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Franco-Norwegian cooperation

The French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) and the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Paris on 4 May. With this Memorandum, Europe's two largest centres of marine research have formalised an already close cooperation and have agreed to expand access to each other's research vessels and facilities.

The Memorandum was signed by President of Ifremer, Jean-Yves Perrot, and IMR's Managing Director, Tore Nepstad, in the presence of Norway's Ambassador to France, Bjørn Skogmo.

Ifremer and IMR are already cooperating through a series of research projects, mostly financed by the European Commission. The aim of the Memorandum is to ensure a long-term cooperation within fisheries, aquaculture and coastal zone research. The two institutions wish to develop unique expertise and knowledge, produce central scientific papers for international publication and collaborate on the financing of new projects.

The agreement also includes the use of research facilities and vessels, particularly advanced submarine vessels and vessels in distant waters.

Facts about Ifremer

A staff of 1380 plus 320 sailors employed by the shipping company Genavir. Five research centres in Boulognes-sur-mer, Brest, Nantes, Toulon and Tahiti as well as 21 research stations on the French coast and in other French regions. 25 research departments and a number of laboratories. Seven vessels, of which five seagoing ships, one manned and one unmanned submarine. A budget of approximately € 150 million. Headquarters in Paris.

Facts about IMR

A staff of about 700, including 100 sailors. Headquarters in Bergen, a department in Tromsø and research stations in Austevoll, Flødevigen and Matre. Owns and operates six seagoing vessels. Laboratories and facilities on five locations in Norway. Budget of approximately € 88 million.