Fugro and IOC/UNESCO launch working group to unlock private sector ocean data

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15 Feb 2023


Leidschendam, Netherlands

The Ocean Decade Corporate Data Group—co-chaired by Fugro and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (IOC/UNESCO)—was officially launched last week during an online kick-off meeting.

Organised in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the working group is focused on creating frameworks and mechanisms to make privately owned ocean science data publicly available for the benefit of humanity.

Joining the group as founding members are five private-sector companies representing a diverse range of industries. They include Alcatel Submarine Networks, Ava Ocean, CGG, Equinor and Ørsted. Discussions are ongoing with other industry-leading companies who are expected to join the group at a later stage. Together with co-chairs, members will explore data sharing challenges and opportunities to develop solutions and best practices for making private-sector ocean data publicly available, including during a special session at this week’s Oceanology International Americas Conference.

“We are delighted to officially launch this working group to establish ways to unlock the huge potential of industrial ocean data that is currently inaccessible to science,” said Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC/UNESCO Executive Secretary. “Such collaborations amongst science, industry and governments are transformative in enhancing ocean knowledge and information, and to developing the long-term sustainable solutions that we need to return to the clean, healthy, productive and resilient ocean. I am very grateful to the founding members of this group for engaging proactively with us in this movement and I know they will inspire many others to join.”

Fugro CEO Mark Heine concurred, stating, “It is heartening to have such high-calibre businesses answer the call to join this critical working group. As companies who actively collect and own a wide range of ocean data useful for the global science community, we have a unique opportunity to contribute to the Ocean Decade movement through data sharing, collaborative partnerships and technology innovations that will help increase our collective understanding of the ocean and restore its health.”

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