French-German cooperation extended

The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the Institut Franais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER (Ifremer) will be extending their contractual collaboration for another five years. On this occasion, the official ceremony in Paris on June 28 will be attended by the French Minister of Research.

For almost a decade, both institutes have had extensive collaborations, concentrating, over the past years, on deep sea research, remotely operated underwater vehicles, and on marine technology. A new virtual institute will be consolidating the existing expertise in this field and will advance it further.

French-German collaboration
The cooperation between the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Institut Franais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER (Ifremer) was sealed in 2001 through the 'Memorandum of Understanding' (MoU). This document identifies key areas of the collaboration and stipulates annual meetings at the directorial level. On June 28, 2006, the memorandum will be renewed in Paris in the presence of the French Minister of Research.

The need for a more efficient joint usage of large scale equipment in marine fundamental research represented an important driving force for the mutual efforts towards the agreement. Operation of Ifremer's remotely operated underwater vehicle 'Victor 6000' from the flagship of the Alfred Wegener Institute, the research icebreaker Polarstern, opened new research opportunities also for scientists from other European countries. Hence, AWI and Ifremer provided access to their infrastructure for European cooperative projects during several large expeditions. The institutional partnership has been consolidated further through financial contributions of the Alfred Wegener Institute, contractually committed towards a new working group for the innovation of instruments and sensors for 'Victor 6000'. Meanwhile, the underwater vehicles and tools of the collaboration par

Contact: Dr. Angelika Dummermuth
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

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