The European Commission is conducting a large-scale, cooperative marine research program over its adjacent continental margins and seas. Although the Commission controls only ~4% of all research funds expended in the European Union (EU), this represents a substantial block of the research funds contributed by member nations in proportion to their individual GNPs. Since 1989 the European Union has supported basic and applied marine research in the European seas and the development of relevant technology in the context of the “Marine Science and Technology (MAST)” program. The third phase of this program, between 1994 and 1998, provides ca. $320M (USA) for international cooperative research activities throughout Europe. MAST finances curiosity-driven, contextual (focused, goal-oriented) research by consortia from at least two different EU member countries with the requirement that partners provide matching funds. In reality, many more than the minimum of two partners are usually involved. Small projects have between 4 and 6 partners, those of moderate size between 6 and 10, and as many as 40 to 60 partners make up the large to very large projects. Each is coordinated by one institution. The assessment of matching funds is two-tiered. For partners from educational institutions the total additional costs for the project may be granted by the EU, but for industrial and noneducational, governmental or independent research organizations, 50% of the project cost may come from the EU, and the additional 50% must be the partner’s own contribution and be documented at the time of proposal submission in labor, equipment, time, infrastructure, or some other approach to estimating costs. Approximately 40% of the program’s funds are dedicated to process- and problem oriented ecosystem studies, 22% to strategic marine research (e.g., coastal zone science and engineering), 30% to marine technology (e.g., instrumentation development, vehicles, systems, imaging, ocean acoustics, robotics, communication, geotechnics, and bioactive substances), and 8% to infrastructure generation (e.g., data management, standardization, design studies, conferences and workshops, courses, and fellowships).