Strategic criteria were used to develop the extended MER Consortium: research field; scope; profile; European and global scale coverage; sustainability of the programme; and employability of the MER graduates.
- Other European universities (HI, TITHE, UoAg) are incorporated to provide an enhanced marine European perspective to the MER+ EMJMD programme. Thus, for instance, a Mediterranean axis is promoted from southern Spain to Greece. This axis is complemented by STARESO, a marine station of excellence in teaching and research. Likewise, a Northern axis is promoted including both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea (NIVA, SYKE, HI).
- European research institutions involved both in consultancy for national agencies and research (AZTI, IEO, CEFAS, IFREMER, NIVA) create a European pan-marine network of high standard research facilities, with teams with a long history of cooperation. They have been involved in the most outstanding questions in marine environment protection, conservation and management in Europe: launching and compliance of Directives; major oil spill responses; international conventions; etc. They altogether combine different expertise and scope that cover most of the research aspects included in the MER+ EMJMD programme (multidisciplinarity, transversal research, etc.).
- SINTEF and HRW are research centres linked to industry; this give them a particular added value. They provide MER+ EMJMD students with research traineeships, supervision, and teaching in relation to aspects close to the needs of employers, as well as with Professional Practice Placements (Intership). In particular, they will contribute to reinforce transversal competences and skills, whilst their assistance in QA procedures will be also invaluable. Strategically, there are research and consultancy entities; and their activities lie within the framework of large companies and industries, related to the protection and the management of marine environment and resources.
- Programme-Country Associates provide also a combination of research expertise, scopes, profiles and experience that are consistent with the MER+ EMJMD programme objectives and scope. Most have on-going postgraduate programmes, with contents that complement the MER+ EMJMD programme. They act as antennae to attract students and scholars from different windows of the world and as recipients to host MER+ EMJMD students during their research work. This will provide the students with the opportunity to undertake their research in any ocean of the globe: UC, UABC, CRIOBE and UCE (Pacific Ocean window); NJU and HKU (Southern and Indian Oceans); UFES (Southern Atlantic); (North Western Atlantic) and UNA, UNCC and UJTL (Western Atlantic and the Caribbean).
Details on each MER Consortium Partner are given in the Associated Partners section.