Research Infrastructures (RIs) play a key role on many of the last advances and discoveries in science, from the observation of the Higgs Boson at CERN to the exploration of the Universe by the telescopes of the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The scale of complexity, instrumentation, computing resources, technological advances, and also of the investments and the research collaborations required, do not have precedents in science. RIs in environmental field are developing fast, but the corresponding communities still need to embrace them in order to wide collaborations, since the challenges to tackle are in essence of global nature.

COOP+ (Cooperation of Research Infrastructures to address global challenges in the environmental field) is an Horizon 2020 project (CSA, Project Number 654131) whose general goal is to strengthen the links and coordination of the European RIs related to Marine Science (EMSO), Arctic and Atmospheric Research (EISCAT), Carbon Observation (ICOS) and Biodiversity (LifeWatch) with international counterparts (NEON, TERN, AMISR/SRI, CGSM, OOI, INPA/LBA, IMOS, OCN, AMERIFLUX, etc.) and to leverage international scientific cooperation and data exchange with non-EU countries.



Conference on the Research Infrastructures and the Paris Agreement on climate

posted in: Events, Uncategorized | 0


The Paris Agreement on Climate sets the international objective to keep climate warming well below two degrees, and « to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible … and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science…to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century ». This herculean challenge will require to transform current research infrastructures to monitor progress towards this goal. 

Key policy-relevant challenges posed to current research infrastructure to monitor the effectiveness of policy decisions from the Paris Agreement on Climate are 1) the quantification of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions using atmospheric observations and models, 2) provide robust observations of changes in carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions over the oceans, and from natural and cultivated systems, 3) provide science-based evidence on the resilience of marine and terrestrial ecosystems to climate change and adaptation strategies, the latter including not greenhouse gas balance related functions but also other ecoystem services, such as biodiversity and water conservation.

Addressing these global challenges will require international collaboration between research infrastructures in different regions, efficient data sharing and cooperation mechanisms. The conference organized by COOP+ in Belgium (20-21 November 2018) will gather relevant research infrastructures in Europe and other countries, research and policy communities to identify gaps and needs for research infrastructures to deliver the best available science in support of the Paris Agreement on Climate.


Dates: 20-21 November 2018

Venue: German Marine Research Consortium
Boulevard St. Michel 80 (Brussels, Belgium)

Download the flyer (pdf) flyer_coop+_first_circular

Deadline for abstract submission: 14 September 2018

Programme (coming soon)


COOP+ Workshop on marine global challenges (INVEMAR. Colombia. 7-9 Nov 2017)

posted in: Uncategorized | 1


This meeting has been organised as part of the COOP+ project and it examined how environmental Global Challenges can be better understood and tackled by improving how Research Infrastructures collaborate and cooperate together and with research groups on a global scale. The main objective was to create a discussion space where scientists and RI operators can exchange ideas about the problems, challenges and possible solutions to address environmental Global Challenges. Furthermore, the workshop served as a starting point to outline and draft a policy-oriented document which will contain the main recommendations derived from the discussion around enabling and promoting international cooperation among Research Infrastructures. This initiative was also a good opportunity to prepare some manuscripts that would be submitted to a monograph in a high impact journal (ERL. Find here more information)

Marine global challenges to be discussed

The workshop concentrated on several marine global challenges:

  • Coral bleaching
  • Plastic debris
  • Arctic sea ice melting
  • Threats to marine biodiversity
  • Biogeochemical cycles in the Ocean.
  • Restoring and managing World’s estuaries.

Where and when?

The workshop took place on the 7-9th of November 2017 in Santa Marta (Colombia). The organizing partner for this event was be INVEMAR, a reference centre for marine research in the Caribbean area. INVEMAR is charged with conducting basic and applied research on the natural renewable resources and the environment of coastal and oceanic ecosystems. Besides, INVEMAR is also a Research Infrastructure that manages the Marine Environment Information System.

Introduction to the workshop



Main outcomes

The main outcomes achieved during this fruitful meeting were organised around the following three topics



  • A document on the current needs and status from the point of view of Research Infrastructures on the knowledge and actions regarding identified “Marine Global Challenges”. This document will serve as input for a policy-oriented document on the outcomes of the workshop, providing a overview of the challenges and opportunities identified and suggestions of what is required going forward on a policy level. After some group activities and discussions we produced a draft document that is being elaborated in the post-meeting phase.


  • Stirring collaborations among Research Infrastructures and Research Infrastructure-like institutions at the international level (e.g. pilot projects proposals). During this session we had the opportunity to learn about two funding frameworks that could be useful to foster the cooperation among international RIs:
    • AORA oveview, by Diarmuid O’Conchubhair
    • ALCUE-NET by Marcela Sánchez.

After the presentations we come out with two proposals (one about plastic debris in the Caribean and another one about coral bleaching) that are being discussed in the post-meeting phase. These two initiatives could be the seed for seldom funded projects.


This workshop was a success for COOP+ since we discussed on several important topics in a very fruitful environment provided by our colleagues in INVEMAR. After the two days meeting we enjoyed a wonderful field trip in Tairona protected area.



Preliminary agenda

Day 1

  • Session 1:Welcome by local authorities, introductions and overview of the workshop targets and technicalities.
  • Session 2: Review of the Marine Global Challenges described by COOP+ project members (pico-presentations). World cafe to review gaps and main aspects of each Global Challenge.
  • Session 3: Research Infrastructures’ quick overview: capabilities and perspectives regarding the Global Challenges and Research Infrastructures cooperation.
  • Session 4: Parallel sessions to work on each Global Challenge description (review of the template, status of the writing process, challenge within the challenge). All relevant materials regarding Global Challenges descriptions will be distributed among participants prior to the workshop.

Day 2

  • Session 1: Parallel sessions to work on each Global Challenge description (continuation from previous session).
  • Session 2: Planning for pilot project: discussion on how to prepare a pilot project to implement part of the topics discussed during the challenge description.
  • Session 3: Policy-oriented document: development of table, report and recommendations to derive.
  • Session 4: Tour around INVEMAR facilities.

Day 3

  • Wrap-up session, conclusions and closing.
  • Tentative fieldtrip.





Call for papers: Focus Collection on “Environmental Research Infrastructures: new scientific capabilities to address global challenges?”

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

This Focus Collection (special issue), with guest-coeditors Francisco Bonet-García (LifeWatch, LTER), Hank Loescher (NEON), Philippe Ciais (ICOS), Tina Dohna (Marum), Dario Papale (ICOS), Michael Mirtl (LTER) and others to be defined, is oriented to environmental global challenges and research infrastructures.

In this Focus Collection, global environmental challenges and the emergent scientific and technological capabilities of environmental research infrastructures will be highlighted. Our aim is to describe how the science provided by international research infrastructures is helping to address some of the most significant environmental global challenges which humanity currently faces. We are looking for cooperative and interdisciplinary contributions that put together ideas from ecology, biogeochemistry, Earth science or social sciences to describe the role of research infrastructures addressing global challenges. We aim to promote the knowledge transfer among domains (consilience), helping to permeate the borders of scientific disciplines. Focal areas of interest for this collection include, but are not limited to, challenges such as: coral bleaching, plastic debris in the oceans, alterations of biogeochemical cycles, impacts on biodiversity, geohazards and extreme events, emergent pollutants, human impact on coastal areas or global urbanization process.

The selected journal for this Focus Collection is Environmental Research Letters (I.F. 2016: 4.04). More details about the call can be found in the journal website.


The review process will be done through ERL review and follow the general guidelines as all publications of this journal.

Types of manuscripts

For this Focus Collection, all ERL types or articles will be considered. Please read carefully ERL key information before submission.


Submissions will be accepted until 15 April 2018. ERL will publish this focus collection incrementally, adding new articles to this webpage as and when they are accepted for publication following peer review. Therefore, if you submit early in the period your article will not be held up waiting for the final article.

Potential paper topics

In order to explore environmental global challenges and research infrastructures’ role in them, we encourage contributions addressing the following issues:

  • Are research infrastructures ready to address global environmental challenges?

New monitoring approaches, techniques to foster data integration, new threads to collaborate, guidelines for the construction of new research infrastructures, etc.

  • Cooperation on the move

Descriptions of successful examples of cooperation among international research infrastructures. We call here for research in multidomain research on specific aspects of global challenges involving international research infrastructures.

We look forward to your contributions!