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Maritime Forum

EMODnet Secretariat update

This update provides a status overview of EMODnet initiatives in January 2014 and is largely based on the activity reports of the thematic portals covering the period from their initiation until the end of 2013.

EMODnet Phase II thematic and regional lots

The last EMODnet Phase II contract was signed with the Mediterranean sea-basin checkpoint on 4 December 2013. This means that all the contracts with the EMODnet thematic and regional (sea-basin checkpoint) lots have been signed and started in 2013. For an overview of the starting dates of all the lots see

Since most of the projects commenced only in the second half of 2013, most of the activities focussed on signing the contracts with the European Commission, developing consortium agreements and gathering partners in kick off meetings to plan and initiate the work. General highlights and achievements include:

  • Most of the thematic website have been updated to reflect the extended scope, partnership and new activities of the 2nd EMODnet phase;
  • Following the 1st EMODnet Steering Committee, all thematic website and portals can now be accessed using uniform URL names according to the format (with XXXXX the agreed standard name for the thematic lots): Lot 1: Bathymetry; Lot 2: Geology; Lot 3: Seabed habitats; Lot 4: Chemistry; Lot 5: Biology; Lot 6: Physics; Lot 7: Human Activities.
  • Summary information about all of the EMODnet lots is available on the central EMODnet portal ( which also acts as a gateway to each of the thematic portals;
  • EMODnet thematic lots were (re-)presented at several external conferences and events in 2013 including but not limited to:
    • EuroGeoSurveys exhibit at the GEO-X Conference in Geneva, Switzerland (January 2014).
    • IMDIS 2013, International Conference on Marine Data and Information Systems, 23-25 September 2013, Lucca, Italy.
    • MARES 2020, International Conference “Marine Research Horizon 2020”, Varna, Bulgaria, 17-20 September, 2013
    • BS-GES 2013, 4th Bi-annual Black Sea Scientific Conference Challenges Towards Good Environmental Status, Constanta, Romania, 28th 31th October 2013.
    • GEBCO Science Day 2013, organised by GEBCO and hosted at CNR-ISMAR in Venice - Italy on 7 - 8 October 2013.

Specific progress and accomplishments by the thematic lots include:

  • EMODnet Bathymetry established agreements with additional data providers for the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean from Romania, Turkey and Germany. It also upgraded Quality Assurance (QA) / Quality Control (QC) and Digital Terrain Model (DTM) generation methodology, considering the increased DTM resolution and lessons learned from the previous projects (documents available on and upgraded GLOBE software by IFREMER for generating DTMs following the upgraded EMODNet methodology.
  • EMODnet Geology held its kick off meeting on 21-22 January 2014 in Lisbon which addressed among others collaboration with other portals (notably bathymetry and Seabed habitats) and the EMODnet-Geology portal that will be designed to complement the central EMODnet portal currently under development.
  • EMODnet Seabed habitats is following up on the current revision of the EUNIS marine benthic habitat classification structure carried out under the aegis of the EEA and is making progress on data sharing challenges in cooperation with the European Commission within the MEDISEH (Mediterranean Sensitive Habitats) project as part of the MAREA (Mediterranean hAlieutic Resources Evaluation and Advice) project.
  • EMODnet Chemistry set up a Technical Working Group (TGW) and developed first plans for further development of the chemistry data infrastructure as part of the TGW first meeting.
  • Acquisition of the EU FP7 DEVOTES project database and information for indicators at regional seas level from OSPAR and HELCOM by EMODnet Biology. The DEVOTES database contains MSFD indicators from all member states which were submitted to the European Commission in July 2012.
  • Identification and description of 75 new datasets in the EMODnet Biology metadata catalogue ( which will be available to the project in the 2nd EMODnet phase, all of which will become accessible through the Portal.
  • EMODnet Physics held a range of meetings, among others with representatives of the Regional Ocean Observing System (ROOS), to address regional collaboration, technical challenges and data input into the Physics portal and launched a new Map Viewer in November 2013 available from
  • The latest addition to the EMODnet thematic family, the Human Activities lot, is a new theme in EMODnet phase II. The project developed a mock-ups of the portal and has started to acquire data being several of the Human Activities themes.

Recent EMODnet meetings and events:

EMODnet Steering Committee Meeting

The first EMODnet Steering Committee meeting took place on 16-17 December 2013 at the JPI Oceans office in Brussels. Main highlights of the meeting:

  • Obtaining a full status overview of the thematic and regional EMODnet lots in Phase II with identification of opportunities for collaboration;
  • Establishing process on harmonisation of the various portal and communication activities;
  • Agreement on a process to monitor the progress of EMODnet thematic lots using a set of progress indicators;
  • Establishing the remit and responsibilities of the Steering Committee in a Terms of Reference;
  • Agreement on the development of three pilot EMODnet ‘use cases’ to test added value functionality by the central portal using data from more than 2 thematic portals;
  • Establishing two Ad Hoc Working Groups:
    • Ad Hoc Technical Working Group to advice on technical matters and guide the development of the EMODnet entry portal functionalities
    • Ad Hoc User Group to obtain feedback from key EMODnet target stakeholders and steer the development of the EMODnet entry portal;

A full report of the meeting is available on The next EMODnet Steering Committee Meeting will take place on 4 and 5 June 2014.

Future EMODnet meetings and events:

  • The 21st Marine Observation and Data Expert Group (MODEG) Meeting will take place on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 February 2014 at the InnovOcean site in Oostende (Belgium). The agenda of the meeting can be found here:
  • Formal opening of the EMODnet Secretariat – 19 February 2014. The Programme of the inauguration can be found here:
  • JERICO Summerschool “From Data to decisions” from 16-20 june 2014, the Netherlands. The FP7 JERICO project (Towards a joint European research infrastructure network for coastal observatories) organizes its 2nd summer school covering the state-of-the-art pan-European marine information systems landscape. The EMODnet Secretariat and core networks involved in EMODnet thematic portals will participate in this training day, including EuroGOOS, EurOBIS/ICES, MyOcean and SeaDataNet. More information about the summer school and opportunities to participate/contribute are available at

Other updates:

  • The EMODnet Secretariat has submitted a proposal for a workshop as part of the European Maritime Day 2014 which will take place in Bremen on 19-20 May 2014. Provided the proposal is accepted buy the Organisers, the workshop will focus on key European efforts in the lifepath from marine observations and data up to information and knowledge. This should include at least:
    • Provide an overview of the status and future perspectives of the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet);
    • Zoom in on regional efforts by the EMODnet sea-basin checkpoints to assess the overlaps and gaps in marine data and observation infrastructure to advise Member States about the priorities for further data collection and assembly.
    • Address activities and tools to create added value products from available marine observations and data, such as the European Atlas of the Seas.
  • The temporary central EMODnet landing page available since October 2013 is currently being revised to provide the latest information and updates about the various EMODnet portals. It will also act as an information channel to disseminate news and updates using social media.