CoNISMa comprises 32 Italian Universities, including about 600 researchers and technicians, it has a recognized legal status and it is under the surveillance of the Ministry of University and Research. CoNISMa recently entered in the EU Marine Board, being a unique super-organism in Europe, since it merges scientific and capacity building activities. Through CoNISMa, the Italian University-based research and capacity building system working on marine sciences became a single entity and reached international size and reputation as such. CoNISMa covers all fields of marine sciences, with both research and capacity building activities ranging from physics to chemistry, geology, biology, ecology, engineering, economics, and legal sciences. In the last 10 years, CoNISMa has participated in more than 20 EU research projects as coordinator or partner.