EU network of mesocosms facilities for research on marine and freshwater ecosystems open for global collaboration.

Task 2.4

Task 2.1 Review of AQUACOSM science focus and services
Task 2.2 Science strategy
Task 2.3 Strategy towards sustainability: Innovation
Task 2.4 Strategy toward sustainability: Economics and Governance
Task 2.5 Strategy for the future

Strategy toward sustainability: Economics and Governance

Lead: AU

Through this task AQUACOSM will establish links with national and regional funding agencies (e.g. JPI Ocean), which provide financial support, are part of the AQUACOSM scientific agenda, to ensure that they know the potential added value of their support through agencies are well aware of the capital investments required for mesocosm facilities, in the medium to long term, operational and recurring costs can be significant. This task will make an assessment of both the capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) costs for the AQUACOSM infrastructure. In terms of a legal framework for the longterm implementation of AQUACOSM, an assessment will be conducted for the most commonly used legal forms (ESFRI, ERIC, AISBL) and a recommendation made as to which is the most suitable special purpose vehicle or legal entity for the RI. Finally, a comprehensive cost benefit and value analysis will be undertaken for AQUACOSM, outlining both the direct costs and benefits, but also the non-quantifiable costs and benefits associated with mesocosm facilities. The measurable impact on interested communities of users will be an inherent part of this analysis. Successes recorded through the WP6 (Transnational Access) will be used as a critical input factor in the cost benefit analysis. This will lead to the definition of a strategy for sustainability of AQUACOSM-RI as a European Research Infrastructure. Different models and options for the sustainability of AQUACOSM-RI through, for example alliances with other environment RI projects or services such as RI (e.g. Jerico-Next, upcoming H2020 marine biological station project) ESFRI (DANUBIUS-RI, SIOS, AnaEE, EMBRC, LIFEWATCH, ICOS) infrastructures, and the integration into existing legal entities will be investigated. A particular attention will be given to the progress realised in the H2020-ENVRI-plus project in term of integration of European RI. The outcome of this task will be presented in deliverable D2.4.