The 'Readiness of ICOS for Necessities of Integrated Global Observations’, RINGO project has published its final project report. The report reflects the impact of the RINGO project on the development of the ICOS research infrastructure and describes the main results achieved. With its 43 partners in 19 countries, RINGO boosted ICOS research infrastructure’s scientific, geographical, technological, data, as well as political and administrative readiness.
RINGO project (2017–2020) was funded through the European Commission’s call on ‘Development and long-term sustainability of new pan-European research infrastructures’ to provide Europe with a comprehensive landscape of sustainable research infrastructures that would help to respond to challenges in science, industry and society. The project was coordinated by the ICOS European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).
RINGO contributed significantly to the overall readiness and the long-term sustainability of ICOS. During the RINGO project, ICOS’ implementation or so called ‘Readiness Level’, a reference grid established by the European Commission to reflect the European research infrastructures’ stages of development along their lifecycles, matured from the Readiness Level 4 to the Level 5.
The project impacted strongly in the Copernicus Monitoring and Verification Support (MVS) and the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). RINGO contributed to the development of ICOS’ capacity for fast-tracking ICOS knowledge transfer (e.g. the study on the 2018 drought), and contributed to ICOS’ readiness for European Union’s Green Deal goals that support the development of urban greenhouse gas (GHG) observatories.
RINGO provided a valuable approach for the five-year evaluation of ICOS, done by an external Evaluation Committee, suggesting that key performance indicators and key impact indicators have to be aligned with each other and with the overall strategy of ICOS. As a result, a set of 36 key performance indicators (KPIs) were established and evaluated during the process. In general, the Evaluation Committee found that ICOS has completed its implementation phase very successfully, with a well-established governance as well as operational and financial management processes.
ICOS provides data and knowledge on GHG budgets and their perturbations. Its core activities are long-term observations in the atmosphere, within ecosystems and on the oceans. These observations are required for understanding the present state and for predicting the future behaviour of the global carbon cycle and GHG fluxes.