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Maritime Forum

EMODnet Secretariat progress update – November 2016

EMODnet progress update largely based on the bi-monthly reports of the EMODnet projects covering the months September and October 2016, supplemented with updates from the Secretariat.

During this reporting period (September-October 2016), proposals for EMODnet phase III call for tenders (EASME/EMFF/2016/006) for further development and maintenance of EMODnet thematic data portals were being evaluated. Consequently, this progress update focuses primarily on the progress achieved by the EMODnet Sea-basin Checkpoints.

EMODnet progress overview

Specific progress and achievements of thematic lots

All thematic EMODnet projects except for Bathymetry completed their current 3-year contracts and submitted their final report in the period July 2016-October 2016. As a result, no new development activities were initiated as these are to be picked up again once the new contracts are signed (expected early 2017). DG MARE, the EMODnet Secretariat and the contracting authority (EASME) evaluated the achievements, final reports and status of the data portals and made several requests to improve the final reports as well as data portals themselves. Much progress has been made since. For instance, EMODnet Bathymetry released the latest version of their global DTM on 4 October 2016 at the INMARTECH 2016 Conference in Bergen (Norway) with an increase of a 10% in the number of source data sets used to produce the map. These data sources are provided by 31 data holders from 18 countries. EMODnet Physics reported that the number of operational platforms providing data to the portal as well as statistics concerning the portal usage has remained stable. This information is now easily available via a dashboard service ( intended to be used by data providers to have an overview of their data uptake through the portal. EMODnet Coastal mapping discussed progress at a meeting in Dublin on 14-15 September 2016 and agreed on the prioritization of tasks to be undertaken before the end of the current contract and the submission of their final report (December 2016). This final report will include other reports such as the study presenting EU regional strategies and the opportunities for funding in the framework of European cross-border cooperation programme and the report about vertical datum issues. Finally, the coordinators of all thematic lots have been pro-actively engaging with interested stakeholders and users by giving talks at different venues as mentioned in the section “Recent meetings and events” of this update.

EMODnet Sea-basin Checkpoint progress

After the 2016 summer period all Checkpoints have steadily increased their activities to submit the first Data Adequacy Reports (the DAR) for the Arctic, the Baltic and the Black Sea sea-basins. DARs are one of the most important Checkpoints deliverables as they compile the main results of the marine data adequacy assessments.

The Arctic Checkpoint significantly updated its portal with more apt descriptions on the challenges as well as extending the so-called dashboard service which provides easy access to the results of the Literature survey and the Data Adequacy Report. The Atlantic Checkpoint presented the project on several occasions in Dublin and Gdansk (see “Recent meetings and events” section below) taking the opportunity to engage with stakeholders. Partners were also very productive doing the validation of datasets (final number of 1270 datasets explored) with a view to produce availability indicators for the first Adequacy Report. Nevertheless, certain problems were identified when trying to use standardised SeaDataNet vocabularies, as partners may misinterpret certain terms. The Baltic Checkpoint reported on initial difficulties with data availability when facing the coastal erosion challenge which were overcome by accessing additional beach profiles, LIDAR data and ortophotos. Preparations were made for the first Baltic Checkpoint panel expert meeting which was tasked to review the progress achieved during the first 15 months, and more specifically the first findings produced in the Data Adequacy Report. The Black Sea Checkpoint prepared its first Data Adequacy Report which was submitted on 16 October 2016. The North Sea Checkpoint submitted their final report which outlines the approach adopted to answer the set of challenges for the North Sea Checkpoint and provides a summary of the challenges and key findings as well as recommendations for further development.

All the Data Adequacy Reports are made available via the DG MARE Maritime Forum which allows readers to provide comments.

Finally, the MedSea Checkpoint held its 3rd and final Annual Meeting in Bologna 20-22 September 2016, organising a training on SEXTANT to learn partners how to insert metadata. This is essential for the estimation of data appropriateness, the second “territory” which, together with data availability, will be considered in the second Data Adequacy Report. Finally, the catalogue of described data was significantly updated

Recent meetings and events

  • INSPIRE Conference 2016, 26-30 September 2016, Barcelona, Spain
    This conference was organised through a series of plenary sessions addressing common policy issues and parallel sessions focusing in particular on applications and implementations of INSPIRE. The coordinator of EMODnet Human Activities was one of the plenary speakers, providing a concrete example of INPIRE implementation for marine data in the framework of EMODnet. The video of his presentation can be found here.
  • 3rd Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference, 27 September, Dublin, Ireland
    EMODnet organized a workshop on “Open Data for Blue Growth in the Atlantic Area.” It had a good acceptance with approximately 20 attendees and a lively discussion. The workshop considered the difficulties and opportunities in streamlining the marine knowledge value chain, and in particular, when establishing links with potential users of EMODnet outputs from the private sector. As data users, the private sector would benefit from a clearer delineation of the products provided by EMODnet so that they could adapt their business plans accordingly. As data providers, the importance of a stronger engagement and participation was also stressed.
  • SeaTech Week 10-14 October, Brest, France
    EMODnet was heavily involved in the workshop organised by EuroGOOS in the context of the H2020 project COLUMBUS. Again, focusing on the private sector, and more in particular on the role of SMEs as intermediary service providers using publicly available marine data, the workshop was a success and brought together many actors from the EU marine data community and the private sector who acknowledged the importance of celebrating such brokerage events. More information can be found on
  • IMDIS Annual Conference, 11-13 October Gdansk
    The International Conference on Marine Data and Information System (IMDI) cycle of conferences aims at providing an overview of the existing information systems and as such, it is of great relevance to EMODnet and a great occasion for partners to meet. A high number of contributions (6 talks and 1 poster) related to EMODnet were presented. More information as well as the presentations and proceedings can be found and downloaded at

Upcoming EMODnet meetings and events

  • Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) 2016, 30 November - 02 December, Rotterdam
    The SOS is a gathering of the world’s ocean industries and a unique opportunity for EMODnet to forge links with the private sector. The SOS is organised by the World Ocean Council, (WOC), an international, cross-sectoral alliance for private sector leadership and collaboration in sustainability, stewardship and science.
  • EMODnet Sea-Basin Checkpoints Stakeholder Conference 2017, 14-15 February, Brussels
    The EMODnet Checkpoint Stakeholder Conference will take place over two days, 14-15 of February 2017, at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in Brussels, Belgium. The programme will be composed of plenary sessions followed by breakout sessions for each Sea-basin Checkpoint to meet with their respective regional stakeholders. The main objective is to inform interested stakeholders about the outputs and findings of the EMODnet Sea-basin Checkpoints. Feedback from stakeholders will be sought to improve the current data adequacy assessment process developed by the checkpoints with a view to give recommendations to improve marine observation activities in Europe. More information is available via

More information

More detailed information can be found on the EMODnet thematic and Sea-basin Checkpoint portals, also accessible through the EMODnet Central Portal.

Thematic lot portals

Sea-basin Checkpoint portals