Maritime Forum

Minutes of the 7th EMODnet Steering Committee (SC) Meeting

Published on: Tue, 07/03/2017 - 17:22
Table of Contents

    Date: from 14:00 on Wednesday 14th February until 18:00 on Thursday 15th 2017

    Location: : Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, Hertogsstraat 1 (Rue Ducale 1), 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Meeting Chairs: Phil Weaver / Jan-Bart Calewaert (Seascape / EMODnet Secretariat)

    Go to Meeting Agenda, Documents and Presentations

    List of Actions:                                  

    Action

    Deadline

    Who?

    Action 1. All thematic lots to keep the Secretariat informed about major achievement and/or noteworthy stories of uptake and use of EMODnet data resources for promotional purposes.

    ongoing

    All thematic lots

    Action 2. Alessandra Giorgetti to provide contact details of other thematic portals  to representatives and experts of UNEP-MAP and Black Sea Commission to contribute to state of the environment assessments and reports.

    30/06/2017

    Alessandra Giorgetti

    Action 3. All thematic portals to identify their priorities in terms of ‘data wanted’ and communicate these to the coordinators of the DIP.

    03/04/2017

    All thematic lots

    Action 4. Checkpoints to provide their list of identified datasets which are not yet available via EMODnet to the DIP.

    03/04/2017

    All checkpoints

    Action 5. Data Ingestion Project (DIP) to engage with  BONUS programme to evaluate how data generated by BONUS projects could best feed into EMODnet.

    30/06/2017

    DIP

    Action 6. DIP and all EMODnet portals to consider advice to major funding programmes to ensure direct feed of generated project data into EMODnet, in particular those generated under EC framework programmes.

    8th SC Meeting Oct 2017

    DIP, all thematic lots & Secretariat

    Action 7. Checkpoints coordinators to provide a brief, one page report on their breakout sessions to the Secretariat.

    03/03/2017

    All checkpoints

    Action 8. Secretariat to compile a short high level report of the Stakeholder Conference and circulate to all for feedback.

    03/03/2017

    Secretariat

    Action 9. JNCC to write a letter to EASME requesting a staggered start to their project to allow them to build on the outputs of the Geology and HRSM projects.

    03/03/2017

    JNCC

    Action 10. EMODnet Biology to invite JNCC (Seabed Habitats) to their next meeting.

    03/04/2017

    VLIZ

    Action 11. Each thematic area and relevant checkpoints (MedSea) to provide brief information on how their community are dealing with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) towards a discussion at the next SC Meeting.

    8th SC Meeting Oct 2017

    All thematic lots & checkpoints

    Action 12. EMODnet Human activities to engage with other thematic lots and checkpoints to decide on the most useful vessel density maps to be produced.

    03/04/2017

    COGEA

    Action 13. VLIZ will send around a doodle poll for dates for the next technical working group meeting in June.

    03/03/2017

    VLIZ

    Action 14. TRUST-IT to investigate tracking of users jumping from central portal to thematic portals.

    03/04/2017

    TRUST-IT

    Action 15. All thematic lots to engage with RSCs, facilitate interactions between RSCs and other lots where appropriate and report at the next SC Meeting.

    8th SC Meeting Oct 2017

    All thematic lots

    Action 16. Secretariat to circulate contact details of the members of the Steering Committee and technical working group to be updated by all lots.

    03/03/2017

    Secretariat & all lots

    Action 17. Secretariat and Trust-IT to review portals and consider how to address diverging use of terminology and language.

    30/06/2017

    Secretariat & TRUST-IT

    Action 18. Secretariat will provide a statement for all thematic portals to include directing users to the DIP and advocating the benefits of data-sharing.

    03/04/2017

    Secretariat

    Action 19. Secretariat to update the EMODnet brochure.

    30/06/2017

    Secretariat

    Action 20. Thematic lots to assist the Secretariat to develop printed overviews of the range of parameters and data products provided by EMODnet portals.

    29/09/2017

    Secretariat & all lots

    Action 21. Data Ingestion Project (DIP) to identify a speaker for a presentation at the EMODnet workshop at European Maritime Day 2017.

    03/03/2017

    DIP

    Action 22. Secretariat and Technical working group to consider options to develop a high level overarching EMODnet data policy to be discussed at the next SC Meeting.

    8th SC Meeting Oct 2017

    Secretariat and Technical Working Group

    Action 23. Secretariat will circulate a doodle poll to propose dates for the next checkpoints and steering committee meeting.

    03/03/2017

    Secretariat

    Participants: Thematic lots

    Project

    Names (Institution)

    Data Ingestion

    • Dick Schaap (apologies from Sissy Iona)

    Lot 0 – High Resolution Seabed Mapping

    • Thierry Schmitt (SHOM), Dick Schaap (MARIS)

    Lot 1 – Geology

    • Henry Vallius (GTK)

    Lot 2 – Seabed Habitats

    • Helen Lillis (JNCC)
    • Natalie Askew (JNCC)

    Lot 3 – Physics

    • Antonio Novellino (ETT)
    • Patrick Gorringe (EuroGOOS)

    Lot 4 – Chemistry

    • Alessandra Giorgetti (OGS)

    Lot 5 – Biology

    • Simon Claus (VLIZ)
    • Francisco Souza Dias (VLIZ)

    Lot 6 - Human Activities

    • Alessandro Pititto (COGEA), Alvise Bragadin (COGEA)

    Lot 8 – Coastal Mapping

    • Gäel Morvan (SHOM)

     

    Participants: Sea Basin Checkpoints

    Project

    Names (Institution)

    North Sea

    • Quillon Harpham (HR Wallingford)

    Mediterranean

    • Nadia Pinardi (INGV), Simona Simoncelli (INGV), Giuseppe Manzella (ETT)

    Baltic Sea

    • Jun She (DMI)

    Black Sea

    • Atanas Palazov (Institute of Oceanology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

    Atlantic

    • Mikaël Vasquez (Ifremer)

    Arctic

    • Eline van Onselen (ARCADIS)

    Other Participants

    Name

    Institution

    Haitze Siemers

    European Commission DG MARE

    Iain Shepherd

    European Commission DG MARE

    Juan Carlos Fernández Gómez

    EASME

    Anja Detant

    EASME

    Greta Borg

    EASME

    Sara Garavelli

    TRUST-IT Services

    Fabio Gennai

    TRUST-IT Services

    Phil Weaver

    Chair of the Steering Committee

    Jan-Bart Calewaert

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Oonagh McMeel

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Apologies from Belinda Kater (Arcadis, Arctic Checkpoint) and Sissy Iona (HCMR, Data Ingestion Project)

    Draft Minutes

    Day 1 – Wednesday 15 February – Afternoon 14:00 – 18:00

    Agenda item 1: Welcome and adoption of agenda

    Chair of the Steering Committee (SC) Phil Weaver welcomed the Steering Committee members. All thematic portals and Checkpoints were represented. New members to the Steering Committee were introduced: new coordinators of Lot 1 (Geology), GTK (Henry Vallius) and Lot 2 Seabed Habitats, JNCC (Helen Lillis & Natalie Askew) as well as TRUST-IT support services (Sara Garavelli and Fabio  Gennai) who will provide support to the Secretariat via outreach and communication and also the technical monitoring of the portals. The meeting agenda was adopted without adjustments.

    Agenda item 2: Updates from DG MARE and welcome by Haitze Siemers – DG MARE Head of Unit A1 – Maritime Innovation, Marine Knowledge and Investment

    Haitze Siemers introduced the new Unit A1 and outlined the recent restructuring in DG MARE to better encompass the focus on Ocean Governance and Blue Growth as opposed to the previous structure that had reflected geographical considerations. Haitze Siemers noted that whilst the five blue growth areas were still important, classical blue economy sectors also required attention .

    Priorities for Unit A1, included achieving outcomes in innovation and sustainability in the Blue Economy, in terms of making the blue economy more performant through job creation and enhanced sustainability and attracting and facilitating investments. The forthcoming Our Ocean Conference in Malta and the EU-China Blue Year were focus areas this year.

    In addition to Unit A1, there are three other units; Unit A2 ‘Blue Economy Sectors, Aquaculture and Maritime Spatial Planning,’ Unit A3 ‘Sea-basin Strategies, Maritime Regional Cooperation,’ and Unit A4 ‘Maritime Security; Economic Analysis, Markets and Impact Assessment.’ Unit A4 will focus on economic and regulatory aspects and provide support on these issues to the three other units.

    Haitze Siemers welcomed a close collaboration with the Steering Committee, he recognised the significant work that had been done in EMODnet to date but stressed that now the focus must be on how useful data can be to the blue economy. EMODnet has to consider who it can serve and how it can be as effective as possible. In this context EMODnet must be able to justify its worth through identifying and publicising its successes.

    Unit A1 would like to be kept informed of what EMODnet’s activities, what it needs to move forward and what its vision is going forwards. Finally, Haitze Siemers welcomed the Steering Committee to Brussels anytime and noted that he would be visiting the Secretariat soon.

    Agenda item 3: Status update of actions from previous meeting & short EMODnet progress update – EMODnet Secretariat

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (Head of EMODnet Secretariat) updated the SC on the status of the actions agreed at the 5th SC meeting (minutes from this meeting are available here). Most actions had been addressed. Of note were the following points:

    • Cross-links with data ingestion portal: there is a need to ensure provide cross-links between the portals and the EMODnet data ingestion portal.

    • Success stories: following on from the comments from Haitze Siemers and recognising the support from TRUST-IT, there was a need for the coordinators to identify successful EMODnet use-cases and communicate these to the Secretariat. Alesssandra Giorgetti noted that EMODnet Chemistry products would be used by UNEP-MAP and the Black Sea Commission in their forthcoming ‘state of the environment’ assessments and reports. It was noted that other EMODnet thematic lots could also contribute usefully to these reports and that introductions should be made with relevant portals.

    • Associated partnership scheme: noting the new EMODnet Associated Membership strategy, all coordinators were asked to disseminate this information to attract new members and to consider opportunities for capacity building with these new partners. It was proposed that a case study with the Data Ingestion Project focusing on how one of the larger associated partner companies, collecting environmental data, could contribute this to EMODnet would be useful.

    Actions:

    1. All thematic lots to keep the Secretariat informed about major achievement and/or noteworthy stories of uptake and use of EMODnet data resources for promotional purposes (Thematic lots, ongoing)
    2. Alessandra Giorgetti to provide contact details of other thematic portals to representatives and experts of UNEP-MAP and Black Sea Commission to contribute to state of the environment assessments and reports. (Alessandra Giorgetti, 30/06/2017)

    Agenda Item 4: Final updates from the EMODnet Coastal Mapping project – Gaël Morvan

    Gaël Morvan presented the Coastal Mapping project, outlining its main objectives and findings. He highlighted the successful event at the European Parliament where the project presented its conclusions and sought support for concerted coastal mapping efforts in Europe. The question was raised as to how the Coastal Mapping portal would be maintained now that the project has ended. It was agreed that the Coastal Mapping portal was useful to make available the tools and information that had been developed and that it segued well with EMODnet Bathymetry.  Newly identified data for coastal areas could be fed into EMODnet Bathymetry. Both projects shared members in common and this would ensure efficient linkages. However, the coordinator indicated that a 2nd phase was needed to ensure coordinated governance towards filling gaps in coastal areas. Iain Shepherd mentioned that in the short term activities could be followed up by the EU-IHO group and that maybe DG MOVE could be more involved in the future.

    Agenda Item 5: Updates from the EMODnet Data Ingestion Project – Dick Schaap

    Dick Schaap provided an update on the Data Ingestion Project (DIP); the portal had been launched in early February. Each national data centre is tasked to prepare an overview of institutions at national level that can contribute data, and produce country reports per theme. These will become publicly available in May. Providing the example of the UK Met Office’s use of EMODnet DTMs, it was noted that such use-cases can help to encourage data providers to submit data because their data can be used to make better products, which they in turn can benefit from. It was stressed that thematic coordinators (who were members of the DIP) needed to mobilise their own community, to identify relevant and useful datasets and push them towards the portal. They should also identify their priority data needs so that the DIP ambassadors could target the appropriate data providers in each country. Seabed Habitats is the only thematic portal not represented in the DIP and should directly follow-up with their priority list of ‘data wanted.’ The checkpoints have also identified a number of data sets, not yet included in EMODnet, and they will provide these to the DIP.

    The importance of research project data was stressed. It was noted that most products in the checkpoints have been derived from project data: a recommendation of the MedSea checkpoint (Recommendation 7) emphasised the need to link to EU research projects so that EMODnet becomes the primary repository for research project data. This was also highlighted by the closing panel discussion at the stakeholder conference.

    The BONUS programme has identified a wide range of data sets and products developed by projects for the Baltic funded by the BONUS funding scheme. BONUS programme managers were keen to use the DIP as a mechanism for safe keeping and publishing of these data sets. When a major initiative requests assistance from EMODnet on making their data available via EMODnet, it is important to provide this assistance via the DIP, even if it is not yet clear if the data or products can easily be taken up. BONUS will be asked to provide a list (metadatasheet) of the data generated by their various projects and the DIP should engage in a conversation to evaluate how these resources could best feed into EMODnet.  At the same time, the DIP and all EMODnet portals should consider what advice can be given to major funding programmes to ensure direct feed into EMODnet from the onset. This includes the need for a dedicated effort to investigate how EMODnet could become the dedicated repository for marine data generated under EC framework programme projects.

    The next meeting of the DIP consortium will take place in April in Cyprus.

    At this point in the meeting Alessandro Pittito provided an update on EMODnet Human Activities as he could not attend the 2nd day of the meeting, his report is included under agenda item 7 below.

    Actions:

    1. All thematic portals to identify their priorities in terms of ‘data wanted’ and communicate these to the coordinators of the DIP. (thematic portals, 03/04/2017)

    2. Checkpoints to provide their list of identified datasets which are not yet available via EMODnet to the DIP. (Checkpoints, 03/04/2017)

    3. Data Ingestion Project (DIP) to engage with BONUS programme to evaluate how data generated by BONUS projects could best feed into EMODnet. (DIP, 30/06/2017)

    4. DIP and all EMODnet portals to consider advice to major funding programmes to ensure direct feed of generated project data into EMODnet, in particular those generated under EC framework programmes. (DIP, thematic portals and Secretariat, 8th Steering Committee meeting)

    Agenda Item 6: Updates from Sea-basin checkpoints and discussion on outcome of the EMODnet Stakeholder Conference & Sea-basin Workshops – all checkpoints coordinators.

    There was general consensus that the Conference had been very successful. The Secretariat will prepare a short high level report and invited each checkpoint to contributed a brief 1 page summary about their breakout workshops. There was a discussion about the future of the checkpoints, particularly those that were drawing to a close (Med Sea) or just finished (North Sea) and whether these should be repeated. It was agreed that this stress-test initiative provided extremely useful information on accessibility and usefulness of existing datasets as well as on remaining gaps, both of which ultimately contribute to improved thematic portals. In terms of how to move forwards with the recommendations it was pointed out that these will be considered in a new study to evaluate the economic potential of a future EOOS. In terms of maintaining the portals and product,, Iain Shepherd supported the idea of a 2-day checkpoint workshop in September, to be held in Italy.

    Actions:

    1. Checkpoints coordinators to provide a brief, one page report on their breakout sessions to the Secretariat (Checkpoints, 03/03/2017)

    2. Secretariat to compile a short high level report of the Stakeholder Conference and circulate to all for feedback (Secretariat, 03/03/2017)

    Day 2 – Thursday 16th February starts at 09:00-17:00

    Agenda Item 7: Introduction to the new EMODnet thematic projects & updates on specific issues of concern – thematic coordinators

    • Lot 0: High Resolution Seabed Mapping

    Thierry Schmitt (SHOM) provided an introduction to the new High Resolution Seabed Mapping (HRSM) project. The project was signed in December 2016 and had its kick-off meeting in January 2017. The new consortium comprises 41 organisations from 20 countries, including 16 hydrographic offices and 17 marine research institutes. The consortium has strong links to major national and international bodies such as IHO, GEBCO and NOAA, amongst others. The project upgrades the approach of EMODnet Bathymetry to extend coverage and resolution where possible to produce multiresolution DTM and standard coastline data. This will be achieved through the inclusion of new partners and through the use of satellite derived bathymetry. The methodology is currently being updated and work is ongoing to improve the look and feel of the EMODnet HRSM website.

    • Lot 1: EMODnet Geology

    Henry Vallius (GTK), new coordinator of EMODnet Geology introduced the new consortium which included 35 partners and 4 subcontractors from 30 countries, including new partners from Italy, Greece, Estonia and Turkey. The consortium comprises mainly geological survey organisations. In addition to previous requirement for specified parameters, Phase III will also include reconstructions of submerged landscapes at various time frames. Resolution shall be at a minimum of 1:100,000 and higher where possible. Phase III will include close collaboration with Seabed Habitats and the HRSM lots. The portal is currently being transferred from British Geological Survey (BGS) to Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and is currently embedded in the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI) portal but will be visualised as EMODnet Geology, with all branding and layout to conform with the harmonisation requirements. In relation to sediment transport along the coasts, it was pointed out that in the last phase they made available seabed substrate maps. These are data products, an interpretation of the data. It is important to note that when harmonising many maps into one final map and using only 5 or 6 classes, they are no longer dealing with sediment data. Nor will they be dealing with sediment in the water column.

    • Lot 2: Seabed Habitats

    Helen Lillis from JNCC, the new coordinator of Seabed Habitats, summarised where Seabed Habitats were at the end of Phase II and outlined the main deliverables to be achieved in Phase III. The deliverables can be grouped into three main areas, data, data-products and the portal. With regards to access to data, this will be a smaller activity for the Habitats lot relative to other lots and will focus on ground truthing surveys and building a library of habitat maps from surveys. As in previous phases, a large portion of the work would be towards the production of an updated broadscale map. This would rely heavily on the work of Geology and Bathymetry and to a lesser degree on information from Physics and Chemistry, and will be provided at 1:100,000 scale or better. Areas that have been surveyed extensively will be available at higher resolution than areas for which no surveys are available. There will be close collaboration with Biology to ensure that information on habitats link to the information on species. They will also work closely with the DIP to outline where they need data and indicate where this might be sourced. The portal will undergo an upgrade and a helpdesk function will be provided shortly.

    Considering their dependence on the work of the HRSM and Geology lots, Seabed Habitats requested a staggered start so that they could build on this work.

    Simon Claus noted the TILES project that is developing transnational 3D geological models for the Belgian part of the North sea. https://odnature.naturalsciences.be/tiles/.

    As a general point it was noted that it could be useful for EMODnet to develop a common way of referring to the resolution of maps to show some cohesion. Different portals use different technical languages.

    • Lot 3: Physics

    Antonio Novellino from ETT, coordinator of EMODnet Physics, summarised the progress achieved in the last phase, with 28200 data download requests, 154200 web services requests and 3110 CDI requests. The signing of an MoU with CMEMS was considered to be a major step forward, it demonstrated that they are working synergistically and avoiding duplication of effort. Physics is already collaborating with the DIP and have upgraded their portal to include reference to it, they are also working with SeaData Cloud towards common vocabularies for metadata. In the next phase they will try to close the gap  between operational data centres (connected to CMEMS and ROOSs) and the quality controlled data archives (SeaDataNet NODCs). They have also been asked to make available simple products from both CMEMS and SeaData Cloud. Finally, the new Phase will include data from rivers and on underwater sound and, as with other portals, link to the Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) and operate a help desk.

    • Lot 4: Chemistry

    Alessandra Giorgetti from OGS, coordinator of EMODnet Chemistry, introduced the geographical scope of the new project and reviewed the parameters for which data was to be made available. Phase III will include data on marine litter, including macro-objects and microparticles in the water column, sediments and beaches. Also included will be nutrient loads (nitrogen and phosphorus) to regional seas by major rivers. A map layer for marine litter will be made available within the first year. Because data aggregation and validation is very time-consuming, they will kick-off with a training workshop for all partners. This will ensure that the different data centres adopt and use common formats, vocabularies and standards. The consortium make-up is largely the same as for the previous phase, with linkages to the RSC. They have asked all RSCs to appoint the appropriate thematic technical experts to attend meetings and for future interactions.

    It was noted that the inclusion of marine litter was politically very important. It was noted that DG Environment and JPI Oceans had both carried out studies on marine litter and links would be made here, also with WG DIKE and the TG Marine Litter.

    • Lot 5: Biology

    Simon Claus, VLIZ and coordinator EMODnet Biology, identified the new partners to the EMODnet Biology consortium, including the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) for links to international and trans-Atlantic initiatives, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and University of Sheffield for modelling expertise, and a number of institutes in Portugal, Croatia and Finland for marine biological data. This phase EMODnet Biology will include again an activity on data archeology and rescue, one on biological traits and attributes and dedicated work package to promote uptake of EMODnet. This will include a workshop where regional seas authorities, Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) authorities, ICES, global initiatives such as GOOS, IOC and GEOBON will be invited, to identify where specific demands exist that can be fulfilled with gridded data products. Benthic maps could be aligned with Seabed habitat maps, however there is a real need for more benthic data. This would help validate seabed habitat maps.

    There was a general discussion around the importance of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for datasets. The Sea-basin checkpoints (Mediterranean) are investigating the use of these for their data products. DOIs can help to identify original datasets and versions. EMODnet Biology has already been providing these and the DIP will also supply DOIs and the issues around versioning are being discussed in the DIP and the SeaData Cloud project. In terms of what level of data should be represented by a DOI, it was noted that this comes from the particular community. It was proposed that EMODnet could promote advocacy of DOI. Each portal, and the relevant checkpoint contacts, were requested to provide information to the Secretariat on how their community is dealing with DOIs.

    • Lot 6: Human Activities

    Alessandro Pittito, COGEA and coordinator of EMODnet Human Activities provided a brief overview of the next Phase of EMODnet Human Activities. He noted that it would include layers on maritime spatial planning, fresh water aquaculture and wastes in ports. Vessel density maps of EU waters would also be included. This was one of the most requested layers from human activities and they had spent three or four years talking to EMSA to try and obtain these without success. They are now going to buy terrestrial and satellite AIS data. EMODnet human activities  would not be able to provide the raw data but will process it to provide the maps which will be available as raster files. Information will include the average number of vessels in a particular period (to be decided with other lots and checkpoints) and a breakdown on the type of data. A year of data costs 30,000 euros. They will be working to involve the RSCs and supported the idea that there should be a degree of coordination on this. They are also working on a draft communication plan to increase their social media activity and presence at events and will work with the Secretariat on this. In addition, they have been carrying out an analysis of issues in relation to INSPIRE compliance and would be happy to share the results when they are available.

    Actions:

    1. JNCC to write a letter to EASME requesting a staggered start to their project to allow them to build on the outputs of the geology and HRSM projects. (JNCC, 03/03/2017)

    2. Biology will invite JNCC (Seabed Habitats) to their next meeting. (VLIZ, 03/04/2017)

    3. Each thematic area and relevant checkpoints (MedSea) to provide some brief information on how their community are dealing with DOI towards a discussion at the next SC Meeting.

    4. EMODnet Human activities to engage with other thematic lots and checkpoints to decide on the most useful vessel density maps (Cogea, 03/04/2017)

    Agenda Item 8. Updates from Technical Working Group – VLIZ

    Francisco Souza Diaz (VLIZ) provided an update on the revamped EMODnet Central Portal and the technical working group. Work in the next phase will include automated testing of the services available on the Query tool and the addition of a map interface for selection of area of interest. Human Activities layers will be implemented and temporal filters added to multidimensional services (Biology, Chemistry). They will continue work to implement a single sign-on procedure and resolve ongoing Geonetwork issues.

    It was proposed that the next Technical Working Group meeting would take place in June, in Oostende. The Secretariat will circulate the contacts for the technical working group from each portal to allow these to be revised.

    Providing some metrics on usage of the central portal, it was noted that the number of unique visitors to EMODnet had increased significantly from just under 30,000 in 2015 to 60,000 in 2017. It was not possible to track where users went from the central portal i.e. to which thematic portal, as this would require two-level access, but this may be something that TRUST-IT could investigate.

    Actions:

    1. VLIZ will send around a doodle poll for dates for the next technical working group meeting in June. (VLIZ, 03/03/2017)

    2. TRUST-IT to investigate tracking of users from central portal to thematic portals. (Trust-IT, 03/04/2017)

    Agenda Item 9. Updates from the Secretariat including EMODnet activities, events and calendar 2017 – Secretariat

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) reviewed some of the main cross-cutting issues to be considered by all thematic lots.

    • Interaction with Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs): All new thematic lots require interactions with the RSCs which raises the question as to whether there is a need to coordinate this interaction. It was proposed that this might be difficult since different thematic portals would be contacting different thematic experts in the RSCs. However, all thematic lots should, where useful, look for opportunities to facilitate interactions between RSC and other lots beyond their own to promote the optimal use of EMODnet resources and services.

    • Harmonisation of terminology: There is a need to harmonise terms and  language used on the different EMODnet portals in relation to e.g. the resolution of map products,  Secretariat with help from Trust-IT will investigate options to screen portals and identify terms and language that could be better harmonized to avoid confusion for users.

    • Visual and functional harmonisation of portals: Much work was done in the last phase towards harmonizing the user experience whilst navigating the different portals. However, this was still far from seamless and there was still work to be done. Since some portals are currently under re-development, it was proposed that this might be a good moment to improve the branding and provide new templates for the portals. Since TRUST-IT will be upgrading the central portal later this year and this may have a knock-on effect for thematic portals, TRUST-IT will review all portals as soon as possible and update the harmonization guidelines in collaboration with the Secretariat.  Also of note, TRUST-IT will be developing infographics which could be useful for all the portals. Finally, the Secretariat has been asked by users for printed overviews of the range of parameters and data products covered by all EMODnet portals. Thematic lots should assist the Secretariat to compile such a list.

    • Information about how to contribute/submit data to EMODnet: Almost all portals previously included a ‘contribute/submit data’ link on their toolbar to encourage and facilitate data providers to submit their data. This section should contain general information about the benefits of sharing data and how this can be done for the particular themes as well as information and a link to the DIP. The general understanding is to keep the ingestion process as straightforward as possible and avoid creating additional barriers by forcing providers to work via the DIP if another more efficient route exists: e.g. data holders close to the thematic portal community with data that can easily be taken up directly by the consortium partners should flow directly to the thematic portal; the DIP would focus on the outer circle of data of data providers which are less knowledgeable and connected to the EMODnet community  not those that can link directly to the thematic portals. The Secretariat will provide a statement that all portals can use  advocating the benefits of data-sharing. The central portal should also be updated to include a prominently visible link to the DIP on the toolbar.

    • Periodic reports will be submitted every three months and should include a brief overview of achievements, as well as progress indictors as an annex. The Secretariat will circulate a template for this. Reports should be submitted within the first two weeks after each three months period, i.e. by mid-April, mid-July, mid-October and mid-January. First periodic reports for this year are expected by mid-April even if projects have only started their activities. The short term periodic reports should be sent to DG-MARE (Iain Shepherd), the Secretariat (Jan-Bart Calewaert) and to EASME (Juan-Carlos, Anja Detant or Greta Borg depending on the primary contact for the contract). Formal (interim and final reports) should be sent to DG-MARE (Iain Shepherd) and the Secretariat (Jan-Bart Calewaert) as well as to the email address included on the contract (which is a code, not a specific person name).

      Technical monitoring: Information on reported progress indicators will be used by the Secretariat and TRUST-IT as part of the progress monitoring of all portals. In the coming year, TRUST-IT and the Secretariat will develop a more systematic and structured monitoring system for testing and evaluating the portals. This will be completely transparent and developed in close collaboration with the technical developers  from the different lots.

    • EMODnet communication and promotion material: The Secretariat will update the EMODnet brochure to reflect the new Phase. All projects are to provide an overview of the communication materials and activities that they plan to implement during the coming two years to coordinate with the Secretariat activities.

    • Upcoming events: EMODnet will host a workshop at European Maritime Day (May 2017, Poole, UK), to focus on industry / EMODnet interactions. Dick Schaap is invited to talk about his experiences working together with private sector and present the Data Ingestion Facility. Other upcoming events where Secretariat will promote EMODnet include the following:

      • Visit of Chinese delegation to EMODnet Secretariat & European Marine Board, Oostende/Bruges – 3 March 2017

      • MaPSIS (Maritime Spatial Planning, Ecosystem Approach & Supporting Information Systems) Meeting, Canary Islands – 24-25 April 2017

      • EGU 2017, Vienna - 24-28 April 2017

      • European Maritime Day, Poole – 18-19 May, 2017

      • World Oceans Day – June 8, 2017

      • Checkpoint Meeting – propose to combine with next steering committee meeting

      • JPI Oceans Conference, Lisbon – 26 October 2017

      • Our Ocean Conference, Malta – 5-6 October 2017 (potential side-event focusing on food from the sea)

      • CMEMS Marine week, Brussels – 25-29 September 2017

      • EuroGOOS International Conference: Operational Oceanography serving sustainable marine development, Bergen – 2 - 5 October 2017

    Actions:

    1. All thematic lots to engage with RSCs, facilitate interactions between RSC and other lots beyond their own where appropriate, and report at the next SC Meeting (All thematic lots, October 2017).

    2. Secretariat to circulate contact details of the members of the Steering Committee and technical working group to be updated by all lots. (Secretariat and all lots, 03/03/2017)

    3. Secretariat and Trust-IT to review portals and consider how to address diverging use of terminology and language (30/06/2017)

    4. Secretariat will provide a statement for all thematic portals to include directing users to the DIP and advocating the benefits of data-sharing. (03/04/2017)

    5. Secretariat to update the EMODnet brochure. (30/06/2017)

    6. Thematic lots to assist the Secretariat to develop printed overviews of the range of parameters and data products covered by all EMODnet portals. (Secretariat and all lots, 29/09/2017)

    7. Data Ingestion Project (DIP)to identify a speaker for a presentation on the DIP at the EMODnet workshop at European Maritime Day 2017 (DIP, 03/03/2017)

    8. Action: Secretariat and Technical working group to consider options to develop a high level overarching EMODnet data policy to be discussed at the next SC Meeting. (Secretariat and Technical Working Group, 8th Steering Committee Meeting)

    Agenda Item 10. Updates from the SeaDataCloud project – Dick Schaap

    Dick Schaap, technical coordinator of the SeaDataCloud project, provided an update on its objectives and progress. SeaDataCloud is the successor to the SeaDataNet II project and is working towards updating and further developing standards and innovating services & products. It will adopt and elaborate new technologies and put the user experience in a central position. Moreover, it is about implementing a strategic and operational cooperation between the SeaDataNet consortium of marine and ocean data centres and the EUDAT consortium of e-infrastructure service providers. It is expected to bring significant added value to EMODnet.

    Agenda Item 11. Administrative and reporting issues & AOB

    Covered under agenda item 9

    Agenda Item 12. Interactions with external initiatives and organizations (IODE, EEA, RSCs, …)

    Patrick Gorringe has been asked if EMODnet is interested in collaborating with IODE. It was noted that EMODnet is already collaborating well with IODE via various platforms and this can be more clearly communicated to IODE community.

    Agenda Item 13. Next SC Meeting date and location

    It was proposed that the next Steering Committee meeting would take place to coincide with the proposed checkpoints meeting in September in Italy. The structure of the meeting has also to be considered in terms of how to coordinate with associated partners and other initiatives (e.g. BONUS and EMSO ERIC have requested an invitation).

    Action:

    1. Secretariat will circulate a doodle poll to propose dates for the next checkpoints and steering committee meeting. (Secretariat, 03/03/2017)

    Agenda Item 14. Wrap up and closing of the Meeting

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