The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) contributes to the EU's integrated maritime policy. It was set up as a flagship project to prepare a seamless multi-resolution digital seabed map of European waters by 2020.
Following the Green Paper "Marine Knowledge 2020" It had been estimated that public bodies in European countries were spending over one billion euro a year in observing the seas and oceans including work by hydrographic organisations, geological surveys, scientists and environmental agencies. However, scientists and engineers who wanted to use the data had encountered that they were difficult to find and were hampered by restrictive usage conditions and poor interoperability. Data from different sources had different baselines, different formats, different nomenclature and different standards.
The Commission Communication on "Innovation in the Blue Economy" set out a roadmap for replacing the fragmented, inaccessible and inhomogeneous repositories of marine data in the EU by a sustainable process whereby data are easily accessible, interoperable and free of restrictions on use. EMODnet is now operational.
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