The objective of the FMRI Programme is to ensure that the UK is equipped with a research infrastructure that upholds the multi-dimensional elements of scientific excellence including: quality, impact and societal relevance as well as our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. This begins by seeking to understand the requirements of the scientific community.

The future research infrastructure should enable UK’s marine science aspirations and ambitions, recognizing the relevance of marine science to society. It is important to articulate science requirements clearly, thereby enabling priorities, interdependencies, synergies, trade-offs and consequences to be considered in context given the financial and carbon emissions envelope for FMRI. Such an approach will also enable the articulation of priorities for greater ambition if new funding and partnership opportunities arise. 

Knowledge of the oceans is more than a matter of curiosity. Our very survival may hinge upon it.

President John F Kennedy, March 1961. Message to Congress.


This process is not starting from scratch. The Science Requirements Framework (SRF) will build on the significant work undertaken for the Net Zero Oceanographic Capability scoping study; particularly WP1: Future Science needs, which included an in-depth analysis of UK marine science activities. Other strategic documents and plans nationally and internationally will also be leveraged to shape a concise, forward looking SRF.  

The scope of FMRI incorporates both sustained, experimental and discovery/exploratory capability and will consider how to optimally combine observations (e.g. in situ measurements with satellite remote sensing), prediction systems and digital tools.  To develop a requirements framework, FMRI will need to consider national requirements arising from societal needs, UK policy and international commitments such as major conventions. FMRI can draw upon authoritative international guidance when considering the UK research interests and capabilities.  


The development of the SRF is being led by the FMRI Lead Scientist with the support of the Science Advisory Group. The aim is to have a draft FMRI Scientific Requirements Framework available for comment by the UK Marine Science community by the end of 2024, so that options for investment can be considered against that framework during 2025. This will enable the articulation of priorities with consideration of interdependencies and trade-offs in order to provide actionable recommendations to the FMRI Board in the context of science applications and impact. 

Opportunities to Engage

We will be running a webinar introducing the Science Requirements Framework on Friday 8th March. Register Now

We will then be hosting a series of national roadshows in April/May that will provide opportunities to contribute. Registration will open following the webinar.

There will also be an opportunity to engage as part of the Challenger Conference in September.

Roadshow Dates

  • Edinburgh, 30th April 2024
  • Liverpool, 2nd May 2024
  • Exeter, 9th May 2024
  • London, June 2024

Come back soon for registration details.