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Maritime Forum

Annual progress report 2016 for EMODnet

This report presents an overview of the progress of the thematic portals and regional activities achieved during the third year of operation of the EMODnet Secretariat, i.e. in the period from September 2015 to September 2016. This indicator report...


Fig: overview with the monthly history of visits to the EMODnet Central Portal ( in 2015 and 2016.

Main achievements

  • The successful organisation of the 1st EMODnet Open Conference, gathering more than 300 stakeholders to discuss marine data acquisition, management and sharing and to consider avenues for the future development of EMODnet.

  • Rapid progress of the Sea-basin Checkpoints for the Atlantic, Baltic Sea, Arctic and Black Sea, with all websites providing information about the projects in a coherent way.

  • Consolidation of links with other EU initiatives such as INSPIRE and developments in the framework of the MSFDMSPD and Copernicus.

  • Significant progress towards improved harmonization of thematic and Checkpoint portals to achieve a seamless experience for users. This has relied on a continuous collaborative effort by the whole EMODnet partnership led and coordinated by the EMODnet Secretariat.

  • Increased visibility of EMODnet amongst non-traditional stakeholders beyond the monitoring and observation communities, in particular from SMEs and maritime industry.

  • Creation and establishment of the new EMODnet Associated Partnership Scheme enabling EMODnet to become a more flexible, open and inclusive network. Three new Associated Partners have formally joined the network, including a large, international dredging company. These relationships pave the way to improved uptake of EMODnet resources by industry users as well as opening avenues for industry to contribute more data to EMODnet.

  • The launch in spring 2016 of an EMODnet Data Ingestion Facility. This facility will provide a helpdesk and gateway for public and/or private data holders who wish to share their data but are currently unable to do so. The data ingestion portal is available from

Remaining key challenges of common interest

While huge progress has been achieved during the reporting period at various levels (data uptake, access, portal development, etc.), a number of important challenges remain to be addressed by all EMODnet lots to progress further. These challenges are not new and were already highlighted and detailed in the previous progress reports. The main overarching challenges that remain to be tackled relate to

  • developing a single sign-on procedure (allowing seamless user navigation between portals with one single login/password for all services);
  • maintaining realistic stakeholder expectations (what does EMODnet offer, what will it offer in the coming years and which services will it never provide);
  • open access/licences (reducing the restrictions to access data);
  • data ingestion (unlocking the wealth of marine data that exists but which is currently not yet available via EMODnet);
  • user feedback (ensuring users are fully involved in testing and future developments to provide a fit for purpose servive); and
  • interoperability issues.

For further details consult the full report as well as the previous annual progress reports.

The report is largely based on the inputs provided by the EMODnet thematic lots, inter alia from available final reports supplemented with updates from the Secretariat.