The European Commission has officially established the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS ERIC), a new pan-European environmental research infrastructure which aims to provide long-term carbon and greenhouse gas observations across the Europe. The ICOS ERIC has been established with eight founding members: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Finland, which is the ICOS ERIC hosting country, as well as Switzerland which currently has an observer country status. The ICOS ERIC is the 12th European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ICOS RI) that has been established since August 2009 when ERIC legal framework was provided. The ICOS RI has successfully completed almost a decade long process from entering the European Commission ESFRI Roadmap to establishment of the ICOS ERIC.
Commenting on the importance of the ICOS ERIC establishment Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, Robert-Jan Smits has said: “By facilitating long-term pan-European carbon and greenhouse gas observations, the European ICOS Research Infrastructure will provide invaluable knowledge to support the European and global efforts of reaching safe climate change mitigation goals. It is therefore excellent news that ICOS has been allocated the status of ERIC. The timing for this is perfect, just before the UN COP21 in Paris, which is yet another clear message from the EU about its commitment to the climate targets.”
The ICOS ERIC inauguration will be held in Brussels on Tuesday 24th November 2015 when Robert-Jan Smits will hand out the official plate to the Finnish Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen and ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch in the presence of the hosting country delegation.
The Netherlands delivers three greenhouse gas monitoring sites to the ICOS-RI network, each with more than a decade of existing high-precision greenhouse gas measurements. These are the Cabauw atmospheric observatory near IJsselstein, the Lutjewad tower in Groningen, and the Loobos ecological site on the Veluwe. In addition, the Netherlands contributes to the Carbon Portal with unique know-how on eScience and numerical modeling.
Secretary of state Mr Sander Dekker signed the ERIC agreement for the Netherlands, while a consortium of ten Dutch Universities and institutional partners will deliver the Dutch contribution, called ICOS-NL. ICOS-NL is financially supported by the ministry of OC&W and NWO.