The European Marine Biological Resource Centre Research Infrastructure Consortium (EMBRC-ERIC) is a pan-European, distributed Research Infrastructure (RI) for marine biology and ecology research. It is a global reference RI and a driver in the development of blue biotechnologies by supporting fundamental and applied research activities towards innovaiton in therapeutics, cosmetics, nutrition, aquaculture, and fisheries, among others.
The EMBRC-Norway is one of 9 national nodes of EMBRC-ERIC. It will establish and operate a coordinated, top-level marine experimental research infrastructure representing major marine research environments in Norway. With its services, the collective effort of the EMBRC consortium aims at answering fundamental questions regarding the health of oceanic ecosystems in a changing environment, enable new technologies to further our investigation capabilities, support life-science breakthrough discoveries with the use of marine biological models, and continue long-term marine monitoring efforts.
The Norwegian node of the EMBRC-ERIC integrates seven marine research institutions which will offer access to diverse marine ecosystems and organisms and to a broad range of research facilities, to both the Norwegian and the European scientific community. The focus of the infrastructure upgrades and development is on facilities and equipment that allow experimental studies under controlled or semi-controlled conditions:
(1) A particularly attractive component of EMBRC-Norway is a panel of complementary facilities which permit testing of how different marine organisms respond to changes in biological, physical and chemical parameters under close-to-nature conditions. The upgrade of these facilities will provide the capacity and instrumentation to conduct multiple stressor experiments combining multiple parameters, currently a key challenge for research on ecosystems and environmental changes.
(2) EMBRC-Norway will provide optimized facilities and equipment for basic and applied research on the biology of fish and invertebrates with particular focus on species relevant for aquaculture and fisheries. With such improvements, the EMBRC-Norway infrastructure platform will allow one to address two grand societal challenges; environmental change and sustainable food security. EMBRC-Norway will also become a prominent forum for Norwegian marine researchers and trigger new collaborations with continuous information to the main users, including the public. In line with strategic documents of the Research Council of Norway (Priority Initiatives for 2015) and the European Commission (Horizon 2020 -Societal Challenges) the new research infrastructure will strengthen the power and quality of Norwegian marine research and seed innovation for a knowledge based exploitation and preservation of marine living resources.