The STAGES partnership has been specifically constructed to address the call topic and achieve the intended impacts. The partnership is balanced in that it combines European / International organisations (ESF - Marine Board, ICES, JRC and EurOcean), which represent a broad constituency of MSFD stakeholders, and national organisations with responsibility to support research and / or provide advice on MSFD implementation at Member State level (IMR, Ifremer, Cetmar). Crucially, the partnership includes both ICES and JRC, which were jointly tasked with running the original MSFD scientific Task Groups and who can bring that experience to bear on the STAGES MSFD scientific foresight activities (WP3). The partnership also includes EurOcean and AquaTT, which have strong experience in marine science information management and exchange, and translation of knowledge generated through research to targeted end users (WPs 2 and 5, respectively). The Marine Board - ESF (Partner 4) is Europe's primary marine science policy think-tank, with expertise in marine science foresight and strategy, and which works to bridge the gap between science and policy, a key objective of STAGES (WP4).