The MARS network is a foundation created by, and open to, Europe's marine research institutes and stations.
- members are world leaders in fundamental marine research and have important research facilities available that allow direct access to the sea.
- the network serves furthermore as a forum and as an interest group and communicates with international organisations and the managers of European research, including the Commission of the European Community in Brussels.
- members are located all over Europe, along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the North, Irish, Baltic and Adriatic Seas, and the Black and Mediterranean Seas.
- the network aims to provide a platform which helps to delineate overarching marine research themes, to promote cooperation, and to share relevant expertise and facilities in the marine realm.