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Maritime Forum

New EMODnet Checkpoints Kick Off (2-4 September 2015) - Meeting Summary

Teams of engineers and scientists have been assessing whether data collected in North Sea and Mediterranean are fit for purpose. The activities are at the halfway phase. Teams reported progress during a meeting in Wallingford, UK on 2-4 September...

Venue: HR Wallingford, Howbery Park, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK.

Date: 2nd – 4th September 2015

Minutes provided by Meeting Host HR Wallingford

Agenda: see

Purpose and Approach

The purpose of the meeting was to kick off the four new checkpoint projects, feeding into them the early conclusions of the two active checkpoint projects with respect to general approach, certain technical details and reporting / communication style. The activities of each day are summarised as follows:

  • 2nd September: Review of aims and vision, administration and contractual details for new projects, EMODnet coordination role.

  • 3rd September: Extended presentations of Mediterranean and North Sea Checkpoint projects, discussion of project approaches and findings, work plans for new projects.

  • 4th September: Open discussion concerning utilising outputs of existing checkpoints in new projects.




Quillon Harpham

HR Wallingford

Nadia Pinardi

INGV and Univ. Bologna

Atanas Palazov

Institute of Oceanology, Bulgaria

Violeta Slabakova

Institute of Oceanology, Bulgaria

Jan Tjalling van der Wal


Giuseppe Manzella


Iain Shepherd

DG Mare

Jan-Bart Calewaert

EMODnet coordinator

Belinda Kater


Peter Thijsse


Jacques Populus


Marie Pendle

HR Wallingford

Anja Detant


Eric Moussat


Lesley Mansfield

HR Wallingford

Discussion and Actions

General Approach

Both existing Checkpoint projects, North Sea and Mediterranean, are standards-based and undertaking the same set of challenges. However the teams have approached the projects in a different way. The North Sea Checkpoint is undertaking a direct approach to the challenges implementing them in series and using standards with a light touch whereas the Mediterranean Checkpoint is heavily standards based, building a detailed information architecture and implementing the challenges in parallel.

Action 1: North Sea and MedSea Checkpoints with Secretariat by November 2016: Propose an overall information architecture for the Checkpoint initiatives, as a robust mixture of the approaches taken to date.


The first Checkpoints are producing interesting and valuable results. There is a good opportunity to maximise the communication potential of these messages by structuring reports as follows so that the information can be easily channelled to different target audiences:

  • A set of bullet point headlines/highlights (e.g. to update users and stakeholder via Maritime Forum posts, EMODnet website news flashes and social media);

  • News article length summary, where possible with one or more photo(s) (to be used in appropriate news article outlets or via other online platforms);

  • Full report detail structure (to provide supporting detail and fuller discussion).

Action 2: North Sea and MedSea Checkpoints with Secretariat by end September 2015: Agree and publish report template.


Stakeholder interaction will become an increasingly important aspect of the Checkpoint initiative. It was noted that stakeholders will often cross Checkpoint project boundaries and have limited time and attention. The initiative must maximise opportunities to involve stakeholders while avoiding ‘stakeholder fatigue’.

Action 3: Checkpoint Coordinators by end September 2015: Propose to Iain that the stakeholder meetings for the four new Checkpoints are combined into one meeting in November 2016 in Brussels (perhaps at the Royal Academy of Science). The North Sea and Mediterranean checkpoints will be concluding at this point and can present at the meeting.


An important distinction arose concerning whether a dataset is fit for the purpose derived by its creator and whether a dataset is fit for other purposes / uses attempted by third parties. The current terminology used in Mediterranean Checkpoint is ‘fitness for purpose’ for the former and ‘fitness for use’ for the latter. This was deemed confusing since a non-specialist would regard the two phrases as meaning the same.

Action 4: North Sea and MedSea Checkpoints by end October 2015: Agree and publish short document clarifying this terminology and its usage on Checkpoint projects.