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Minutes of the 8th EMODnet Steering Committee (SC) Meeting

Published on: Tue, 28/11/2017 - 00:12
Table of Contents

    Date: from 14:00 on Wednesday 13th September until 15:30 on Friday 15th 2017

    Location: Sala conferenze dello Spazio Europa. Via Quattro Novembre, 149, 00187 Roma

    Meeting Chairs: Iain Shepherd (DG MARE) Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat / Seascape)

    Go to Meeting Agenda, Documents and Presentations


    List of Actions





    Action 1

    Circulate a summary of the main outcomes of the Checkpoint Methods Workshop

    Next SC


    Action 3

    Circulate short report drawing together best practice in assigning DOIs

    Next SC


    Action 3

    Invite representatives from Regional Sea Conventions/ICES as well as ROOSs in future high-level EMODnet-MSFD meeting

    Next SC


    Action 4

    Send Secretariat information on upcoming events where EMODnet should be visible and also potential organisations for associate partnership



    Action 5

    Support links with AtlantOS to find examples of use of EMODnet HRSM/Bathymetry data



    Action 6

    Draft a document summarizing the current Data Policies used by the thematic lots and consider an overarching single EMODnet one

    Next SC


    Action 7

    Compile high-resolution pictures from the Thematic portals


    Trust-IT/Thematic lots

    Action 8

    Request EEA that EMODnet Chemistry and Biology are invited to participate in TG DATA meetings in the future


    Iain Shepherd

    Action 9

    Alessandro Pititto will circulate document about publicatoin of Vessel Density Maps in EMODnet HA for feedback

    October 2017

    Thematic lots and Human Activities

    Action 10

    Thematic portals to agree in advance with the Central Portal and to inform the Central Portal about changes to the provided web services


    Thematic lots

    Action 11

    Participate and provide support (send coaches) to the Open Sea Lab Competition


    Thematic lots

    Action 12

    Develop and circulate a glossary with a proposal for a more coherent use of terminology in the portals

    December 2017

    Trust IT

    Action 13

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




    List of participants

    Thematic lots

    EMODnet Project


    Name (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), Ulla Alanen (GTU), Anu Kaskela (GTU)

    Lot 2 – Seabed Habitats

    • Helen Lillis (JNCC)
    • Elly Hill (JNCC)

    Lot 3 – Physics

    • Antonio Novellino (ETT)
    • Patrick Gorringe (EuroGOOS)
    • Dick Shaap (MARIS)
    • Giussepe Manzella (ETT, INGV)

    Lot 4 – Chemistry

    • Alessandra Giorgetti (OGS)

    Lot 5 – Biology

    • Simon Claus (VLIZ)


    Lot 6 - Human Activities

    • Alessandro Pititto (COGEA), Anna Kęsicka (COGEA), Luigi Falco (COGEA)

    Coastal Mapping

    • Corine Lochet (SHOM)

    Central Portal

    • Francisco Souza Dias (VLIZ)



    EMODnet Project



    Name (Institution)

    Data Ingestion

    • Dick Schaap (MARIS) - apologies from Sissy Iona (HCMR)

    Lot 0 – High Resolution Seabed Mapping

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

    Lot 1 – Geology

    • Henry Vallius (GTK), Ulla Alanen (GTU), Anu Kaskela (GTU)

    Lot 2 – Seabed Habitats

    • Helen Lillis (JNCC)
    • Elly Hill (JNCC)

    Lot 3 – Physics

    • Antonio Novellino (ETT)
    • Patrick Gorringe (EuroGOOS)
    • Dick Shaap (MARIS)
    • Giussepe Manzella (ETT, INGV)

    Lot 4 – Chemistry

    • Alessandra Giorgetti (OGS)

    Lot 5 – Biology

    • Simon Claus (VLIZ)


    Lot 6 - Human Activities

    • Alessandro Pititto (COGEA), Anna Kęsicka (COGEA), Luigi Falco (COGEA)

    Coastal Mapping

    • Corine Lochet (SHOM)

    Central Portal

    • Francisco Souza Dias (VLIZ)

    Other participants





    Haitze Siemers

    European Commission DG MARE

    Iain Shepherd

    European Commission DG MARE

    Agostino Inguscio

    European Commission DG RTD

    Anja Detant

    European Commission EASME

    Greta Borg

    European Commission EASME

    Sara Garavelli

    TRUST-IT Services

    Fabio Gennai

    TRUST-IT Services

    Florence Bénézit

    TRUST-IT Services

    Jan-Bart Calewaert

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Belén Martín Míguez

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Oonagh McMeel

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Pascal Derycke

    EMODnet Secretariat


    *Apologies from Belinda Carter, Aarno Kotilainen


    Draft Minutes

    Day 1 –Wednesday 13 September 14:00

    Agenda item 1: Welcome and adoption of agenda

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) welcomed the Steering Committee members and extended thanks to the local host, COGEA and the European Commissions’ Representation in Italy who provided the venue. All thematic portals and Checkpoints were represented. The meeting agenda was adopted with minor adjustments, with agenda items 2 & 3 being postponed until Thursday 14th.

    Agenda item 4: Checkpoint Session focusing on:

    • Synthesis of the Checkpoint workshop: towards a common but flexible approach/methodology

    • EMODnet Stakeholder Conference outcomes

    • Latest results and updates from the Checkpoints

    • Maintenance of Checkpoint portals and products

    • Specific Checkpoint recommendations for EMODnet thematic portals & Data Ingestion project

    The 8th EMODnet Steering Committee followed on directly from an EMODnet Checkpoints Workshop that focused on how to streamline the EMODnet Sea-basin checkpoint methodology.

    Each of the checkpoint coordinators/representatives provided an update of the status of their checkpoints. Atanas Palazov  - Black Sea, Nadia Pinardi – Mediterranean Sea, Eline van Onselen – Arctic, Jacques Populus – Atlantic, Jun-She – Baltic Sea and Quillon Harpham – North Sea.

    All presentations from the Workshop are available at Some of the main points are summarised below:

    • For the Black Sea, the climate challenge was one of the most difficult to tackle due to a lack of historical data on temperature. The same problem was faced for ice cover.

    • The Arctic presents a particular challenge as most of the waters are non-European. All recent updates are available on the Arctic website.

    • The Atlantic Checkpoint found it difficult to define appropriateness as it is quite subjective and depending on the product. They will deliver indicators for this in their second Data Adequacy Report.

    • For the Baltic Sea, the Checkpoint noted some issues getting access to certain datasets which were mainly the result of data policies. For example, there are many topographical data gaps in the near coastal zone. It is difficult to access bathymetric data for the Baltic because the hydrographic office have restricted data policies. In relation to the windfarm challenge, wind resource maps were not available. They would now like to identify use-cases demonstrating how the products are being used.

    • It was recommended that future challenges should be defined with input from user experts to take more into account the needs of users from various societal benefit areas. The current challenges had been defined by DG MARE and the checkpoints have highlighted many important issues as a result, some of which have already been addressed in the new tenders for the thematic lots.

    • The North Sea Checkpoint did not provide an update as their contract had ended. However, they highlighted that in relation to industry use of data and products, industry often does not have time to screen the available resources to filter out those that are actually useable as this is currently still very time consuming even if EMODnet has greatly improved accessibility.

    • Both the North Sea and the Med Sea Checkpoints noted that sediment mass balance is lacking for many coastal areas in Europe.

    • The Med Sea Checkpoint has also finished their contract and expressed their interest in publishing their results in a special issue of a scientific journal. They also recommended that requirements should be tighter when defining the challenges.

    • There still is a need for harmonisation in reporting to make communicating the outputs of the checkpoints more effective. This was particularly relevant in terms of identifying data gaps relevant to the thematic portals. There was discussion as to whether the effort should be on the checkpoints or on the thematic portals to identify thematic data gaps.

    • The Secretariat provided an update and comparison between the checkpoint approaches and methods used to consider if a common approach could be adopted by all the checkpoints should this exercise be repeated. They noted that whilst there will always be regional differences, some conclusions could be drawn that could be taken on board in a future call for tenders.

    Action 1: The Secretariat will produce a short report drawing together their conclusions and highlighting actions raised for circulation to all checkpoints.

    Building on work carried out to assign digital object identifiers (DOIs) by the MedSea Checkpoint, Simona Simoncelli provided an overview on the value for using DOIs routinely, for data, products and reports. She pointed out that DOIs allow research data to be easily located, identified and cited, and that this was of considerable benefit to both the creators and the users. Ultimately if used properly and routinely, DOIs should increase visibility and trust.

    Action 2:  The Secretariat will produce a short report drawing together best practice in assigning DOI for circulation.

    Jan-Bart Calewaert explained that a delegation from EMODnet would be visiting CMEMS colleagues in Toulouse and invited participants to put forwards any points for discussion at the forthcoming meeting. He noted that the CMEMS week would take place shortly afterwards and it would be important for CMEMS and EMODnet to have an agreed position. Some of the points raised were the following:

    • It is important to highlight to both funders and stakeholders, that CMEMS and EMODnet are complementary and not competing initiatives. EC needs to consider the big picture and highlight the need for data collection (EMODnet) and for forecasting (CMEMS).

    • There has already been significant coordination and interaction between EMODnet Physics and CMEMS, with EMODnet Physics providing a shop window for a selection of CMEMS products. This meeting will provide an opportunity to make connections throughout the wider CMEMS community.

    • EMODnet and CMEMS should consider doing projects together and Horizon2020 may provide an opportunity for this.

    • CMEMS is interested in getting access to aggregated datasets from EMODnet Chemistry but there is some reluctance to provide them with that access unless a proper acknowledgement is guaranteed.

    • One concern relates to who is dealing with duplicates and merging of data, as this confuses users. The Blue Cloud might provide a platform for merging in a more clear way.

    Day 2 –Thursday 14 September 09:00-18:00

    Agenda Item 2: Updates from DG MARE

    Phase III provides an opportunity for EMODnet to connect and deliver to users even more. The checkpoints meeting highlighted that there is still a long way to go in making data more useable and available, so the core work to achieve this will continue. However, coordinators also have to focus more on how their portals can be useful for business, as well as public authorities.

    The international dimension must also be considered, and the recent communication on International Ocean Governance highlighted that data can contribute to good governance and this is something that the EU can deliver. All projects are asked to make links to other international initiatives.

    Applications to the EU Expert User Group have been reviewed, there are some formalities to be addressed, these are almost complete and it is expected that news on the group composition will be released soon, with a possible November date for the first meeting. In terms of what can be expected from the expert group. Priorities are to ask them to:

    1.         Define what they need and how fit for purpose data is currently.

    2.         How can they contribute industry data in the framework of corporate social responsibility.

    EASME explained their role in the new Phase III in terms of dealing with all formalities with regard to reporting. As EMODnet now represented 15 contracts, responsibilities were divided as follows:

    • Juan Carlos Fernández: EMODnet Secretariat, Secretariat Support; HRSM/Bathymetry; Geology; Chemistry; Data Ingestion

    • Anja Detant: Physics; Human Activities; Arctic Checkpoint; Atlantic Checkpoint

    • Greta Borg: Seabed Habitats; Biology; Baltic Checkpoint; Black Sea Checkpoint; Coastal Mapping

    Agenda Item 3: EEA Wise-Marine (

    EMODnet was asked to contribute to Wise Marine. Could EMODnet contribute basin scale maps? It was pointed out that EMODnet had previously contributed to a business plan. It was important that EMODnet was visible in terms of the contributions it makes.

    Agenda Item 5: Status update of actions from previous meeting & short EMODnet progress update – Secretariat

    Jan-Bart Calewaert reviewed the outstanding actions (Actions from the previous SC in italics):

    Action 2: Interactions with the Regional Sea Conventions (RSC)

    Previously EMODnet had organised high-level EMODnet-MSFD meetings. Phase III tenders required that each project worked with the RSC. Each of the coordinators provided updates on the specific interactions they were having with the RSC.

    The question was raised as to whether, in addition to these interactions which often involved the relevant technical people, there was still a need for high-level meetings as before? It was felt that these high-level meetings were necessary and particularly also the inclusion of ICES (Neils Holdsworth) in these meetings. It was also recommended to include the Regional Operational Oceanographic Systems (ROOS) from EuroGOOS in the next meeting to consider regional operational and monitoring data flows. Some Member States are supportive of involving EMODnet in the process and some are less so.

    Action3 - Secretariat to arrange future high-level EMODnet-MSFD meeting, also to invite ICES and ROOSs.

    The point was also raised that some of the RSCs do not have time to consider how EMODnet data/products can be useful for them. EMODnet must approach them with very specific details of what they have and how it could be useful.

    Action 3 – Data Ingestion Portal (DIP)

    At the last meeting all portals were asked to highlight their data needs and communicate these to the DIP. An inventory had been prepared based on this. However, this had not been carried out for the checkpoint results. Dick Schaap said they were considering including a ‘data wanted’ board on the portal. They could use results from checkpoints and each portal and it could also be used as a communication tool, to highlight what data was needed.

    Action 5– BONUS project would like to make their data available to EMODnet and it had been proposed that DIP could help.

    They had been in touch with Dick Schaap who had asked them to identify their collections and this work was ongoing. The will is there but the time is lacking. It was pointed out that it was important to reactivate this and give them advice on data management. They were a significant project and had approached EMODnet to share their data with us.

    Action 11- Action on DOIs

    This item was dealt with on day 1 and will be addressed in the corresponding follow-up action by the Secretariat.

    Action 12 on Vessel Density Maps & Action 17 on portals language and terminologies

    Both items were dealt with on day 3.

    Action 20 – Thematic lot were to help provide an overview of data sets and products.

    This action referred to a need for more printed material to disseminate at events, demonstrating what was available from EMODnet. This would require input from coordinators/thematic lots. There will be follow-up during Phase III to generate communication material to highlight the tools and products available from each portal.

    Action 23 Overarching EMODnet data policy

    EMODnet has to consider whether it can develop an overarching data policy. This issue is ongoing.

    Agenda Item 6: Updates from the Secretariat including EMODnet activities, events and calendar 2017 – Renewal EMODnet Secretariat mandate

    The Secretariat highlighted several upcoming meetings, including with CMEMS, the European Marine Board, JPI Oceans and AtlantOS. They invited portals to contact the Secretariat should they need any input for meetings they were attending.

    The Secretariat new phase would begin on 18th September and would involve some changes. Seascape would remain at the helm of the Secretariat, but were joined by some new organizations (Trust-IT, Bilbomática and European Marine Board) to reflect the wider scope of work. The Secretariat will grow to four permanent staff based in Oostende. Introducing Pascale Derycke who had recently joined the Secretariat, Jan-Bart Calewaert explained that there would be a recruitment campaign to fill one further post in Autumn.

    Outlining the mandate and main tasks for the next phase, Jan-Bart Calewaert explained that the main aim of this new phase was to develop a more coherent, effective and efficient EMODnet. The extended mandate included new components on the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) and the Atlas of the Seas. In relation to the Atlas of the Seas, the first priority is to ensure a smooth transition and have it operational, it will be managed separately and have its own steering committee. The next step will be to consider how it delivers to users and to ensure there is no duplication of efforts.

    Communications – EMODnet is relatively well known, but needs more visibility. A new branding and styling has been developed which will gradually be rolled out. The Secretariat invited partners to identify events that EMODnet could/should attend. Partners were also asked to identify important contacts who could be considered for associate partner status.

    Action 4 – Send Secretariat information on upcoming events where EMODnet should be visible as well as identify potential new organisations to join as associate partners.

    The Secretariat were asked if there was a general EMODnet powerpoint available. The Secretariat pointed out that in the Third Phase an updated powerpoint slide deck would be available, consistent with the new branding. In the meantime, generic EMODnet slidedecks are available from the central portal document sharing tool. Phase III will also see the development of an extranet on the central portal, where all partners can access resources for communication and share information on upcoming events, such as national workshops. Partners were also asked to identify communication products that would be useful to them.

    The Secretariat highlighted that EMODnet would be organizing an EOOS Conference later in 2018. This would be an important event and would be organized in collaboration with the European Marine Board and EuroGOOS. An important aspect would be to identify gaps, and not just in operational oceanography. It was suggested that it might be useful to ask the thematic groups what was missing in terms of their product development to help identify gaps.

    Agenda Item 7: Updates from the EMODnet Data Ingestion Project – Dick Schaap

    Dick Schaap provided an update on the Data Ingestion Project. There is a need for a dedicated concerted marketing and outreach campaign. Marketing can sometimes be difficult for the partners involved. One of the difficulties, particularly with industry, is how to identify incentives and convince them of the worth of providing data. Businesses recognize the need for sharing data, but there are costs associated to this and they question what the benefits are to them? They will start planning national workshops soon to raise awareness. These could be combined with EMODnet wider activities.

    Currently there are five to six thousand visitors per month to the DIP, so traffic is being generated. Partners are now following up on the inventory that was prepared at the 2nd partner meeting, with input from all the thematic lots. Partners must be very informed and able to us the portal themselves. At present there are 30 submissions in various stages of progress.

    The question was raised as to whether data holders should sometimes make direct contact with a portal, or should always go via the DIP. It was advised that this depended on the data quality. If the data and metadata were of good quality and easily ingestible, then it would be advisable to go directly via the appropriate portal. It was hoped to be able to communicate a significant success story at the end of the month.

    Agenda Item 8: Interactions and needs for collaboration across the different thematic lots – Secretariat (general matters) and thematic lot coordinators requiring inputs/feedback from other EMODnet activities

    This referred to a previous request by partners for more interaction and visibility in terms of upcoming events where there could be cross portal collaboration, but also for feedback on reports etc. New features to be implemented on the central portal in Phase III (including an events calendar and extranet) will help address this. These tools and incentives are further detailed in Agenda Item 14 and 15

    Agenda Item 9: Short updates from the EMODnet thematic projects with a focus on major achievements and challenges of common concern – thematic lot coordinators

    • Lot 0: High Resolution Seabed Mapping

    The kick-off meeting took place at the end of March 2017. It took some time to define the new quality indicator and implement this within data production tools (CDI and CPRD catalogues). The globe processing software is also being upgraded. All data providers are currently preparing and populating updated and new metadata and associated datasets. In terms of technical development, the portal, tools and services and the layout of the new responsive Bathymetry portal website was highlighted. WM(T)S and WFS services are running and used for collaborations with NOAA for example. In terms of outreach, they had screened the literature for all references to EMODnet since January 2017 to provide a snapshot of how it was being used. They are also interested in developing links with AtlantOS, to work to promote an EU funded (mapping) survey through EMODnet. They are also interested in finding out to what extent it is being used by modellers?

    Future work will include gathering and populating metadata and pre-processing source data. They will also work to generate regional basin DTMs, as well as on coastal interactions between DTM and tidal levels to generate coastlines.

    For the seabed mobility index, the age of the dataset is in the quality index and in some places this is historical. Working with geology could help to interrelate information from geology to update estimates of classes of how mobile particular areas are. If there are several successive surveys over time could this be analysed.

    DG MARE asked for more examples of how Bathymetry (and other portals by extension) is being used, referring to the UK MetOffice storm surge forecasting case as a good example.

    Action 5 - Secretariat can support links with AtlantOS via the project officer Gaelle le Bouler. They will also be attending the AtlantOS General Assembly in November.

    -           Lot 1: EMODnet Geology

    Henry Vallius provided an update on EMODnet Geology work progress and the main achievements. The kick-off meeting was held in Brussels in May and the web portal has been up and running from mid-June (hosted by GEUS Denmark). All the maps from the 2nd EMODnet phase can now be accessed through the portal, and will be updated during current phase III. The inventory of data from partners will be updated by the end of June and all work packages will have guidelines ready and distributed to partners by the end of September. A workshop for the new submerged landscapes activity was held in Copenhagen 26-28 June, and plans were made for the first year. Collection of information is going on and all the submerged landscapes features will be discussed at the next Geology meeting (26-28 September 2017). In terms of portal usage, the substrates map has been downloaded more than 50 times; mostly by public authorities with universities being the next main user. Approximately 9% of users downloading the maps are companies (contact details are available). In terms of global interoperability, EMODnet Geology are offering the OGC standard services.

    It was stressed that all EMODnet portals should display a general disclaimer and include it in metadata of all products it delivers to avoid potential liability issues. This point is also linked to the need for an overarching EMODnet Data Policy (Action 6).

    Action 6 - Draft a document summarizing the current Data Policies used by the thematic lots and consider an overarching single EMODnet one

    Henry Vallius also asked the Secretariat about plans for visual harmony in the printed products, such as maps for reports, papers, posters etc., e.g. where should the logos be on the maps etc.? The Secretariat (Trust-IT) will look into the issue.

    EMODnet Geology would prefer to agree on a common use of EMODnet coastline and asked all the other partners to indicate what they currently use and if all portals could converge to one option. Based on that, the Secretariat will consider options for a common coastline and the need for disclaimers on EMODnet products and produce some recommendations for circulation. The current EMODnet Visual Guidelines, could also be adapted for maps and other products.

    DGMARE requested more high-resolution images of products from all portals, most of what is available are screen shots.

    Action 7 - Compile high-resolution pictures from the thematic portals

    -           Lot 2: Seabed Habitats

    Helen Lillis (Coordinator Seabed Habitats) provided an update on their progress and plans. To date, the main highlights had been publishing an extensive technical report. The EUSeaMap has also been updated to align with MSFD Benthic Broad Habitat Types. The habitats in the MSFD Benthic Broad Habitat Types map are consistent between basins, whilst the EUNIS map is region-specific and more detailed than the MSFD broad habitat types map, owing to the specific conditions relevant to each region. The assembly group has been collating and publishing point data and have initiated a process of identifying and acquiring third party data. Countries have been assigned to specific partners and these partners have been provided with guidance. There is also an online questionnaire for potential data holders to inform them as to what types of data they have or have not. Seabed Habitats have also been considering how they can use the DIP to support (third party) data providers. A list of all habitat maps from surveys has been compiled and work is ongoing to do formatting, metadata and confidence assessments. Other ongoing work includes predictions of kinetic energy at seabed due to waves/currents. Helen Lillis provided an overview of their interactions with international initiatives such as OBIS, AORA and ICES/NAFO expert group. In terms of how their products are used, the portal collects information on the ‘reason for download’ which invites users to describe themselves. This has revealed that 10% of users are ‘commercial/industry’ and they have access to these contacts.

    In relation to DOIs, they use these for technical reports but are currently not using them for data sets and data products but agree they could be very useful.

    -           Lot 3: Physics

    Antonio Novellino (coordinator EMODnet Physics) provided an update on Physics progress and future plans.  Cooperation with the Data Ingestion Project had been very active and productive and they had ingested both near real-time and historical data. The current phase sees the addition of new data types on under water noise and rivers. In terms of the river data management, the group is focusing on the larger rivers (N=380). Each typology of data requires a different level of processing. The portal has been improved with upgrades to the landing page, a dynamic map to explore capacity and search for metadata and data, a platform page (to pre-view and metadata and data, trends, and download data) and a products page to pre-view and interact with operational data, data collections, climatologies, as well as interoperability and M2M services to facilitate data and products uptake and further uses. Monitoring tools have also been updated.

    Since signing the MoU with CMEMS, it should now be clearer to users that the same data is available from both EMODnet Physics and CMEMS. This collaboration has also helped to connect Physics with other international initiatives. EMODnet Physics supports the use of DOIs and if they are available then they are shown in the metadata. It would be straightforward to use DOIs for historical data also, but it is less clear how DOIs would work for continuous streams of data at point locations. In terms of web requests, these are 1000fold more than manual requests. The majority of their users are researchers, but they are aware that some companies are also using it. EMSA is also a user of EMODnet Physics. The portal has made its products much more visible and the Secretariat could support with the promotion. Usage can be tracked per platform and is also organised at provider level to inform them. 

    -           Lot 4: Chemistry

    Alessandra Giorgetti (coordinator EMODnet Chemistry) introduced the planning for EMODnet Chemistry Phase III, which began in March 2017 and will include a new layer on marine litter. The new consortium includes 45 institutes from 27 countries and 3 international organisations (ICES, Black Sea Commission, UNEP/MAP). Use cases for EMODnet Chemistry are increasingly being documented, including the a case study with UNEP/MAP in the North Adriatic, a meeting with Info-RAC for synergy between information systems, validating a buffer for the BSCS SOE with contaminants and nutrients in the Black sea and providing contaminants data for an EEA thematic report. EMODnet Chemistry developers are currently working on a new design of the portal that will provide direct access to the data and products. The next Technical Group on Marine Data (TG DATA) meeting will consider what standards and vocabularies to use for the MSFD data, as well as clarifying processes regarding data flows and actors. EMODnet Chemistry and Biology could play an important role, together with EEA and ICES and should have a seat on the table of TG DATA.

    Action 8: Request EEA that EMODnet Chemistry and Biology are invited to participate in TG DATA meetings in the future (Post meeting note: this action was completed by end of October)

    For the marine litter work, EMODnet Chemistry are focusing on gathering data, generating data products on a European scale, and publishing data and data products on beach litter, seafloor litter and microlitter. The tender stipulates that digital layers of plastic or litter must be available after the first year. The proposed approach has been discussed with the technical group on marine litter and would involve developing two central EMODnet internet databases, one for beach litter, modelled after the OSPAR-MCS approach and one for seafloor litter, modelled after the ICES-DATRAS approach. Data exchange mechanisms and cooperation with the relevant regional systems and related networks would be arranged. Further population of the existing systems by organisations in the relevant regions would be encouraged and they plan to set up and operate central submission facilities for covering submissions by organisations in regions that fall outside existing systems. They would also mobilise further population via the DIP. Finally, search and display services (including maps) would be developed on the central EMODnet validated databases. Currently, there is regular harvesting from OSPAR-MCS database and next steps include cooperation with  DeFishGear (Adriatic-Ionian region) and with HELCOM – SPICE (under way), UNEP/MAP – INFO/RAC (planning), EEA, Black Sea Commission, JRC ‘Project on ML baselines’. There is a lot of willingness to work together on marine litter. Regarding DOIs, all DIVA maps and scientific reports have DOIs and the plan is to give a DOI to all data collections at regional level, and introduce versioning. All DOIs landing pages are linked to Sextant metadata products descriptions. EMODnet Chemistry support the idea of a common coastline, they currently use GEBCO as it provides sufficient details for their purposes.


    -           Lot 5: Biology

    Simon Claus (coordinator EMODnet Biology) introduced the new EMODnet Biology project for Phase III which kicked-off in April 2017. The Consortium includes 22 partners and one sub-contractor. The group has launched a call for data collectors to join EMODnet Biology as an associated Partner to contribute their data. This has generated a lot of interest and many applications. Biology is organising a workshop in London in October ‘Essential Marine Biological Data Products’ to inform the development of core data products from EMODnet Biology to support management, policy, planning and education. This will consider both the European regional sea needs as well as the needs at transatlantic and global level. EMODnet Biology will review the data adequacy reports from the Checkpoints to inform the search for biological data and product needs. The partners do use DOIs and datasets can be registered via EMODnet Biology to receive a DOI. The minimum requirements for registering a DOI at Biology are that the datasets must not already have a DOI, they must be freely downloadable datasets, basic QC must be performed to make sure the data is usable, the metadata record is in EMODnet biology catalogue, IMIS (= DOI landing page), containing minimum metadata. Simon Claus also outlined the EurOBIS procedure and the procedure for assigning DOI to dynamic datasets. In terms of the portal usage, this was mainly for research (75%) & marine management (assessments) (25%). The EMODnet Biology API, showing a description of the EMODnet Biology web services, was presented and discussed as a good example on how portal resources can more easily be made available to intermediary users. The use of EMODnet Biology data in an ICES Operational Oceanographic Product was also highlighted. In relation to the common coastline, it was noted that there are currently different open data sets available, including GSHHG (Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Geography Database), EEA: Europe - onshore and offshore: ETRS89_LAEA_Europe and Marineregions: GCS_WGS_1984.

    Addressing all EMODnet coordinators, Haize Siemers (DG MARE) stated the need to be more user-orientated, even in terms of the types of data and products they require. EMODnet should explore options for data providers to obtain more back from users, including through development of aggregated products.

    Agenda Item 10: EMODnet Progress Monitoring (indicators, user-feedback, etc.) – Secretariat and Trust-IT

    Jan-Bart Calewaert stressed the importance of the new progress monitoring tools and indicators, and reassured that the Secretariat will try to make this process as painless as possible. He introduced Florence Bénézit (Trust IT) who presented the proposal of a new list of indicators and a possible timeline for a pilot test before implementing them in the periodical reporting.

    Florence Bénézit explained the process leading up to September, with interviews and interactions with the portals carried out since May 2017, a presentation at the Technical Working Group meeting in July 6th 2017 and further exchange of emails which lead to the current proposal. The Steering Committee was asked to provide feedback and endorse the process to launch the pilot. She explained the rationale for the new monitoring system, the supporting documents that had been developed and how the indicators are linked to the workflow common to all portals. There are 10 indicators organised in four groups covering different aspects of that workflow. Some of the indicators required more explanations, e.g. indicator 4 related to QC/QA which is new.

    Florence Bénézit introduced the tool Europa Analytics, based on Piwic, which can be used to assess some of the indicators automatically. She asked for volunteers to use this tool. EMODnet Chemistry volunteered together with Geology. Florence Bénézit presented the Pilot Timeline for endorsement, beginning in September and developed through three phases till Spring 2017. It was agreed that reporting with the new indicators would formally start from mid-April but with all portal running the pilot from January onwards. This way, if the pilot goes well and there are no major difficulties, portals should be able to report in April both with the old indicators and with the new ones, which would ensure continuity for the Annual Report of the Secretariat as well as for the interim reports of the portals. This timeline was endorsed by the Steering Committee. 

    There was some time for clarifications and further discussion: the term “Redundancy” was considered not appropriate and “overlap” is suggested instead. There were also some discussions around the need to implement a user form to allow for a better understanding of the usage of the portals, they type of users, and improve learning about use cases. Most portals considered that obliging the users to provide their emails was preferable to leave that as an option. It was suggested that reporting could be done per sea-basin. Human Activities indicated that in their case, the decrease in data made available could also be meaningful and worth reporting. EMODnet Biology requested whether work done with metadata could also be reported in any of the indicators. 

    Agenda Item 11: Templates for EMODnet Progress Reports – Secretariat

    Belén Martín Míguez explained that new reporting templates would be developed taking into account the new Visual Guidelines and the new indicators but that before circulating them, EASME would have to approve them. Until further notice, all EMODnet projects could go on using the old templates. Atanas Palazov posed a question about the new reporting and if the Checkpoints were affected by them. Belén Martín Míguez clarified that the changes in principle would not concern the Checkpoints.

    Day 3 –Friday  15 September 09:00-15:00

    Agenda Item 9: Short updates from the EMODnet thematic projects with a focus on major achievements and challenges of common concern – thematic lot coordinators (continuation from day 2)

    -           Lot 6: Human Activities

    Alessandro Pittito (Coordinator EMODnet Human Activities) provided an update on the Human Activities portal and future plans. Several data sets had been updated recently and others would follow soon. These included freshwater aquaculture, MSP, wind farms and waste disposal in ports. The group has also implemented a ‘live chat’ support service helpdesk facility on the website. In the last 3 months, 68 organisations from around the world have downloaded Human Activities data. These include private companies, universities and research organisations. 16 provided their names. Out of 68, 33 are companies. Many are contractors of other companies. 50% of users are from the private sector and these include a significant number of companies from the energy sector. EMODnet Human Activities would like to have a better understanding of what these companies are doing with the downloaded data. The most popular data set in terms of downloads was wind data. In terms of global interoperability, the work package analysis on interoperability will start on 1st November 2017. The main source of information is from GOOS, UNESCO’s inventory "MSP Around the World“, World Ocean Council, Marine Cadastre (US), initiatives in Australia, China, Japan, etc. Human Activities supports the idea of using DOIs though have not implemented this, and are also supportive of a common EMODnet coastline indicating they currently use what is available from EEA.

    Antonio Pittito summed up the status quo regarding plans for Vessel Density Maps (VDM). After years of trying to obtain AIS/VMS data from EMSA it was not possible to share them with EMODnet. EMSA has been mandated to develop its own VDMs and will choose its method but EMODnet will try to be involved in the process to ensure these are useful. Human Activities will produce guidelines to circulate to the Steering Committee for input and feedback to EMSA who may or may not take these comments on-board. At the same time, EMODnet Human Activities will purchase raw data from a private provider to develop different products meeting the needs of the users. One potential application is the forthcoming MRV regulation, where each ship in or out of EU must share data on their actual emissions with the EC. VDM would be extremely useful for this purpose.

    Action 9: Alessandro Pititto will circulate guidelines with basic requirements that the vessel density maps to be published on EMODnet Human Activities should have and will request feedback by mid-October

    Agenda Item 12. Updates from the EMODnet Technical Working Group – VLIZ and  Agenda Item 13. Update on Central Portal developments (data services & website revamp) - VLIZ & Trust-IT

    Francisco Souza Dias presented the main outcomes of the last EMODnet Technical Working Group meeting as well as the most recent developments in the Central Portal, focusing on the Map Viewer.

    With respect to the Map Viewer, he explained the main criteria to select which of the thematic products would be displayed on the central portal (e.g. pan-European coverage). He insisted that changes to the web services in use by the EMODnet Central Portal Map Viewer must be duly and timely reported to The thematic lots should agree in advance on changes to the provided web services to ensure that the Map viewer remains functional and up-to-date.

    Action 10: Thematic portals to agree in advance and to inform about changes to the provided web services

    At the last Technical Working Group meeting it was decided to use GitHub, a platform that allows for project management. A virtual workspace/research environment was also implemented in Slack, and access was provided to all developers and interested partners.

    Francisco Souza Dias also introduced the Open Sea Lab competition. This competition will be the first EMODnet hackathon, taking place from 15-17 November in Antwerp. Participants will ideate and co-create innovative solutions to unique problems using EMODnet’s wealth of marine data and ocean observation. To help participants to find their way around the data from EMODnet, he asked thematic groups to provide a list of their web services and data packages which could be used in the competition.

    It was also suggested that the Central Portal Catalogue that currently shows products by INPIRE themes, should use EMODnet themes instead.

    Agenda Item 14.  Communication Strategy & Visual Guidelines (EMODnet Styleguide) and Agenda Item 15. Coherent presentation of EMODnet projects & portals - Secretariat & Trust-IT

    Sara Garavelli from Trust IT explained the importance of a stronger and more coherent visual identity to support communication activities and increase impact. She described the plan for the coming months in terms of communication strategy, including the launch of the revamped Central Portal website, the Open Sea Lab Competition and a number or releases (leaflets, Annual Report). She also described some of the novelties of the new mock-up, including the change of background, the inclusion of some new Tab (“Solutions”), the RSS, etc.

    With respect to the Open Sea Lab, Sara Garavelli encouraged coordinators to promote the event within their networks as much as possible. Simon Claus requested the coordinators to send IT people from their teams to participate as coaches. 

    Action 11: Thematic projects to participated and disseminate the Open Sea Lab Competition and to provide support sending coaches.

    Sara Garavelli also stressed the importance of converging in terms of vocabulary so that the user is less confused when navigating through the different portals. She made several proposals for streamlining the portals presentation which were discussed. Trust-IT will develop a glossary of common terms and specifications.

    Action 12: Trust IT to develop and circulate a glossary with a proposal for a more coherent use of terminology in the portals.

    Jan-Bart Calewaert informed that a calendar will be made available on the central portal shortly with information about the different meetings/events of interest within EMODnet community. It will be a step-by-step process and he encouraged partners to start using it as soon as it is available.

    Agenda Item 16: Pilot Blue Cloud initiative and other updates from DG RTD's Marine Resources Unit - Agostino Inguscio (DG RTD)

    Agostino Inguscio from DG RTD, Marine Resources Unit, presented the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative. EOSC aims at providing an advanced open and safe digital environment to store, make available and process research data. There are already existing structures that will be improved and federated through EOSC and funding to support this development will be made available. The Blue Cloud is the marine component and it is one of the EODC pilots. There have already been two workshops with high interest in EMODnet involvement. In autumn 2017 there is a Second EOSC summit where a Blue blueprint for EOSC will be proposed.

    Agenda Item 17. Interactions between EMODnet and other initiatives: ESFRI’s (EMOS, EMBRC, etc.), IODE, RSCs, MSFD, etc.

    This item had been discussed under Agenda Item 1.

    Agenda Item 18. Updates from Coastal Mapping Project & MSPD - SHOM

    Corine Lochet (SHOM) presented the latest updates form Coastal Mapping, focusing on the Coastal Mapping Strategy together with some innovative uses of EMODnet portals in the context of transnational Maritime Spatial Planning. The EMODnet Coastal Mapping project produced an overview and sate of art of High Resolution bathymetric data in EU for maritime policies and made some recommendations presented to DG MARE but also at several high level meetings such as the MSP Conference in Malta 15-16 June 2017. She described collaborations between Coastal Mapping and IHO to improve collection and assessment of coastal bathymetric data. Coastal Mapping also links to the Data Ingestion project. Concerning the use of EMODnet in the framework of Integrated Maritime Policies, Corine Lochet reviewed a data report from SIMCELT project where EMODnet data were assessed.

    Agenda Item 19: Looking forward: EMODnet Conference & Jamboree (Autumn 2018)

    In autumn 2018, the EMODnet Secretariat will co-organise a major Conference to further develop the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) with the European Marine Board and EuroGOOS. For this reason, the second EMODnet Open Conference with Thematic breakout sessions (Jamboree) will most likely take place in autumn 2019.

    Agenda Item 20: Administrative and reporting issues & AOB

    Nothing to report

    Agenda Item 21: Next Steering Committee Meeting: format, date and location

    A doodle poll will be circulated to fix the next dates for the 9th Steering Committee. The location has to be defined yet. The 10th Steering Committee Meeting will take place in Brussels on 19-20 November 2018 in Brussels – back to back with the EOOS Conference.

    Action 13 - the Secretariat will send a doodle poll to arrange dates of the next Steering Committee meeting.

    Agenda Item 22: Wrap up and closing of the Meeting

    The meeting was closed at 14:00.