Water Research Infrastructure Network


The Aquatic Research Network (ARNET) combines expertise in biologic and environmental sciences, allowing approaching scientifically and technologically all types of aquatic systems, in a context of global and regional changes and cumulative anthropogenic pressures, applying ecosystem- and methodologicallyoriented approaches. ARNET’s vision is thus to be an Associate Laboratory of reference in aquatic sciences 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 mission is to enable Science-policy-action exchanges, providing the best available scientific knowledge based in aquatic ecosystems for policy and management decisions with respect to blue and green growth.

Project Main Goals:

ARNET aims at increasing the excellence, impact, and applicability of the scientific production and outcomes related to marine and freshwater research, strengthening national and international cooperation and partnerships (researchers, academic, administration and private companies) to increase success in obtaining competitive funding, to promote scientific jobs, provide training for high and qualified scientists and to leverage its role as a key-institution in aquatic and environmental affairs. ARNET is thus oriented towards the pursuit of the five (5) objectives of the National Scientific and Technological Policy1 subordinated to five (5) thematic areas of the Research and Innovation Agenda, namely: 1. Agrifood, Forests and Biodiversity; 2. Climate Change; 3. Circular Economy; 4. Space and Earth Observation; and 5. Sea.

Conceptually, five types of timely challenges were identified as core subjects for ARNET intervention: scientific, environmental, sanitary (environmental health), economic and social. For each, a specific objective, with the ability to support and monitor public policies, has been established: 1 - Support the development of scientific and technological approaches towards the sustainable use of marine, freshwater, estuaries and freshwater marine ecosystems; 2 - Advance the knowledge on the functioning of marine estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems, addressing changes threatening ecological resilience and environmental sustainability; 3 - Promoting good ecological and healthy status of seas and oceans, estuaries and river basins; 4  -  Explore biotechnology and nature-based solutions to encourage better stewardship of aquatic resources; 5 - Promote participatory governance models and stimulate the emergence of an Ocean literate society.

ARNET will also support the national scientific and technological policy through two (2) additional cross-cut specific objectives: 6 - Drive international cooperation to advanced education and training resulting in a new generation of scientists and professionals prepared for the Blue Economy, 7- Build upon an international identity strategy based on dissemination, mobilization, funding and networking.


Universidade de Coimbra (UC)

Instituto Politecnico de Leiria (IPLeiria)

Universidade do Minho (UM)

Universidade de Evora (UE)

Agência Regional para o Desenvolvimento da Investigação Tecnologica e Inovação - (ARDITI)

Universidade Nova de Lisboa


(NOVA.ID.FCT) - Associação para a Inovação e Desenvolvimento da FCT

FCiências.ID - Associação para a inovação e Desenvolvimento de Ciências