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Organisation of the Mont Terri Project

The Mont Terri Project is an international research project for the hydrogeological, geochemical and geotechnical characterisation of a clay formation (Opalinus Clay).

About the Mont Terri Project

Key features of the Mont Terri Project:

  • 22 partners participate in the Mont Terri Project.
  • swisstopo runs the rock laboratory and is responsible for its safe operation.
  • The research activities are subject to permit: swisstopo submits annual requests to the Canton of Jura for its review and approval.
  • swisstopo funds the operation and maintenance of the rock laboratory. The research partners fund the experiments and their evaluation (Funding).
  • The contracts between the Federal Government and the Canton of Jura and between the Federal Government and the Project Partners regulate all aspects of the Mont Terri Project.

Every Mont Terri partner has a delegate on the Steering Committee, which is chaired by the Director. The Steering Committee determines the research strategy for the Mont Terri Project and gives the Project Manager the green light for implementation of the annual research programme. The delegates also discuss the experiment proposals made by the Principal Investigators and, if approved, assure the appropriate funding. Various partner organisations can participate in the same experiment, allowing the costs borne by each individual partner to be significantly reduced.

The Principal Investigator is responsible for the science and technology of a particular experiment. If more than one partner is participating in an experiment, one partner provides the Principal Investigator and the other partners provide Experiment Delegates.

To implement the research programme, swisstopo is represented by a management team based in St-Ursanne (Rock Laboratory and Deep Geological Disposal process). This management team, consisting of the Director, Project Manager, Engineer, Site Manager, Scientific Collaborator, Visit Coordinator, Safety Officer and Administrative Assistant. This team manages not only supply and procurement but also bookkeeping and annual accounts.

The Commission de suivi is an advisory committee set up by the government of the Canton of Jura. At the request of the government, the Commission de suivi examines the annual research programs proposed by the operator swisstopo regarding the local hazards that may arise from experiments. The minister in charge issues the annual authorizations.