The governance of the Project is defined in such a way as to enable the various public and private bodies involved to participate adequately in the decision making processes. Precise responsibilities are defined at each phase of the decision making process, so as to identify a responsible leader for each sub-project who is able to interface with all the participants.
The governance of the Project is open to all the participants, via two complementary structures:
a participants' assembly (AP), which includes representatives of the research bodies regulated by the MIUR (CNR, OGS, SZN and INGV), the Technological Districts (Liguria, Sicily and Friuli Venezia Giulia) and the University Consortia (CONISMA and CINFAI);
an Executive Committee (CE) composed of leaders of the sub-projects, the head of the Project Management Office (PMO) and a representative from CNR designated by its board of governors (Consiglio di Amministrazione) who is independent of the CNR structures involved in the Project. In case not all the participants are represented on the level of sub-project leader, the presence on the CE of an expert from each MIUR-regulated research body, an expert representing the other organisations, one representing the University Consortia is in any case guaranteed. These representatives are appointed by the Project Director in agreement with the heads of the organisations. The Director and Vice-Director of the Project sit on both the AP and CE.
The head of the PMO participates in the work of the AP, with responsibility for liaising with the CE.
The AP has the task of assisting the Project Director in setting the annual objectives with reference to the national context and potential synergies with European partners, in the interest of the national marine scientific community as a whole. It also assists the Project Director in monitoring the overall progress of the Project. In addition, the AP is responsible for providing an interface with the MIUR for organising the process of external assessment of the Project in terms of the progress of the activities and the quality of the results.
The CE has the task of setting out the activities and coordinating the work, optimising the connections between Work Packages within the same sub-project or belonging to different sub-projects, optimising the operational phases, the scientific exploitation of the data acquired, their use for other purposes and technological transfer. The heads of the individual sub-projects are responsible for the progress of their activities and can be assisted in terms of coordination by a board composed of the heads of the WPs (3 to 6 per sub-project), to which an expert in the field can be added on an ad hoc basis if considered useful by the head of the sub-project.
The AP meets every six months while the other governance structures usually meet on a more frequent basis. The management of problems that may arise in the course of the Project and are not resolved by the PMO is delegated to the CE. If necessary an extraordinary meeting of the AP will be called, with decisions put to a vote.