“The Future of our Seas” was the topic at the heart of European Maritime Day in Poole, UK, on 18 and 19 May. High-level sessions and workshops, as well as exhibition booths and a match making event provided the opportunity for attendees to present their work and engage with marine and maritime stakeholders. EMODnet was very visible at this year’s event and used the opportunity to disseminate the 'EMODnet in a Nutshell' infographic and the recently published EMODnet Stakeholder Conference Report.
EMODnet, together with the COLUMBUS project, co-organised a workshop, Blue Growth Data Challenge Part 1: Engaging Industry, to discuss the challenges and opportunities in involving the private sector in the provision and re-use of marine data. The workshop was chaired by Phil Weaver (Seascape), Chair of the EMODnet Steering Committee, and opened with a presentation from, Terje Thorsnes, (Geological Survey of Norway) on the experiences of the MAREANO project in involving industry as both users and providers of marine data. Peter Thijsse, (MARIS), presented the EMODnet Data Ingestion Facility, and discussed how they were targeting privately held marine data resources to unlock these for re-use. Paul Holthus of WOC discussed the WOC’s Smart Ocean Smart Industries program and how smart public/private collaborations could be implemented to improve our ocean knowledge. There followed a panel discussion, introduced and moderated by Jonathan Williams (Marine South East), on how to improve industry-public collaboration and overcome some of the bottlenecks which hinder efficient transfer of marine data between both communities. The panel comprised representatives from the private and public sectors and included John Pepper (Oceanwise), Gus Jeans (Oceanalysis) and Erik Buch (EuroGOOS). The plenary discussion focused on how to establish the specific requirements of industry, in relation to data sharing and re-use, in order to better serve their needs. Some of the interventions stressed the importance of using brokers/intermediaries to improve the dialogue with industry and develop a clearer understanding of those requirements. In terms of accessing more data from privately held sources, the need to develop flexible business models, building on existing commercial data practices and policies, was stressed. The COLUMBUS good-practice guide on Use and Sharing of Marine Observations and Data by Industry, was mentioned as a valuable compilation which highlights some of the identified barriers and proposes ways forward towards greater public-private marine data-sharing and re-use.
This was the first of two workshops focusing on marine data and its potential to deliver to Blue Growth. It set the scene for the follow-on workshop, Blue Growth Data Challenge Part 2: Offshore Energy Case Studies which was organised by the ATLAS and INSITE projects.