Station operational costs

The operational costs to run the platforms, pay staff time and analyse the data is funded by a variety of different stakeholders  Given the breadth and scope of the observations made from the UK-ICOS platforms it is clear that the funding of operational costs provided by key stakeholders facilitate a variety of observational needs that extend beyond the remit of ICOS. Overall the ICOS demands on the operational costs are a small fraction of the total effort invested into the stations. However, it should be noted that the length of funding is variable, whilst ICOS requires a 5-year funding commitment. Typically funding streams are reviewed on a sub 5-year cycle and are rarely coordinated in terms of the science across the marine, atmospheric and ecosystem sectors. EU funding is typically allocated for 3 – 4 years and is dependent on the funding calls at the time, thus is not necessarily a strategic programmatic investment.

The annual subscription costs

The annual subscription fee to the Head Office and station submission costs are detailed in the following table. Currently there is no identified funding stream for the cost of the annual subscription fee, which allows members to receive the benefits of the thematic centre management, central calibration services and the data portals. Once paid, the country is a member of ICOS and may not withdraw membership within the first 5-year period. The ICOS General Assembly will consider only exceptional cases for withdrawal within the initial 5-year period, and in such cases a 12-month notice will apply.

The station submission costs are dependent on the standard to which each individual station is categorised and the number of stations submitted. For a station to be included in the ICOS RI, funding must be secured over a 5-year timescale. Currently there is no identified funding stream for the cost of the annual station submission costs. If multiple centres, HEIs and/or other funders, invest in the annual UK-ICOS subscription costs it is likely that agreements will have to be drawn up between all partners before full engagement with the ERIC process can continue.

How Common Basic, Common Gross National Income and station-based contributions are calculated

The Common Basic contribution is calculated by sharing 50% of the common costs equally between the Members and Observers.

The Common GNI­ based contribution is calculated by sharing 50% of the common costs. The GNI-based contributions are based upon that Member or Observer’s three-year aggregate national GNI (according to OECD) expressed as a percentage of the GNIs of all Members and Observers in the ICOS RI.

The national GNI for each Member and Observer will be calculated for a period of three consecutive years and updated every three years or as otherwise directed by the General Assembly. The GNI values adopted by the General Assembly will be valid for a period of three financial years.

The statistics used to establish the scale of contributions shall be those available at the Head Office on 1 July before the ordinary autumn General Assembly meeting at which a new scale of contributions is presented.

Membership contributions related to the number and type of stations joining the ICOS network are calculated based on information from the Members, Observers and ICOS Central Facilities and are approved by the General Assembly. The current station contributions for Class 1 and Class 2 stations in the Atmosphere domain; Class 1, Class 2 and associated stations in the Ecosystem domain; and Class 1 stations in the Ocean domain.


United Kingdom Annual Member and Observer contributions to ICOS ERIC 2020-2024

Common GNI based contribution






Common basic







Current UK Station costs 2020-2021

Ecosystem stations C1






Atmospheric Stations C2












Ocean stations C2






Ocean stations CAL






Net amount




VAT 0%


*The total average subscription cost as shown above is payable to the ICOS Central Office.

**One fee per annum per member state.



Average station types annual station contributions, €


Atmosphere Class 1


Atmosphere Class 2


Ecosystem Class 1


Ecosystem Class 2


Ecosystem associated


Ocean stations