The European Commission has officially launched ICOS ERIC, the Integrated Carbon Observation System European Research Infrastructure Consortium. The inauguration ceremony has been held in Brussels on Tuesday 24th November 2015 when Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission Robert-Jan Smits has handed out the official plate to the Finnish Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen and ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch.
Director General Robert-Jan Smits has congratulated Finland and other eight partner countries for successful completion of almost a decade long process from entering in 2006 ESFRI Roadmap to the establishment of the ICOS ERIC.
‘By facilitating long term pan-European carbon and GHG observations ICOS ERIC can provide invaluable knowledge to support the European and global efforts of reaching safe climate change mitigation goals. In the view of the upcoming UN COP21 in Paris, this is a clear signal from the EU about its commitments to the climate targets,’ said Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission Robert-Jan Smits.
Finnish Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen in her speech at the inauguration ceremony in Brussels has also emphasized importance of the timing of the ICOS ERIC establishment in relation to the climate conference in Paris. Minister Grahn-Laasonen pointed out that Finland has a world class knowledge in atmospheric and climate research and added that she’s very pleased that her country will be hosting ICOS ERIC.
ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch thanked the European Commission as well as Finland for their support during the preparatory phase and added: ‘Finland is not only world class in science, it is also world class at organization and management.’ Mr Kutsch has also stated that ICOS ERIC comes as a result of the integrated scientific community effort.
Timo Vesala, ICOS RI’s first interim Director who’s currently coordinating ICOS Finland national network, has also added: ‘I want to say on the behalf of the whole carbon, nitrogen and biochemical cycles community in Europe that we are not only very proud but also extremely happy’ that we made this happen.