Today marks the first anniversary of the inauguration of the ICOS ERIC. The ICOS Research Infrastructure was granted with European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC*) status by the European Commission on 23rd November 2015.
During the first year of its operation, ICOS ERIC has contributed to numerous high-level events addressing the collaborative and comprehensive science supporting the mitigation of and adaption to climate change. Shortly after the ERIC launch at the European Commission in Brussels in November 2015, ICOS took part in the UN COP21 meeting in Paris, where the Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted. A year later, ICOS participated also in COP22 in Marrakesh by presenting at the UNFCCC Earth Information Day and co-coordinating the Arctic Day side event in the COP22 Nordic Pavilion.
The Paris Agreement entered into force in early November 2016, becoming the first universally and legally binding global climate agreement, with the role of science described as a base of all climate action. This was impressively shown when ICOS ERIC was hosting a successful international science conference on greenhouse gases and biogeochemical cycles. Over 250 scientists and exhibitors from all over the world attended the 2nd ICOS Science Conference held in Helsinki in September 2016.
Earlier in the year, ICOS ERIC reached an important milestone, as it was recognized as a Landmark by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), a strategic instrument of the European Union to develop the scientific integration of Europe and to strengthen its international leadership. Being a Landmark has also opened possibilities to be further supported in the Horizon 2020 programme by the European Commission and fostered the role of ICOS in being a leading player in the cooperation of Environmental Research Infrastructures for common solutions and interoperability.
Since November 2015, ICOS internal management structure has been finalized by signing the Central Facilities Agreements, the networks are becoming operational by labelling the stations and ICOS data life cycle is well developed. So ICOS ERIC is kicking off the second operational year with enthusiasm, says ICOS ERIC Director General Werner Kutsch. “It is exciting to see that we have made so much impact in a year when we mostly concentrated on finalizing our operations. Reaching both goals is a great success that fills me with gratitude to the ICOS community. I am sure that this great community will keep the momentum during the next years.”
* The Community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) entered into force in 2009. This specific framework is designed to facilitate the joint establishment and operation of research infrastructures of European interest. The legal entity of the ICOS ERIC is being managed by the ICOS ERIC Head Office, which is coordinating the ICOS Research Infrastructure (ICOS RI) on the European level. ICOS ERIC Head Office is based in Helsinki, Finland. Find further information on the European Research Infrastructure Consortia here.