News & Events

Why should Brussels care about ocean observing?

We know more about Mars than we know about the ocean. Yet, ocean observations deliver critical information for a long list of societal benefits, not least the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ocean observation’s national funders, pan-European research coordination projects, scientists and politicians spent three days in Brussels unwinding the complexities of the ocean information needs.

From 21 to 23 November, 300 stakeholders debated end-to-end solutions to meeting the societal and policy demands for ocean data. “Ocean observations and information underpin a great variety of services from commercial uses of the ocean space and resources, to human health and security, to climate change mitigation strategies”, explained Dr. Glenn Nolan, oceanographer and secretary general of the European Global Ocean Observing System, EuroGOOS. “Only by coordinating national ocean observing efforts at pan-European and global levels, can we achieve the ambitious European and global ocean strategies.”

EOOS as a coordinating framework for European ocean observing has been fostered by science and oceanographic communities. The EOOS framework has been promoted by community declarations (EuroOCEAN conferences 2010 and 2014) and several research and innovation agendas and strategic documents. In 2015, the European Global Ocean Observing System, EuroGOOS, and the European Marine Board, EMB, joined forces in designing tangible mechanisms to make EOOS a reality. Through active participation of the EOOS steering group, several stakeholder events (including in the European Parliament) and open on-line consultations, the EOOS strategy and implementation plan have now been finalized. These documents have benefited from inputs by a broad range of national, regional and pan-European actors, including, among many others, the OSPAR convention, ICES, and the International Hydrographic Organization.

“This unique action plan is open for and inclusive of the many disciplines and technologies underpinning the ocean observing efforts”, said Prof. Sheila Heymans, ecosystem modeler and executive director of the European Marine Board, EMB. “Many tangible actions are already underway, and many more are needed, but the EOOS process has shown that the European ocean observing communities are ready to step-up cooperation”.

The EOOS conference call for action (PDF) has been adopted by the participants and handed to European national research representatives, the Joint Programming Initiative on Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans, and the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella.

The conference report will be finalized by January 2019. The conference twitter feed tagged #EOOSConference18 gives a glimpse of the rich and engaged discussions at the event. The conference website features the event’s presentation slides and pictures.

EOOS 2018 conference participants on 22 November 2018, Brussels (image author: Dirk Leemans)

EOOS Strategy and Implementation Plan 2018-2022 released

The EOOS strategy and implementation plan have been finalized by the EOOS steering group with significant community input. The documents build on the EOOS Consultation Document 2016 (pdf) and a series of events and open consultations.

Further to the successful EOOS forum on 8 March 2018 and subsequent open consultation on the draft strategy and implementation plan, these documents are now finalized for an official launch at the EOOS conference on 21-23 November 2018.

EOOS Strategy 2018-2022

EOOS Strategy 2018-2022 October 2018 (588.3 KiB)

EOOS Implementation Plan 2018-2022

EOOS Implementaion Plan 2018-2022 October 2018 (154.6 KiB)

EOOS conference programme released

EOOS conference, Evolving the European Ocean Observing System: Connecting communities for end-to-end solutions, will take place in Brussels on 21-23 November 2018. The draft programme is now available.

The conference aims to further connect European ocean observing communities, building on the success of the EOOS Forum on 8 March 2018. At the conference, the EOOS strategy and implementation plan will be discussed – drafts currently in review after an open stakeholder consultation (25 April – 25 June 2018).

Conference registration is free of charge and ongoing. The event will take place from 14:00 hours on Wednesday 21 November and run until 14:00 hours on Friday 23 November. Location: The Egg, 175 Rue Bara, 1070 Brussels.

There is an opportunity to submit applications for posters, exhibition space, and meeting room facilities at the EOOS conference. Applications deadline has been extended to 13 August.

EOOS strategy and implementation plan consultation deadline extended

The deadline to submit responses to the 2018 open EOOS consultation has been extended until 25 June. The consultation gives an opportunity for broad ocean observing, data and services stakeholders to reflect and propose ways forward for a fit-for-purpose, integrated and sustained European Ocean Observing System, EOOS. The EOOS steering group are proposing a strategy and implementation plan for EOOS 2018-2022. The documents as well as the consultation questionnaire are available here.

EOOS Stakeholder Consultation on the draft strategy and implementation plan

On 25 April, EOOS stakeholder consultation is launched to collect feedback on the draft strategy and implementation plan 2018-2022. Stakeholder co-design and engagement are key to achieving a truly integrated and sustained ocean observing framework, EOOS. In 2017, an open consultation took place to collect stakeholders’ feedback on the EOOS consultation document developed by the steering group. Based on this survey and the EOOS forum 2018, draft EOOS strategy and implementation plan were developed. Those are now released for an open consultation running from 25 April to 15 June. The results will be released on this website and the documents finalized for adoption at the EOOS conference 2018 (21-23/11, Brussels).

Go to the consultation page to read the EOOS draft strategy and implementation plan and submit your feedback.

EOOS Forum was a critical step to move forward – an overview

A full-day EOOS forum on 8 March brought together 80 ocean science managers, researchers, policymakers and private companies on the topic of ocean observations.

The information required to do business, research or ensure security at sea is based on an array of ocean observing infrastructures. We rely heavily on ocean information, but its sources are disparate, with measurements taken for various purposes, over disrupted time scales, and to different standards. Europe, trying to capitalize on the shared benefits of cooperation in ocean research and the blue economy, needs an end-to-end and sustained European Ocean Observing System (EOOS), allowing all users and implementers of ocean observations find information and help they need.

The EOOS framework is being developed by EuroGOOS and European Marine Board with experts and advisers from many regional, national and pan-European organizations. While there’s a broad agreement that such a framework is urgently needed for Europe, it is still unclear how exactly to fulfill this ambitious task. At the EOOS forum on 8 March, delegates brainstormed on the critical EOOS questions, including system design tools, funding, governance, technologies and innovation, as well as communications.

‘Without ocean observations we are living in the dark’ was stated at one of the group discussions, but ‘a cultural step change is needed to break the silos between multiple stakeholders’. EOOS will gather information on monitoring plans, discuss funding priorities, and engage with new partners. EOOS will also help make a business case for ocean observations and allow the community to reach out to governments, engage more systematically with regional efforts and inform pan-European research programming. EOOS forum delegates strongly emphasized the need to listen to the needs of various ocean observing users, to ensure EOOS is genuinely fit-for-purpose.

An EOOS strategy and implementation plan will take on board the valuable intellectual inputs from the EOOS forum. These documents will present an EOOS vision and concrete steps over the coming five years and be open for stakeholder consultation in the spring. The finalized drafts will be presented for adoption at the EOOS conference on 21-23 November.

EOOS Forum Delegates, 8 March 2018. Photo: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX

The EOOS Forum on 8 March 2018: Towards a European strategy for a truly integrated and sustained ocean observing – Registration Open!

Registration is open for the EOOS Forum taking place at Area 42 in Brussels on 8 March 2018. The forum will bring together the main ocean observing funders, implementers and users in Europe. It will examine the extent to which the current observing systems are sustainable today, and what opportunities and threats there are.

Initiated by the EOOS Steering Group as the main forum for an integrated European Ocean Observing System, the event will discuss the EOOS strategy, developed further to the stakeholder consultation Dec. 2016- Jan. 2017, and seek feedback from the funders, implementers and users on the way forward. 

The EOOS Forum will take place on Thursday 8 March 2018, at ‘Area 42’, Rue des Palais 46, 1030 Brussels, Belgium.

Further information and registration are available on the forum web page of this website.

Save the date: EOOS stakeholder events 2018 in Brussels

Two major EOOS stakeholder events will take place in Brussels in 2018.

  • 8 March 2018: EOOS Forum “Integrated and sustained ocean observing: a European strategy”, AREA 42 (46 rue des Palais, 1030 Brussels).  

  • 21-23 November 2018: EOOS Conference “Evolving EOOS: Connecting communities for end-to-end solutions”, The Egg (175 Bara Street, 1070 Brussels).

Further information will be released on this website soon. In the meantime, for any queries please contact the organizers at info[at]eoos-ocean.eu

EOOS Consultation: summary report released

A summary report of the EOOS open stakeholder consultation is now available (download). The consultation ran for six weeks and received 115 responses from 30 countries. Respondents included research institutes, ocean observation and marine monitoring organizations, industry, public authorities, and ocean observing experts responding in personal capacity. 

Stakeholders acknowledged a critical need for a better coordination of European ocean observations. 91% agreed that EOOS could provide such coordination framework, building on existing efforts. Respondents proposed that EOOS early actions should be fostering links across existing ocean observing and data initiatives gaining commitment and support at national and European level.

EOOS Consultation Results Summary (857.3 KiB)

EOOS Consultation Results Overview (2.0 MiB)

EOOS Consultation: preliminary results available

The EOOS open stakeholder consultation was completed at the end of January 2017. The results are currently being analysed by the EOOS Steering Group and the co-chairing organizations, EuroGOOS and European Marine Board (EMB). 115 respondents from 30 countries submitted their responses. Half of the responses were on behalf of an institution (agency, institute, ministry, pan-European network). The support to the EOOS concept outlined in the Consultation Document was overwhelming. The first proposed actions were also supported by a vast majority, those are: to characterize the existing European ocean observing landscape, to deliver a business case (economic and non-economic assessment) for ocean observing, and to foster links across existing ocean observing and data initiatives. Many valuable comments were received as free text submissions and are currently being analysed. The EOOS Steering Group met in Brussels on 9 February 2017 to discuss the results, and the consultation report which will be delivered in Spring 2017.

EuroGOOS and EMB with the advice from the EOOS Steering Group, opened this stakeholder consultation on EOOS during six weeks running through December 2016 and January 2017.  The consultation collected views from the European ocean observing community and wider stakeholders spanning policy, industry and national agencies, on what EOOS should look like and how it should be run.

The preliminary results of the EOOS open stakeholder consultation were presented by Glenn Nolan, co-chair of the EOOS Steering Group, at the EMODnet Conference on 15 February 2017. Slides from this presentation, prepared joinly by EuroGOOS and EMB, are available on this EOOS website (download or visit the EOOS materials page to discover this and other outputs).

Stakeholder consulation on EOOS design open – Have your say!

From 12 December until 20 January 2017, an open stakeholder consultation is launched to help design an integrated and sustained European Ocean Observing System, EOOS. The consultation targets a wide European community of ocean data providers, infrastructure managers, technology developers, data users, and broader ocean observing stakeholders.

This survey is critical to collect views from the European ocean observing community and wider stakeholders and to inform any decision-making about a future EOOS.

The need for an end-to-end integrated and sustained European Ocean Observing System, EOOS, has been expressed by the oceanographic and scientific community during the development of the European Integrated Maritime Policy in 2007. Since then, EOOS has featured in a number of scientific and science-policy documents. An overview of those developments is available here. Through those documents, a need for EOOS has been expressed at both regional and pan-European levels. However, to design an efficient and sustained EOOS concrete stakeholder recommendations are needed, as well as a policy buy-in.

The consultation survey was designed by the EOOS Steering Group brought together by EuroGOOS and the European Marine Board, in their consolidated actions to make EOOS a reality.

Have your say on the future EOOS!

Building a European Ocean Observing System – European Parliament event

Date
08/09/2016

The need for an end-to-end integrated and sustained European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) has been expressed by the oceanographic and scientific community during the development of the Integrated Maritime Policy in 2007. In 2008, EuroGOOS and European Marine Board released a joint vision document (pdf) to outline the concept of this framework. Since then, EOOS has featured in a number of scientific and science-policy documents. An overview of those developments is available here.

In 2016, after a successful brainstorming workshop, EuroGOOS and European Marine Board convened an expert panel acting as EOOS Steering Group. The Steering Group has developed a consultation document to collect feedback for the EOOS implementation roadmap and launch it for a wide stakeholder consultation.  

On 8 September 2016, the EOOS progress and the consultation document were presented at a dedicated event at the European Parliament hosted by MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos.

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EOOS is seen as a light and flexible coordinating framework to help manage and improve the existing observing effort, making it more efficient and effective at different geographical scales, and for different end-users. 

More on the EOOS event at the European Parliament

The ocean is a crucial driver of our climate, a source of oxygen, water, food, energy and raw materials, and a medium for tourism, transport and commerce. Our future depends on the ocean health and its ability to deliver goods and services, and the global ocean has been valued at US$24 trillion placing it among the largest world economies (WWF 2015). Acquiring knowledge and information for using and exploring the ocean space and resources requires state-of-the-art ocean observing technologies, waterborne fixed and mobile observatories, and space observations. In addition to delivering services to a large number of economic sectors, ocean observing is in itself an important economic activity generating a considerable amount of jobs.

Prediction of natural hazards (e.g. tsunamis and storm surges), marine spatial planning, search and rescue operations, as well as ecosystem and climate modelling, rely on ocean observing. It also gives the prerequisite information for exploring new ocean technologies for biotechnology, renewable energy as well as oil, gas and mineral exploitation in the deep sea. The implementation of European Directives (e.g. MSFD, MSP, WFD ), and Policies (CFP, MSS, etc.) require marine data delivered for management actions at sea and at the coast. Such data of high quality and resolution seamlessly shared from different sources will contribute to the development of the European Digital Single Market.

An integrated and sustained European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) will bring together marine observations from coast to the open ocean and from surface to deep sea, promote partnerships for infrastructure funding and data sharing, align with user needs and technological innovation, and fill the real need for cross-disciplinary research and multi-stakeholder engagement (ESFRI 2016). EOOS will deliver a vision, roadmap, and a common focal point for European ocean observing research and technology. It will bring a real added value to existing efforts, empowering those who are working to advance ocean observing in Europe, catalysing new initiatives in a strategic way, targeting identified gaps and speaking with a wide range of stakeholders.

The EOOS event at the European Parliament brought European policy and decision makers together with the ocean observing community, to engage in a direct dialogue and discussions on needs and ambitions for a strong and integrated European ocean observing capacity. This event helped building the foundation of the future EOOS.

Location
European Parliament

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