UK Marine Facilities Advisory Board (External organisation)

Activity: MembershipMembership of board


The UK National Marine Facilities Advisory Board (MFAB) has the task to develop a medium to long-term holistic strategy for future equipment requirements in Marine Science. This will respond to and reflect our community’s needs and to assess current and future funding.

Until 2011, the Natural Environmental Research Council’s (NERC) marine facilities were overseen by the Marine Facilities Review Group (MFRG), with advice on the National Marine Equipment Pool (NMEP) being provided by science requirements identified on small and medium sized enterprises forms and discipline-based User Groups. MFRG reviewed the delivery of cruises over the previous year, and took a forward view of equipment requirements for the delivery of future cruises and additions to the NMEP. While this provided a good mechanism for enhancing the NMEP, the remit of the Group was such that developing a strategic view of future equipment requirements was somewhat piecemeal and of short-term nature.

A medium to longer-term holistic approach to future equipment requirements is vital in an environment of burgeoning demands and erratic Government funding opportunity, especially where funding constraints are likely to become even more challenging in the future. Consequently, the processes of cruise review and strategy development has been separated, the latter activity being developed by the Marine Facilities Advisory Board (MFAB; membership listed below).

The role of MFAB includes:

- Undertaking an audit of marine equipment to establish what is available, what state it is in and how much it has been used in the past 5-10 years. This will not only provide essential information for the current NERC cruise programme, but also help to anticipate the likely requirements for NERC sea-going science delivery in the near to medium future.
- Identifying new and/or emerging capabilities.
- Developing a strategy that prioritises the equipment portfolio with regard to emerging and declining requirements.
- Reporting changes in requirements (actual or predicted) to the NERC Cruise Programme Executive Board to help inform funding decisions.
Period1 Apr 202331 Mar 2026
Held atUK Marine Facilities Advisory Board, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational