Started january 2008 as a project, Euro-Argo aims at developing a European "infrastructure" for Argo to the level where the European partners have the capacity to procure and deploy about 250 floats per year, to monitor these foats and ensure all the data can be processed and delivered to users (both in real-time and delayed-mode). With a mean float lifetime of 4/5 years, such a European contribution would support approximately 1/4 of the global array and provide an additional 50 floats per year for enhanced coverage ine the European and marginal seas.
The Euro-Argo project involves 25 organisations from 12 countries, including France, Germany and UK who are the 3 major European contributors to Argo. All partners wish to optimise their collective contribution to relevant EU policies, programmes and projects. Since july 2011, Euro-Argo is in a transition phase (see Schedule) before the setting up of the Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in May 2014 . It aims to enhance the collective ability of the European nations to contribute to Argo, and by working together to do so more efficiently in the future. This new infrastructure is beneficial to all partners and enables Europe to build and sustain its "fair" contribution to the global array while providing enhanced coverage in sea areas of particular European interests (e.g. the Nordic Seas, Mediterranean and Black Seas).