Cooperative research with the European Commission and European scientists

In October of 2001 the European Commission and the National Science Foundation signed an Implementing Arrangement to foster cooperative activities in the area of environmental research between European Union and US Scientists. This activity is under the framework of the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the United States of America, entered into force in 1998. The EC-NSF agreement was established to give particular attention to research on climate change, marine science and technology, seismic risk and hazards reduction, Arctic processes, and environmental biology. Since the agreement was signed, there have been annual meetings between the EC (Directorate-General for Research: Environment Directorate) and the NSF (Division of Ocean Sciences) to identify areas of common interest and to discuss ways to facilitate collaborative efforts. Most recently, these meetings were included in the Joint Consultative Meetings between the EC and the US Government.

The NSF Division of Ocean Sciences is active in these meetings and has helped develop specific research directions as well as facilitate effective cooperation between the funding agencies and between scientists on both sides of the Atlantic. The Division supports US researchers in collaborative efforts either through submissions to targeted announcements or by providing support for proposals with collaborative efforts submitted to our regular target dates. Targeted announcements include planning for cooperative research activities and parallel calls for proposals on the ecology and oceanography of harmful algal blooms (see The EU-US Scientific Initiative on Harmful Algal Blooms, A Report from a Workshop Jointly Funded by the European Commission – Environment and Sustainable Development Programme and the U.S. National Science Foundation 5-8 September 2002 – Trieste, Italy).

More recently EC-NSF discussions have focused on climate change, ocean acidification, and marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic (see the following series of reports available using International GLOBEC’s website.

In FY2010 and beyond we are anticipating supporting U.S. scientists engaged in collaborative environmental research with European scientists via European Commission Programs, particularly in the areas of climate effects on ocean ecosystem dynamics, carbon and geochemical cycles, ocean acidification. There may be opportunities and resources for targeted announcements in these areas (e.g., to link specifically with EC calls for proposals in their Framework Program), but we also expect that many of the successful collaborations will develop as investigator-initiated proposals submitted to our regular 15 August and February target dates.

We will periodically update this web page to provide current links to European Commission announcements and planning documents, and we will issue timely “Dear Colleague” letters to inform interested U.S. investigators about EC announcement of opportunity with suggestions about how to time submissions to the Program to align with EC review and funding schedules. Some projects may be supported as joint efforts with the Chemical Oceanography and Physical Oceanography Program within the Division of Ocean Sciences.

We also encourage cooperation with European colleagues in proposals responding to other NSF opportunities such as: Emerging Topics in Biogeochemistry (ETBC), MultiScale Modeling (MSM),
or Environment, Society and the Economy (ESE), all of which may be appropriate avenues for funding collaborative projects.

Links providing useful background information for the European Commission, Directorate-General for Research / Environment Programme:

Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) / Cooperation with US Scientists / EPOCA / CARBOOCEAN / EUROCEANS / European Commission Marine environment research projects

National Science Foundation, 11 June 2009. Web site.

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