sea level, whereas the remaining 36 meters remain submerged. On the upper mast, the meteorological instruments are installed. At about 7 meter above the mean sea level, a small closed space hosts the electronic systems for data collection. Along the underwater pole, at several depths, instruments are deployed. All electronic systems and most sensors are powered by a wind/solar system that recharges two separate batteries. Acquired data are stored on-board but a subset of the data is transmitted ashore through a satellite link. The sub-surface mooring is a standard oceanographic mooring composed of pieces of Kevlar rope with floats kept in position by a ballast on the sea bottom which can be detached using a pair of acoustic releasers. Along the mooring line, which reaches 1000m depth, several CTDs are deployed at different depths.

Hosting components

  • Surface buoy
  • Mooring line

Measured variables

  • Atmosphere:
    • Atmospheric pressure (8m asl)
    • Horizontal wind speed, gust wind speed, wind direction relative to true North, air temperature in dry bulb, relative humidity, total incoming radiation, hourly precipitation rate, longwave incoming radiation (10m asl).
  • Ocean-Air interface: Sea surface temperature (0m)
  • Water column:
    • Sea temperature, electrical conductivity, practical salinity (different depths)
    • Turbidity, pCO2, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a fluorescence (6m)
    • Underwater sound

Other capabilities and services

  • New installed equipment control and data available in near-real-time ashore.
  • Near-real-time data visualization and download available from website
  • Inter-comparison tests
  • Water sample analysis

Support offered

Logistical, technological and scientific support for all components.

Electronic lab and workshop labs available to adapt parts.