Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


Second meeting of the Marine Knowledge Expert Group

Published on: Tue, 16/10/2018 - 16:26
Table of Contents
    summary report - towards a blueprint for business

    All presentations are on the maritime forum. This summary is intended to cover the main points raised by the group.

    Welcome and introduction by Ms. Andreaa Magdalena Strachinescu Olteanu,

    Head of Unit A1, DG MARE

    The main objective of this meeting was to discuss the development of a blueprint for business engagement to EMODnet, to discuss blue data transfer beyond research, and to illustrate the importance and identify the areas were industry already benefit from marine observing and monitoring and how they turn this into value.

    As to ensure long-term sustainability which is key in view of the next financial framework (next MFF/EMFF) we need to think about the need of a more sustainable development of EMODnet as a (operational) tool.  Beyond technical improvements 

    With this in mind, the marine knowledge expert group should start to reflect about the following:

    • How can we improve EMODnet ?
    • Are there specific or personalised needs, and how can we consider them?
    • How can we transform EMODnet to do this? What could be a business model? How to achieve this?

    Blueprint on EMODnet for Business,

    presentation by Charlotte Herman, DG MARE

    The aim of the Marine Knowledge Expert Group is to contribute collectively to sustainable blue growth and to work in collaboration to advance EU marine data programmes and services to the next stage. We can only make progress and achieve innovation when accurate data are available. The output and delivery of this expert group can help ensure that what we are developing is fit for purpose.

    EMODnet aims to move closer to the industry and users in general, and to meet their needs. As follow up of the 1st MKEG outcome to engage more actively with business users, a tour of business associations is organised to showcase EMODnet and to explore stronger collaboration.  Following organisations have been consulted:   

    • European Dredging Association
    • IOGP - International Association of Oil and Gas Producers
    • SEA Europe
    • Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
    • European Digital SME Alliance
    • The Maritime Alliance
    • European Algae Biomass Association 
    • WindEurope
    • Ocean Energy Europe
    • Aquaculture Advisory Council (meeting 03/10/2018)

    From these consultations, a list with needs and applications from EMODnet Data were identified. This list has to be considered  a living document and the follow – up is work in progress.  Currently the topics on the list are: 

    • Salinity data for use in scrubber;
    • Data to identify "same risk areas" (invasive species)
    • Legal disclaimer on the use of data (e.g. to exclude liability of companies for the use of data submitted by them);
    • Ship density maps
    • Accurate map of all oil and gas installations; 
    • Weather forecast data (wave highs, storm surges, etc.) to apply safety measures for  offshore activities;  
    • Showcase how EMODnet benefit for MSFD implementation and regional sea conventions obligations;  
    • Cumulative impact assessment
    • Decommissioning
    • Underwater noise
    • Port reception facility for waste visualisation 
    • map to locate algae biomass producers’ facilities

    The Marine Knowledge Expert Group was invited to:

    • to identify common needs and shared interest;
    • to (dis)agree or add other priorities;
    • to indicate the usefulness

     as well as

    • to inform us if any of the issues has already been solved by going somewhere else

    Points made by the members of the group:

    • Remember the core of EMODnet is to share open data for free.
    • Reflect on how to “sell” EMODnet products for free
    • Explore other sources of funding (e.g. private fuding)?
    • What is the role of EMODnet? Is it worth considering EMODnet does e.g. the actual impact assessments? The focus is on making the data/layers available to allow others to do assessments – some work can be done on products/indicators to show the power of the datasets. It was suggested to supply use orientations on which data/data layers could be used for assessments.
    • As a system, EMODnet has the potential to look at and compare different assessments systems bringing in experiences from Member States in MSFD work – indicator models to bringing them closer to the EMODnet.
    • Promote EMODnet as input source of MSFD process (with DIKE, TG DATA and the MS).
    • Reference was made  to the EU blue economy report and stressed that oil & gas producers remain a large investor in blue economy and asks to reflect this in future work - if so then producers will be happy to share data and information.
    • Other valuable  data sets identified are: 
    • Raw AIS data
    • Windspeeds and directions at various levels above MSL (mean, 20m-50m-100m) – how to get it?

    From companies?

    Long-term evolution?

    Buoys manufacturers?

    • Set up a structured process to maintain and uptake the collection of  user needs (review cycle) 
    • Position EMODnet in the value chain by evaluating what has to be done by EMODNet and what by others (e.g. CMEMS)
    • Clear role and responsibility of EMODnet in the value chain
    • As first entry point it is important that EMODnet is clear about what it offers and has to refer users to other providers for other data/products/services
    • How to position EMODnet in the value chain towards business:
    • To which kind of industry needs do we give priority?
    • The difficult balance between providing services while not competing nor out market intermediate users who generate economic value out of EMODnet data

    DG MARE invites the members of the group to work on a set of strategic recommendations, a set of high – level statements,   to work towards a Blueprint on EMODnet for business as to position input to development of EMODnet as a (operational) tool for industry and operational users.

    ACTIONS by 15 October 2018 

    1. Are there any organisation missing on the list?
    2. Are there any other needs and applications, which you would like to add to the list?
    3. Submit written input for the strategic recommendations as input for the Blueprint on EMODnet for business

    Acceleration blue growth through blue data transfer, going beyond research. What are we getting out of marine research and what is in for industry?

    Presentation of COLUMBUS project and good practice case studies by David Murphy, General Manager, AQUATT

    The COLUMBUS  project ,a H2020 Coordination and Support Action was presented. The aim of the project was to develop a methodology to maximise the impact of marine knowledge with knowledge transfer. Many investments are made in research and data collection. However, we miss a part in the process (a gap) to transfer the knowledge and data to different stakeholders. Therefor, it is key to identify the users.  For industry, time is crucial. The brokerage role – where the information is held and is accessible should be clearly defined, this information should be actively disseminated and communication. 

    Points made by the members of the group:

    • Many data are available, which does not always make it easy to access it. Making it a victim of its own success.  Therefor, the training component is key as there is a learning curve linked to the access and use of data.
    • Note that the EMODnet central portal is currently working on tutorials and use guides
    • Identifying clear roles, establishing a clear portfolio is a very challenging task 
    • Request to make the EMODnet marine ID complementary with COPENICUS services

    Latest development of EMODnet

    EMODnet user-survey: Improve user-friendliness of the services offered by the EMODnet Data portals (WP2): preliminary results – Presentation by Nathalie Tonné, Project Officer at the EMODnet Secretariat

    EMODnet Query Tool: accessing the EMODnet thematic data products – Presentation of the mock-up/prototype by Paula Oset Garcia, Science Officer Data Centre at Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

    The mock-up of the Query Tool was presented: what is its goal, what will the user be able to do? In short, this tool provides general information on the EMODnet thematic data products and provides access to those data products.  It is a shop windows were you can easily get a flavour on what is available on EMODnet.

    What has the tool to offer:

    • The user will be able to discover which data is available in a certain area by creating a snapshot of the area in a short report;
    • The tool combines all thematic data portals, giving the user an integrated view on EMODnet.
    • The tool will provide direct access to metadata and web services. Hence, the user will know where the data comes from and how to access/download it (meta -data).
    • The objective is to let the Query Tool work for the most relevant products by the end of 2018.

    The members of the group are also invited to visit the draft data portfolio

    ACTIONS by 30 September 2018 

    The members of the group are asked to provide any relevant feedback on

    1. fitness for purpose
    2. relevant parameters (e.g.  time series to show change over time?)
    3. products that would be interesting,  other elements which should be taken into account in  the further development of the EMODnet Central Portal Query Tool.


    EMODnet – information on the occurrence of marine invasive species in European harbours within the frame of the Ballast Water Management Convention - Presentation of the ongoing work by Simon Claus, coordinator EMODnet Biology (VLIZ)

    The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWMC) aims to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic organisms from one region to another through the ballast water of ships.  During the tour of business associations, the European Dredging Association and SEA Europe asked if EMODnet could develop a tool to identify same risk areas. EMODnet Biology analysed if the request. EMODnet and EurOBIS databases were used as a tool to check for false negatives in the harbours. It was concluded that tools as such will have to be developed by Regional Sea Conventions such as OPSAR and HELCOM with the support/input of EMODnet.  

    The European Atlas of the Seas - Presentation of the interactive tool

    by Chantal Vanhove, DG MARE

    Introduction to and demonstration of the European Atlas of the Seas (MARATLAS). MARATLAS ws launched this summer. The tool is open to a broad public, but also professionals use it. It features allow to export personalised maps, to use and share them via range channels (twitter, fabebook, url, pdf, etc.) 

    Some answers to the questions asked during the meeting:

    • MARATLAS of still in the implementation phase, any feedback is useful
    • MARATLAS shows the latest/most recent maps from the source provider, with a link to the latter.
    • Currently, a pilot is running with several geography teachers in schools. They will note which tools they use in the EAS and what they think is missing, and provide feedback on the educational use.
    • The MARATLAS website is a responsive design that is also usable on the smartphone.
    • A simple, not too technical (i.e. open for everyone) manual is being developed in all languages. It will focus on the creation and sharing of maps.

    Points made by the members of the group:

    • Promote MARATLAS as an application for the tourist industry e.g. people can check the EAS on beaches, water quality, protected areas, etc. before they plan their travel.
    • Develop an app
    • Create a new map on protected species by catch (e.g. dolphins)

    ACTION - at any time

    The members of the group are asked to provide any relevant feedback on

    1. to use the EAS
    2. to provide suggestions an d feedback

    Best practices & use cases – how industry can contribute to better data

    Copernicus Marine Service and Ocean Energy Europe Partnership

    - Presentation by Laurence Crosnier, Market Development Manager, Mercator Ocean

    Copernicus is a user-driven programme, i.e. the data evolves. In the presentation was demonstrated where and how ocean data can be used; where ocean data meets industry. Partnerships with the industry, allows Copernicus to improve their data.

    A partnership agreement between Ocean Energy Europe and with Mercator Ocean responsible for Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) has been signed. This partnership is signed in the frame CMEMS Strategy for Market Development and User Uptake, were they try to foster the use of Copernicus Marine products in new area / industry by paying users. The potential in the ocean energy industry is high and therefore Mercator Ocean engage with Ocean Energy Europe to use the CMEMS services and reaching out to their members.  The objectives for Ocean Energy Europe as set in the partnership agreement are to:

    • Promote of CMEMS services
    • Provide feedback from the users
    • Organise workshops and technical training (together with CMEMS)
    • Conduct a market study (rotating focus – Asia, Caribbean, etc.) with focus on ocean data as to get an overview on the data needs and the data used by their members.  

    Copernicus learns how the industry uses their data, gets feedback on how to improve their data availability, and how they can improve their portfolio by adding other and more targeted data and products to fit the needs of the industry sector.

    A use-case of data ingestion: How and why ESGEMAR shares bathymetry data -

    Presentation by Jorge Rey Díaz de Rada, project engineer, Esgemar S.A.

    ESGEMAR, S.A.Was established in 1984 and since beginning has been drawn up technical consulting in projects related with the marine environment.

    ESGEMAR, S.A.has a vast experience in marine geophysical exploration, marine geology, geotechnical studies, submarine resources, submarine hazards cartography, seafloor mapping and charting, underground hazards mapping for fishing, biodiversity studies, marine environment and underwater environmental impact reports

    ESGEMAR believes in the closed circle of open data: if we can take data from EMODnet, then why not sharing data with EMODnet if we can? To add value to their own data and to improve the quality (e.g. higher resolution) of the whole system, ESGEMAR shares the data they own with EMODnet Bathymetry via the data ingestion facility.  During the presentation several use cases were presented and the ESGEMAR explained why the joined the associated partnership scheme.

    Targeted “EMODnet for Business” campaign

    Presentation by Andrée-Anne, EMODnet Secretariat

    The dedicated “EMODnet for Business” campaign will run from 15 October till 15 November 2018.

    How can you contribute?

    The members of the group were asked what actions they have undertaken to promote EMODnet in their network since the kick off meeting in January 2018? Such as:

    Putting the EMODnet Logo on webpage

    Some articles on LinkedIN

    Submit data via the data ingestion facility

    Become an EMODnet ambassador by spreading  information  within their network and/or own company

    The members of the group are invited to share their EMODnet use cases – if they have any.

    The process to share a use case is very light: you need to fill in a form answering four  questions and share an image. Thereafter the EMODnet Secratratiat creates a story which is published on the EMODnet Central portal after your validation.

    The members of the group are invited to consider becoming an associated partner. Application letters can be send at any time.  You may find all information on this link.

    Conclusions and next meeting

    30 September 2018

    • provide feedback on query tool (see point 5b)

    15 October  2018

    • Submit written input for the strategic recommendations as input for the Blueprint on EMODnet for business, (see point 3)
    • Submit comments on the list of organisations,  (see point 3)
    • Identify other needs and applications (see point 3)


    • consider all action on how you can contribute to EMODnet (see point 7)
    • provide feedback and suggestion for the Atlas of Seas (see point 5d)

    The next MKEG meeting will take place in  March 2018.



    Mr Anagnopoulos Nikolaos


    Mr Altena Paul


    Mr Blanchet Hugo


    Ms Buckley Fiona


    Mr De Gier Wouter


    Ms Delafosse Coline


    Ms Devos Sandrine


    Ms Dhomé Diane


    Mr Franzosini Carlo


    Mr Giacomi Armando


    Mr Harpham Quillon Karl


    Mr Holthus Paul


    Mr Jeans Gus


    Ms Long Caitlin Rowenna


    Ms Löbl Martina


    Ms Martos Barba Ana


    Mr Murphy Jimmy


    Mr Nicolaus Ernst Erhard Manuel


    Mr Blanco Jorge


    Ms Rusu Liliana Celia


    Mr Sala Antonello


    Ms Sansoglou Paris


    Mr Szymanski Pawel


    Mr Tanhua Toste


    Mr Vanheule Bernard

    Y (telco)

    Ms Karametou Maria


    Mr De Boer Gerben J


    Ms Chojnacka Katarzyna


    Mr Rey Jorge


    Mr Murphy David



    Ms Strachinescu Andreaa


    Ms Herman Charlotte


    Mr Shepherd Iain


    Mr Stulgis Maris




    Ms Jacq Fabienne




    Ms Borg Greta


    EMODnet Secretariat


    Ms Tonné  Nathalie


    Mr Calewaert Jan-Bart


    Ms Marsan Andree-Anne


    Mr Derycke Pascal




    Ms Crosnier Laurence




    Ms Oset Paula


    Mr Claus Simon