On the 11th of January 2007, the Conference of Presidents resolved to back what was known as the Map of Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS in Spanish) as a tool for the long-term planning and development of these infrastructures in a co-ordinated fashion between the central government and the Autonomous Regions.
The Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy 2013-2020 and the State Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation Plan 2013-2016 envisage up-dating the ICTS Map as a priority action and they tasked the Scientific, Technological and Innovation Policy Committee (CPCTI) to approve this up-date, within the framework of section d), article 8.2 of the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, Act 14/2011, 1st of June. The CPCTI was set up on the 18th of September 2012 to act as the general co-ordination body for scientific and technical research in Spain, comprised of representatives from the central government and the Autonomous Regions. The CPCTI approved the Map of Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS) on the 7th of October 2014.
The up-dated map places PLOCAN and SOCIB in the thematic area of “Sea, life and earth sciences” and makes reference to the Network of Marine Infrastructures (RIM in Spanish). The main objective of the Network of Marine Infrastructures is to drive the exchange and development of methodologies and tools in the area of knowledge shared by the different marine infrastructures and other R+D+i stakeholders.
The two infrastructures that have joined the Network of Marine Infrastructures; the Canary Island Oceanic Platform (PLOCAN) and the Balearic Island Coastal Observation System (SOCIB); will share a common strategy, developing co-ordination initiatives of common interest. They will also drive co-ordination with other Spanish entities and bodies that engage in activities in their field of action, in areas such as the storage and management of data acquired by the different observation platforms.
As a consequence of the CPCTI agreement of the 7th of October 2014, which includes the new ICTS map in its Appendix I, and Appendix II establishes the rules and guidelines applicable to the ICTSs of the Map and of the distributed networks and infrastructures that wish to form part of it, a convention was been signed to create a Network of Marine Infrastructures (RIM in Spanish) and to establish its operating regulations in accordance with the guidelines set out in the aforementioned convention.
The convention establishes that the two RIM infrastructures (PLOCAN and SOCIB) will share a strategy in areas of common interest, developing co-ordination and co-operation initiatives in its implementation. They will also drive co-ordination with other Spanish entities and bodies that engage in activities in their field of action.
The RIM will facilitate nation-wide integral policies that use the different sources of resources available in the most efficient manner possible and will offer better opportunities to compete in the international context within its field.