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Jamboree Announcement Text


EMODnet Open Conference:
Consolidating the Foundations, Building the Future


20 October 2015, De Grote Post, Oostende (Belgium)





EMODnet is a network of organisations working together to observe the sea, to make marine data freely available and interoperable, to create seamless data layers across sea-basins and to distribute the data and data products through the internet. Since its inception in 2009, EMODnet has evolved considerably. Currently it is moving towards full operational stage with coverage of all European sea-basins and making available higher resolution data layers. Consortia have grown both in size and geographic coverage and EMODnet now includes more than 110 partner organisations. Increasingly, stakeholders are also becoming involved in the development of EMODnet tools and services.


As we approach the end of phase II and move to the final EMODnet development phase III (2015-2020), it is now timely to take stock of the progress made to date, to learn from past achievements, to exchange best practices between the thematic and regional projects and to make plans for the future.The EMODnet Open Conference provides a unique forum for the marine observation and data community, policy makers/advisors and stakeholders from various sectors and societal domains to meet, discuss and respond to the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.


The Conference aims to reinforce the foundations and consider avenues for the further development of an open, user-friendly and fit-for-purpose pan-European marine data infrastructure. A fully operational EMODnet corresponding to user requirements will reduce costs for offshore operators, stimulate innovation and blue growth, improve our knowledge of the marine environment and support effective marine management and maritime policy making.


The Conference will entail: high-level presentations and EMODnet showcases, interventions from stakeholders, user testimonies and plenary discussions to stress the importance of marine observations and data for a wide range of users and to illustrate how EMODnet can and must contribute to economic recovery, job creation and blue-green growth.  


The EMODnet Open Conference is organised by the European Commission DG MARE, the EMODnet Secretariat and local host Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) with kind support of all EMODnet project Coordinators.


Logistic information on how to get to the venue as well as recommendations for hotel booking will be posted shortly on this page.


Information for EMODnet partners about the EMODnet partner activities (Oostende, 21-22 Ocotber 2015) can be found here.



Preliminary Programme



Start 09:00


   Conference venue GROTE POST –


Welcome Statements

  • Welcome and opening statement (Bart Tommelein, State Secretary of the Sea, BE)
  • EMODnet as central driver of Marine Knowledge (Lowri Evans, DG MARE - TBC)

Opening Session

  • Overview of EMODnet portals and state of play (EMODnet Secretariat and thematic portal coordinators)
  • EMODnet Sea-basin Checkpoints: assessing observation capacity and data adequacy for users at the regional sea-basin level: status and future prospects (EMODnet Checkpoint representative)

Session 2 - EMODnet showcases, user testimonies and stakeholder perspectives

  • Perspectives from stakeholders on requirements for environmental monitoring and reporting, industrial applications, scientific research and civil society
  • Testimonies from key user communities
  • Interventions from the public & discussion

Lunch from 12:30 to 13:30


Session 3 - Guided discussions on future priorities and governance


Closing Session

  • Panel discussion and conclusions from the Conference
  • Closing statement from Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (TBC)

Reception & buffet dinner 18:00



About the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet)

EMODnet is a network of organisations working together to observe the sea, to make marine data freely available and interoperable, to create seamless data layers across sea-basins and to distribute the data and data products through the internet. The primary aim of EMODnet is to unlock already existing but fragmented and hidden marine data and make them accessible for a wide range of users including private bodies, public authorities and researchers.


Currently, seven thematic assembly groups have been created to develop thematic web-portals covering data resources from diverse fields including: hydrography, geology, physics, chemistry, biology, physical habitats and human activities. Many of these thematic portals are already operational. In addition, six sea-basin checkpoints are established to assess the observation capacity and adequacy of marine data available at regional sea-basin level. To strengthen the coherence and functionality for users, a common ‘EMODnet Entry Portal’ provides a single entry point delivering access to data, metadata and data products held by EMODnet thematic sites ( Towards 2020, partners will work towards providing a seamless, multi-resolution, digital map of the entire seabed of European waters. Providing highest resolution possible in areas that have been surveyed the map will include topography, geology, habitats and ecosystems; accompanied by timely information on physical, chemical and biological state of the overlying water column as well as oceanographic forecasts.


EMODnet receives support from the European Commission DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries as a central component to realise its Marine Knowledge initiative and unlock the wealth of marine observations and data which is currently scattered in various national and regional databases around Europe. 


More information about EMODnet in general can be found on the information pages of the central portal


For more information about the Conference programme and logistics contact


For an overview of all EMODnet related activities taking place on Oostende in the week from 19-23 October - download the week overview (pdf)