ARNET, a future for science development

The future Aquatic Research Network (ARNET) is a large nationwide multi-institutional network composed by 742 researchers (318 Integrated PhDs) from three multidisciplinary R&D units: MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIMA) and Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA). These three R&D Units have long been collaborating with higher education institutions, other R&D institutions, local and central administrations and other public or private institutions of public interest, contributing to the general objectives of national scientific and technological policy.

Taking advantage of a multi-institutional structure in a large geographic distribution with research facilities across Portugal mainland and Madeira Archipelago, ARNET aspires to become an Associate Laboratory of reference in aquatic sciences in Portugal based on a holistic and integrated approach from river basins to deep sea ecosystems, contributing to strengthened national and European scientific and technological policy instruments, while establishing itself as a leading driver on the role of Science and Innovation for social and economic development and wealth.

ARNET’s strategic plan will support the achievement of the National Scientific and Technological Policy objectives, in particular the response of public policies to scientific, environmental, sanitary, economic and social challenges, making contributions under five (5) Thematic Lines (TL): TL1 - Novel Approaches in Aquatic Exploration and Monitoring, TL 2 - Environmental Sustainability under Global Change, TL3 - Assessment and Management of Environmental Risks, TL4 - Biotech- & Nature based Solutions for Blue Economy, TL5 - Governance, Citizen Science and Ocean Literacy. These five Thematic Lines will contribute to several public policies and are timely aligned and integrated with the National Strategy for the Sea 2021-2030.

Finally, ARNET's strategy for developing scientific and technical careers assumes that there is a need to rejuvenate scientific institutions, attracting more and better researchers, but also on the assumption that science management is a key career area to leverage science development to levels of excellence.