The European countries are distributed above very complex and dynamic geological systems on the planet. Understanding these systems is essential to the long-term security of livelihoods and economic power of Europeans. Many of the solutions to the greatest challenges in the geosciences have been led by European scientists – the understanding of stratigraphy (the timing and distribution of layers of sediment on Earth) and the discovery of the concept of plate tectonics being among the most significant. Our ability to monitor the Earth is rapidly evolving through development of new sensor technologies, both above and below-ground and from outer space; we are able to deliver this data with increasing rapidity, integrate it, provide solutions to geological understanding and provide essential information for decision makers. Earth science monitoring systems distributed across Europe and the globe are measuring the physico-chemical characteristics of the planet under different geological regimes. EPOS brings together 24 European nations combining data and models from national Earth science facilities with the scientific expertise into one integrated delivery system for the solid Earth. This infrastructure will allow the Earth sciences to advance our understanding of the planet; it will enable us to prepare for geo-hazards and to responsibly manage the subsurface for infrastructure development, waste storage and the use of Earth’s resources. With a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to be located in Rome (Italy), EPOS will provide an opportunity for Europe to maintain world-leading European Earth sciences and will represent a model for pan-European federated research infrastructure.
Milestones in the EPOS cooperation with Slovenia
2010: EPOS PP project started and ZRC SAZU became associate partner within the project;
March 2011: EPOS was listed on the Slovenian roadmap of research infrastructures 2011‒2020;
October 23th, 2013: Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sports signed the Letter of Intent for Slovenia‘ cooperation in EPOS consortium.
2016: EPOS was listed as priority research infrastructure project (environmental sciences).
September 18, 2015: ZRC SAZU becomes a member of the EPOS IP project (48 months) [Horizon 2020 – Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020), Grant Agreement No. 676564, INFRADEV-3-2015 – Individual implementation and operation of ESFRI projects].
May 4th, 2016: the national consortium EPOS-SI (at the level of Slovenia) was established;
September 28th, 2017: the Slovenian Government signed the resolution, that Republic of Slovenia participates in the EPOS-IP (EPOS-European Research Infrastructure Consortium) as full partner and authorizes the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sports to make all necessary procedures to become member of EPOS-ERIC and for its realization (no. 51102-8/2017/3).
October the 30th 2018, the European Commission granted the legal status of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to EPOS. The ERIC legal framework provides EPOS with legal personality and capacity recognised in all EU Member States and with the flexibility to adapt to the specific requirements of each infrastructure. Slovenia is one of the countries in establishment of EPOS-ERIC starting to 1st November 2018.