MTS Supports United Nations Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee Assembly

MTS along with the Global Ocean Observing System and NOAA hosted a side event titled “Shaping the Ocean Enterprise to Deliver Essential Societal, Economic, and Environmental Benefits.”  This event was part of a series of activities to continue to promote the importance of ocean observing and how industry can partner more effectively with government, through the MTS/GOOS/NOAA Dialogues with Industry.

Just in time for this event, we released the final Dialogues with Industry synthesis report, which you can read here. The report provides a synthesis of the content and outcomes of four Dialogues with Industry held from September 2022 to January 2023. A major finding was that informing solutions to pressing societal challenges such as climate change and delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and supporting the realization of responsible growth in the economic benefits of ocean use and resources, requires a robust Ocean Enterprise that is viewed as essential to lives and livelihoods of everyone, on par with the Weather Enterprise. 

The event attracted over 40 delegates from the IOC member nations and we were particularly pleased by the attendance by the lesser developed nations a critical group that needs to be included. Ms Nicole LeBoeuf, Assistant Administrator of the NOAA and the United States delegation lead kicked off the event and stressed that the search for solutions to climate change, fisheries management, coral reef decline, coastal resilience, and many other challenges hinges on actionable information that lies at the intersection between the ocean, climate, and human systems. She stated that to thrive in the decades ahead, we are all going to need a robust Ocean Enterprise to support the technological innovations and customized ocean information delivery needed to inspire solutions to some of our greatest challenges.  She challenged the group to provide insights and invited the participants to identify new Ocean Enterprise opportunities and partnerships that will underpin a sustainable Blue Economy and a climate ready world.

Dr. Emma Heslop, Acting Director, Global Ocean Observing System office and Mr. Peer Fietzek, Senior Business Development Manager Ocean Science, Kongsberg Discovery presented the background and outcomes of the Dialogues with Industry.  GOOS today does not have enough networks to deliver the all information needed to face the key challenges in climate adaptation, biodiversity, coastal communities, and Blue Economies. While there is a great need for ocean observations, the private sector in general does not see ‘ocean observing and services’ as a market. The Dialogues with Industries were an opportunity to connect public and private sector stakeholders towards understanding barriers and opportunities for private sector engagement across the ocean information value chain.

From the information gathered during the four dialogues, we synthesized the potential actions into four areas:

  • Improving the Market
  • Societal/Governmental Change
  • Collaboration to Grow
  • Market Elements Shaping the Future

The presentation highlighted some of the key potential actions.  A few of them are provided here, for an explanation of the more than 35 actions please read the synthesis report.  

  • Low cost easy to use platforms/sensors are not low cost or low risk to develop and therefore industry needs assurance of market after development to reduce the risk.
  • Private sector considers data as an asset and we need licensing schema that supports public sector missions and private sector profitability; share best practice.
  • Lack of standards are a significant barrier to accelerating the Ocean Enterprise.
  • A skilled new workforce is needed for market growth.

The speakers challenged the participants to think about: (1) How do we change the perception of ocean data from being ancillary to being a critical component of a nation's infrastructure, (2)  What caught your attention as applicable to your country or as a priority for action, and (3) How could IOC, GOOS, and the Ocean Decade support furthering the Dialogues with Industry towards maturing the Ocean Enterprise?

A robust discussion followed the presentations and centered around some key points:

  • Frameworks need to be scalable (beneficial to different economies, different businesses). 
  • Openly accessible documents/training materials/data/etc. are central to allow for knowledge transfer between the countries.
  • To influence policy makers’ and funders it has proved useful to maintain an intensive exchange and collaboration with the media especially in connection with hazard topics that generally are of public interest.
  • Some countries are “disconnected” from technical progress since there were no company subsidiaries or representatives offering the solutions in that country.  As a result, if institutions in these countries want to buy equipment, it could lead to complicated and expensive procedures.
  • Clarification is needed on the use of data and now to better integrate private data with public/academic into public success

For more information on this effort please see the MTS website -

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