Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States


  

Last Update: 08-11-2012  
Related category(ies):
Research infrastructures  |  Success stories  |  Environment

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Belgium  |  Bulgaria  |  Croatia  |  Cyprus  |  Denmark  |  Estonia  |  Finland  |  France  |  Georgia  |  Germany  |  Greece  |  Iceland  |  Ireland  |  Israel  |  Italy  |  Latvia  |  Lithuania  |  Malta  |  Netherlands  |  Norway  |  Poland  |  Portugal  |  Romania  |  Russia  |  Slovenia  |  Spain  |  Sweden  |  Turkey  |  Ukraine  |  United Kingdom
Add to PDF "basket"

SEADATANET – Making waves with European sea data

Europe's marine research is largely fragmented along national lines, but an EU-wide network of data centres is seeking to create a single European information sea.

©Fotolia
© IFREMER, Oliver Dugornay

Europe's seas and oceans are vitally important to the European Union, and the wider European context. These waterways are of enormous economic importance, as reflected by the fishery, tourism and shipping industries.

Moreover, knowledge of how human pollution affects fragile marine ecosystems is important to the well-being of the planet, human health and numerous sectors of the economy. In the context of climate change, understanding how sea levels rise is crucial to protecting and preserving the Union's coastal areas.

This highlights the enormous value and potential of marine research. However, although Europe's seas and oceans know no political boundaries, research in this vital area has traditionally been carried out nationally.

This has led to fragmentation, gaps in knowledge and, often, duplication of effort. "In Europe, there are hundreds of public and private marine data-collection laboratories which gather a wide range of data, on physical, geophysical, geological, biological and chemical parameters," says Michèle Fichaut, an oceanographic data manager at IFREMER, the French Research Institute for the Exploration of the Sea.

"However, the collected data are neither easily accessible nor standardised. In addition, the data are not always validated and the databases in which they are stored are not always secure," she adds.

Trawling oceans of data
Addressing this challenge requires efforts to link up the hundreds of separate marine research islands into an integrated archipelago of interconnected facilities. And this is exactly what the EU-backed SeaDataNet II project has succeeded in doing.

"SeaDataNet II is a leading network in Europe which provides access to ocean and marine metadata and datasets collected during research cruises or from monitoring activities in the European seas," explains Fichaut, who coordinates the network. "SeaDataNet is based on a semi-distributed system that incorporates and enhances the existing National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODC) network."

The four-year EU-funded project – which has received EUR 6 million in funding from the Seventh Framework Programme's Infrastructures theme – has developed a veritable Europe-wide virtual data centre. Accessed through a versatile portal, it is able to crunch the numbers provided by 44 partner organisations in over 30 countries to deliver integrated data, metadata and value-added products, including products focusing on the distribution of heat and salt concentrations, sea levels, currents, living marine resources and ecosystems. The SeaDataNet portal currently contains over a million data sets now widely available to the marine research community.

SeaDataNet II has helped to promote standardisation in European marine and ocean research. "SeaDataNet standards, including vocabularies and transport formats, have been adopted widely across the EU through collaboration with other European projects," notes Fichaut.

The project is also working to disseminate these emerging European standards internationally. "Standards developed by SeaDataNet will be submitted to the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC). In addition, they will also be made interoperable with standards developed in the United States and Australia," she continues.

SeaDataNet II is the continuation of a predecessor project of the same name, SeaDataNet, which ran from 2006 to 2011, received EUR 8.75 million in EU financing and built on a number of other Union-funded projects dating back to the 1990s, including MedAtlas (1994-1997) and SeaSearch (2002-2005).

The second phase of SeaDataNet seeks to further develop the system's infrastructure and make it more robust and state of the art. Efforts will focus on making the SeaDataNet system compliant with the EU's Inspire Directive, which seeks to promote the accessibility and interoperability of environment-related spatial information and services. Phase II will also seek to bring more data centres on board, as well as develop ways to monitor the infrastructure, create machine-to-machine interfaces, real-time cataloguing, and more.

Beyond research, the SeaDataNet infrastructure is an essential and effective contribution to the Marine Knowledge 2020 vision developed by the European Commission to bring together marine data from different sources and build up an observation system for smart and sustainable growth.

Project details

  • Participants: France (Coordinator), The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Italy, Russian Federation, Turkey, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Iceland, Estonia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus, Israel, Croatia, Lithuania
  • FP7 Proj. N° 283607
  • Total costs: € 7 570 000
  • EU contribution: € 6 000 000
  • Duration: October 2011 to September 2015

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

Project web site

Project information on CORDIS

Contacts
Unit A1 - External & internal communication,
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation,
European Commission
Tel : +32 2 298 45 40
  Top   Research Information Center