Towards an All-Atlantic Data Space for the Ocean

Blue-Cloud Event
3 June 2021 02:00

Enhancing the use of standards, best practices, and partnerships for information and data sharing across the Atlantic

3rd June, from 13:00 – 15:00 UTC / 15:00 - 17:00 CEST

A workshop jointly organised by the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AANChOR), the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative, H2020 Blue-Cloud, H2020 iAtlantic and H2020 AtlantECO, as a side-event at the All-Atlantic2021 R&I for a Sustainable Ocean Stakeholder Conference 

The oceans, seas, and coasts are home to diverse marine ecosystems. They provide a wealth of resources, influence climate, and offer many economic opportunities. Marine ecosystems are sensitive to long-term global change and combinations of multiple local pressures can affect ecosystems in unpredictable ways. More understanding of natural dynamics and effects is needed to enable sustainable use and conservation of these ecosystems. Given the range of threats, and the relative lack of knowledge about marine ecosystems, the United Nations (UN) has declared the next decade (2021-2030) the “United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”.

States all across the world deploy monitoring programmes at national and regional level to support national marine governance goals, several regional policies, and the growing demands for sustainable use of resources. Research institutes operate research vessels and many other platforms and instruments for gathering in-situ observation data on a global scale. Their data is mostly used for scientific research, but also complements the data acquired by States through monitoring activities, gathering long time series. In addition, marine data are also collected by private organisations in support of economic activities. Increasingly marine and ocean data and information is also derived from Earth Observation (EO). Space technologies, infrastructure, services and data nowadays provide also important input for addressing societal challenges and big global concerns. 

Read the report

The past, present and future of an All-Atlantic Data Space for the Ocean

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an arena to debate about EU and international initiatives working to harmonize and facilitate data sharing across the Atlantic, and provide demonstrations of available tools, training, and the latest open science ‘blue cloud’ technologies to make data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.

The workshop engages Atlantic partners in a dialogue to identify the technical needs and challenges of data sharing across the Atlantic ‘pole to pole’, and work to establish the necessary collaborations between nations and organizations required to jointly address regional and global ocean issues in the coming decade.

The goals and objectives of AANCHOR, the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative and of the H2020 iAtlantic, AtlantECO and Blue-Cloud initiatives all rest on this essential foundation of data sharing, and the alignment of data collection and management practices with international standards and best practices is the necessary first step towards the transformational changes required to meet Sustainable Development Goals, the goals of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and the development of a sustainable Blue Economy.

Who should attend?

Policy makers, funding agencies, e-Infrastructures and Research Infrastructures, data providers, research & academic institution representatives, research communities, industry representatives, maritime business and innovation clusters, and projects related to blue economy from countries around the Atlantic.

Read the report


13:00 - 13:05 UTC
(15:00-15:05 CEST)

Welcome and workshop overview

Sara Pittonet Gaiarin, Senior Project Manager, TRUST-IT & Blue-Cloud Coordinator, event host (download the slides)


Fabienne Jacq, Policy Officer, DG Defence, Industry and Space (DEFIS), European Commission

Panel 1

13:05-14:00 UTC
(15:05-16:00 CEST)

Measure Once, Use Many Times. Standards, best practices, challenges and incentives for maximizing the use of ocean data in the Atlantic region

Round table and panel discussion with representatives of data contributors and regional marine data services from across the Atlantic, to discuss the existing capability and how to collaborate and move towards truly FAIR, interoperable data services

Moderator: Jay Pearlman, IEEE / SG-OBPS

14:00 - 14:05 UTC
(16:00 - 16:05 CEST)
Coffee break

Panel 2

14:05-14:55 UTC
(16:05-17:00 CEST)

Towards an All-Atlantic Data Space for the Ocean: Needs, challenges, opportunities, and partnerships

Open, moderated discussion on the priority actions required to achieve the goals of an All-Atlantic Data Space

Moderator: Martin Visbeck, GEOMAR

  • Pier-Luigi Buttigieg, Knowledge Steward / Senior Data Scientist at GEOMAR
  • Tina Dohna, PANGAEA Project Manager at MARUM
  • Kate Larkin, Deputy Head of EMODnet Secretariat, Seascape Belgium
  • Anja Kreiner, National Marine Information and Research Centre (NatMIRC), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Namibia
  • Marc Taconet, Team Leader, Fisheries Knowledge and Information Management Team, NFISI 
  • Ben Williams, Metocean Director for the Americas region at Fugro 


Sara Pittonet Gaiarin, Senior Project Manager, TRUST-IT & Blue-Cloud Coordinator, event host

Meet the speakers



AANCHOR, the All-Atlantic Ocean Research AllianceThe All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance is the result of science diplomacy efforts involving countries from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean which aims at enhancing marine research and innovation cooperation along and across the Atlantic Ocean, from the Arctic to Antarctica. The Alliance fosters an Atlantic Ocean community by implementing the Galway and Belém Statements.

G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative. The G7 FSOI will catalyse and facilitate activities required to seamlessly link data collected from new observations (particularly biological and ecosystem variables) with existing and also under-exploited marine data in a way that makes the data quickly and widely located, shared, compared and interoperated (including Blue Cloud and Open Science approaches). The G7 FSOI will work with partners to establish a limited list of seamless data integrator and demonstration projects, and to engage and develop further international cooperation on ocean reanalysis, analysis and forecasting in support of Digital Twin Ocean development activities and relevant programmes of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

AtlantECO - Atlantic ECOsystems assessment, forecasting & sustainability. The Horizon 2020 AtlantECO project aims to develop and apply a novel, unifying framework that provides knowledge-based resources for a better understanding and management of the Atlantic Ocean and its ecosystem services. AtlantECO’s knowledge base focuses on three pillars of research: microbiomes, plastic and the plastisphere, and seascape connectivity. AtlantECO is an ambitious, data intensive programme that combines existing data and new observations obtained from state of the art and novel environmental, imaging and genomics methods. Bioinformatics and innovative modelling will map the status of, and forecast changes in key ecosystem and socio-economic indicators for the Atlantic Ocean. The adoption of standards and best practices across the four continents bordering the Atlantic is at the core of AtlantECO. Open Science and Data infrastructures such as Elixir, EuroBioImaging, EMODnet, OBIS and the Blue-Cloud are part of AtlantECO’s data management and exploitation plan.

iAtlantic. The Horizon 2020 project iAtlantic aims to deliver knowledge that is critical for responsible and sustainable management of Atlantic Ocean resources in an era of unprecedented global change. Involving marine scientists from countries bordering the north and south Atlantic Ocean, this ambitious project will determine the resilience of deep-sea animals – and their habitats – to threats such as temperature rise, pollution and human activities.

Blue-Cloud. The Horizon 2020 Blue-Cloud (B-C) project launched in October 2019, aiming to demonstrate the potential of web-based Open Science in the marine domain. To deliver on this objective, it is piloting the development of a web-based cyber platform that will provide marine scientists with enhanced analytical capabilities. It will facilitate their engagement in collaborative research and will provide them with access to powerful cloud-computing resources, a range of analytical tools and simplified access to multi-disciplinary data from in situ and satellite-derived observations to model outputs. B-C is co-designed by, and builds on, existing European capability, including trusted data services EMODnetCMEMS and other key marine data and research infrastructures (SeaDataNetEurOBISEuro-ArgoArgo GDACENAEuroBioImaging, and ICOS-Marine) and e-infrastructures (EUDAT, D4Science, WEkEO). Blue-Cloud addresses the Innovation Action “The Future of Seas and Oceans Flagship Initiative (BG-07-2019-2020)”.