Maritime Affairs

Flanders to host Blue Data Network Secretariat

Flanders to host Blue Data Network Secretariat

Flanders to host Blue Data Network Secretariat


On Friday 8 July Commissioner Vella will be in Ostend for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Commission and the Flanders' Department for Economy, Science and Innovation. The Commission and the Flanders's authorities agreed to host the Secretariat of the European Marine Observation and Data Network, or EMODNet, in Ostend.

"EMODNet - said Commissioner Vella – "is one of the most important achievements of the EU's integrated maritime policy. I am very grateful to the Flanders Government for this decision, which shows our shared commitment towards open data on seas and oceans and towards innovation in the blue economy".

The network, also known as the EU’s “Blue Data Network”, has about 160 organisations working together to create a portal where stakeholders can search for, visualise and retrieve with one single command key oceans data concerning a specific place and time. All European sea basins have been completely covered since the end of 2015. Most importantly the information is publicly accessible, without restrictions from any source, and free of charge.

Comprehensive and accessible data on the sea are a prerequisite for maritime innovation and growth. The Ostend choice shows the parties' clear commitment towards better marine knowledge and its dissemination. The Ostend location will be shared with the European Marine Board and UNESCO's International Oceanographic Data and Information exchange.

Later that day the Commissioner will meet the CEOs of several marine research institutes, as a follow-up to a meeting held in Brussels last March, and will hear their latest views on ocean observation and mapping. The benefits of ocean observation for the economy and for society will be discussed, with particular focus on the observation and mapping of EU seas.

EMODnet portal

Video: Commissioner Karmenu VELLA in Oostende, Belgium