Planet Beyond Podcast

Scaling ocean technology through public-private collaboration

Nearshore USV, Plymouth UK 88


30 May 2024

How can we map, model and analyse the impacts of climate change and mitigation actions on oceans and coasts around the world? In this episode, Jon Baston-Pitt talks to leading marine scientists about the development of ocean forecasting, and the more recent development of The Digital Twins of the Ocean.

Nadia Pinardi, a professor of oceanography at the University of Milan, Emma Heslop from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, along with Joaquin Tintoré, Martin Visbeck, and Thomas Parry, each delve into the technological advancements and collaborative efforts needed to address societal priorities and improve coastal resilience through ocean data.

The future of ocean observation relies on enhancing modelling capabilities and ensuring sustained investment in ocean technologies. While some progress has been made in terms of data collection, there are still challenges in data sharing that need to be addressed. Despite improvements in data collection efforts we still remain at the early stages and it will require a long term sustained effort.

More investment and the potential productivity increase from new technologies like AI, could further boost our capacity to collect ocean data. However, funding must come from more than just public sector environmental budgets. The scale of ocean data and modelling capability will provide new opportunities to numerous industries. Investment in data collection has to come from a variety of private sources as well as from national and international governments bodies.

From private-public collaboration working together to improve data collection and sharing, to co-design programmes between scientists and local communities, collaboration is at the heart of how data and technology can help save our oceans and protect coastal regions and its communities.


Jon Baston-Pitt, Fugro


  • Nadia Pinardi, Professor of Oceanography, University of Milan and Chair of CoastPredict

  • Emma Heslop, Programme Specialist , Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

  • Joaquin Tintoré, Director of SOCIB, the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System and steering committee member, GOOS

  • Martin Visbeck, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany (on leave); CEO of Foundation to Support International Deep Ocean Discovery, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

  • Thomas Parry, Global Lead on Coastal Resilience, Fugro

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