EMBRC-IT was established on 4 June 2016 as a Joint Research Unit (JRU). It includes the SZN as lead partner, hosting the national node office, the National Research Council (CNR, with its daughter institutes IAS, IRBIM and ISMAR), the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS), and the National Inter-University Consortium for Marine Sciences (CoNISMa), the latter representing 32 Italian universities with marine biological and ecological departments.
EMBRC-IT provides access to a wide array of unique ecosystems such as the volcanic CO2 vents in the Gulf of Naples, which constitute natural experimental sites for ocean acidification studies, the lagoon systems of Venice and Lesina, and the salt marshes in Sicily and Sardinia, to name but a few. Access to those ecosystems is integrated with a complete set of modern technological platforms, such as an advanced centre for molecular biology, bioinformatics and microscopy at various partners, and the Aqua Alta experimental tower in the North Adriatic Sea. All partners provide access to model organisms for experimentation or data collection.