EMBRC-NO is running! | EMBRC

EMBRC-NO is running!

2019.11.15

EMBRC-NO is running!

The Norwegian node – EMBRC-NO – of the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC) started officially on 4 September Bergen.

The Norwegian node – EMBRC-NO – of the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC) officially started on 4 September Bergen.

30 representatives from seven partner organisations across the country gathered together to present their facilities and to discuss practical issues related to running of research infrastructures. 

The establishment of EMBRC-NO is well in line with the new action plan for research infrastructures, which the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences recently adopted. The marine director of UiB, Amund Måge highlighted in his opening speech the importance of research infrastructures, and the opportunities they give, both for visitors and our own researchers. 

Professor Arild Folkvord from the Department of Biological Sciences coordinates EMBRC-NO: “The work is well in progress: the facilities are close to operational, except for pending upgrade for expanded capacity. At the moment, the main challenges are the consolidation of administrative routines and personnel. Instead of having a full-time project manager, EMBRC-NO is currently run by several staff members at the Department of Biological Sciences, Economy division as well as the Division of Research and Innovation. This is clearly not an optimal situation.” 

 

The world of research infrastructures

Executive director Nicolas Pade from EMBRC headquarters in Paris described the world of research infrastructures. Research infrastructures can be single-site or distributed, virtual or mobile facilities, often with rare or unique research facilities, specialist equipment, instruments, and expertise. Research infrastructures are long-term investments: the life expectancy is at least 25 years. 

EMBRC is distributed across nine countries and 30 sites. Its geographical coverage goes from Arctic to tropical ecosystems and from coastal to oceanic environments. Norway accommodates the northernmost research infrastructures, University of Tromsø and Nofima in Tromsø.

Nicolas Pade shared also his experiences from the French node, EMBRC-FR, which has been operational since 2015. The structure of EMBRC-FR is rather simple, only four sites operated by Sorbonne University and CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique). Behind of the success of the French node are dedicated staff and the fact that the sites have a long tradition of receiving visitors. EMBRC-FR has also brought both new positions, funding, and projects.

Expensive investments

EMBRC-NO is funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN), and it has a budget of XX mill NOK for 2018-2022. RCN’s funding scheme for research infrastructures builds relevant and up-to-date infrastructures and enables internationally leading research and innovation in areas that are important to society. Up-to-date facilities also increase the attractiveness of Norwegian research environments and enhance their competitive ability. 

Special advisor Christine Daae Olseng from RCN described the expectations of the funding agency. She emphasised the importance of having a plan for long-term operation of the research infrastructures. Furthermore, all national research infrastructure must be made available to all relevant users.

In the coming months, the partners of EMBRC-NO – University of Bergen (coordinator), Institute of Marine ResearchNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyUniversity of OsloNorwegian Institute for Water ResearchUniversity of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway and Nofima – will work on upgrades of the facilities and establishment of the access platforms

Follow the developments of EMBRC-NO on Twitter @EMBRC_NO

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