Implementation of EMSO is based on evolution of existing systems by connecting previously autonomous systems, and providing power and long-term real-time data capability, integrating in the wider system of mobile and re-locatable seafloor lander platforms. Development of seafloor observatories with multi-disciplinary capability (geophysical, including seismological, oceanographic and environmental) has been pioneered under the EC GEOSTAR project.
Recent major technical advances have been made in the EC projects: ASSEM and ORION-GEOSTAR-3 (a deep-sea geophysical, oceanographic and environmental network). Experience in underwater cable connection by submersibles and ROVs has been gained in the deployment of the ANTARES and NEMO neutrino arrays. Establishing the network of seafloor observatories requires a fulfilment of a critical mass at European level overcoming national fragmentation.
The EMSO development is based on synergic collaboration between the academic community and industry for the development of technology, both presently working within the European Seas Observatory Network of Excellence (ESONET). This synergy allows each partner to increase its own know-how, to improve marine technology and set strategies to be competitive with countries such as USA and Japan.