Research vessels in collaboration

Last changed: 04 July 2024

Collaboration is the key to successful marine research and environmental monitoring. SLU participates in numerous alliances and networks – both nationally and internationally. We promote cooperation, drive joint technological development, and advocate for the strategic utilization of the research fleet.

Our national och international collaborations

  • SON – Ship Operators Network
  • SWERVE - Swedish Research Vessel Infrastructure for Marine Research
  • AQUARIUS – transnational access to RI
  • IRSO – international Research Ship Operators
  • ERVO – European Research Vessel Operators

SON - Ship Operators Network

The ship unit at SLU coordinates the SON (Ship Operators Network), a consortium with six other owners and users of Swedish research and survey vessels: the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, the University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University, Umeå University, the Swedish Geological Survey (SGU), and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).

By sharing expertise, resources, and equipment, the network enhances the utilization of the Swedish research fleet.

SON is a collaboration between the following Swedish research vessels:


The consortium collaborates on issues such as management, procurement, legal matters, personnel, and training. Through the exchange of technicians and equipment loans between vessels, the network builds competence and technical expertise. The consortium also promotes joint development projects and has jointly secured funding from the Swedish Research Council for the Swerve project - Swedish Research Vessel Infrastructure for Marine Research.



SWERVE - Swedish Research Vessel Infrastructure for Marine Research

SLU is one of the participants in the SWERVE infrastructure project, a collaboration focused on Swedish vessel and data infrastructures aimed at enhancing the conditions for Swedish vessel-based marine research and increasing opportunities for researchers to utilize Swedish research vessels.

The SWERVE infrastructure is delivered through a partnership of 7 organisations: Stockholm University, Swedish Geological Survey, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå University, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, the University of Gothenburg, and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Together, these organisations provide access to six advanced research vessels (Svea, Electra, Ocean Surveyor, Svea, KBV181, Oden and Skagerak respectively) and data management infrastructure and support through the National Oceanographic Data Centre

Swerve has received infrastructure funding from the Swedish Research Council. The grant amounts to 14.5 million SEK over three years. The project is co-financed by the participants, resulting in a total project grant of 29 million SEK for SWERVE.

The grant will cover the cost of vessel time for Swedish research, support the training and competence development of technical personnel on board to enable technical expertise support, support the collection of important ocean data in a standardized manner, and ensure the delivery and availability of these data to the international research community.

The call for applications for ship time through Swerve will be announced in the fall of 2014 for ship-based research to be conducted in 2025. 

The University of Gothenburg is the host organisation for SWERVE and oversees the management and delivery of the infrastructure.

AQUARIUS - transnational access to research infrastructure

SLU and R/V Svea are among 45 European organizations involved in AQUARIUS, an infrastructure program aimed at providing access to a comprehensive and diverse suite of integrated research infrastructures.

Aquarius logo

AQUARIUS combines an impressive range of 57 research infrastructure services including research vessels, mobile marine observation platforms (autonomous underwater and surface vehicles, gliders, remotely operated vehicles, and ferry boxes), aircrafts, drones, satellites, sensors, fixed freshwater and marine observatories and test sites, data buoys, experimental facilities, and sophisticated data infrastructures.

From Sweden, R/V Svea (SLU) and Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) are participating.

AQUARIUS will launch two robust and transparent transnational access funding calls, inviting research and innovation project proposal. The first call will open in november 2024. 

AQUARIUS is funded through Horizon Europe, the EU's framework program for research and innovation, and is led by The Marine Institute.






Lasse Thorell, Ship Manager
Ship Management Unit, SLU, +46(0)18-67 15 07, +46(0)70-557 15 07