The Fixed Marine Observatory Network (FixO3) aims to integrate Europe’s fixed marine observatories and improve access to these key facilities for the wider community. This will provide multidisciplinary observations in all parts of the oceans from the air-sea interface to the deep seabed. Coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, UK, FixO3 will build on the significant progress made by the FP7 EuroSITES, ESONET and CARBOOCEAN programmes. With a budget of 8.4 million euros over 4 years (from September 2013) the proposal has 29 partners from academia, research institutions and SMEs. In addition, 14 international experts from a wide range of disciplines make up an Advisory Board. The programme will be achieved by:
1. Coordination activities to integrate and harmonise existing technological, procedural and e-infrastructure processes. Strong links with a broad community in academia, industry, policy and the general public will be fostered through outreach, knowledge sharing and training activities.
2. Support actions to provide a) access to observatory infrastructures for those who currently do not have such access and b) free and open access to data services and products.
3. Joint research activities to innovate and improve the current capacity for multidisciplinary and in situ ocean observation.
Observation of the open ocean is now a priority for European marine and maritime activities as stated in the recent 2010 EurOCEAN Conference declaration and at international level in the OceanObs09 Conference declaration. The proposed programme will provide important data on environmental products and services to address the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and support the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy.
The FixO3 network will provide free and open access to fixed on-site data of the highest quality. It will provide a strong integrated framework of open ocean facilities in the Atlantic, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and across the Mediterranean, enabling an integrated, regional and multidisciplinary approach to understanding natural and anthropogenic changes in the ocean.