Mission, vision and objectives


The mission of SOCIB is to operate a coastal ocean observing and forecasting system, a scientific and technological infrastructure that provides free, open, quality controlled and timely streams of oceanographic data, as well as data stewardship and long-term preservation, in order to:

  • Support research and technology development on key internationally established topics such as the role of the ocean in the climate system at an inter-annual scale, the interaction between currents and nearshore morpho-dynamics, and the sea-level variability in response to climate change.
  • Support (on a longer-term) strategic needs from society in the context of global change: sustainable management, science-based mitigation, and adaptation strategies and also policy development and operational tools for decision support.
  • Consolidate operational ocenography in the Balearic Islands, in Spain and Europe, contributing to the establishment of a well-structured center of excellence in an international frame.


Over the longer term, our vision is to advance on the understanding of physical and multidisciplinary processes and their non linear interactions, to detect and quantify changes in coastal systems, to understand the mechanism that regulate them and to forecast their evolution and/or adaptation under, for example, different IPCC scenarios.

More specifically, SOCIB addresses the preservation and restoration of the coastal zone and its biodiversity, through the analysis of its vulnerability under global change and through considering new approaches, such as connectivity studies and Marine Protected Areas optimal design, to advance and progressively establish a more science based sustainable management of the ocean and coastal areas. 


SOCIB’s objectives are driven by international scientific priorities, state of the art technology and also by specific interests from the Spanish and Balearic Islands society. The general objectives are twofold:

  • To contribute to addressing and responding to international scientific, technological and strategic challenges for operational oceanography in the coastal ocean and
  • To enhance operational oceanography research and technology activities being carried out in the Balearic Islands

Through this work the ICTS SOCIB, alone and in conjunction with research institution partners, aspires to become an internationally recognized coastal observing and forecasting system, a reference facility, contributing to scientific excellence, technology transfer and knowledge dissemination, whilst remaining capable of adapting and responding to society’s needs. 

Specific SOCIB objectives are initially identified as:

1. To support peer reviewed research along three internationally established research lines that have particular relevance to the oceanography and societal needs of the Balearic region, namely understanding:

  • The role of the oceans in our climate system, climate impact and climate variability effects in the Mediterranean Sea
  • The interaction between major Mediterranean currents and the shelf environments and their influence on the ecosystem variability 
  • The nearshore morpho-dynamics and sea level variability in response to climate change

2. To contribute to the development of operational oceanography technologies, specifically:

  • To develop new products, sensors, tools and systems to enhance the real-time capabilities of the observational facilities and numerical modelling.
  • To expand SOCIB operational oceanography activities through adding new, complementary platforms, techniques and processes, in response to identified science, technology or society needs.
  • To progressively improve the observed information, adding new variables, increased range of spatial-temporal scales, and developing additional products and services in response to stakeholders needs.

3. To support the strategic needs from society in the context of global change:

  • Through developing operational tools for decision support and the transfer of knowledge for sustainable management of the coastal ocean
  • Through the development of science based (ICOM) coastal and ocean management, in the general frame of sustainability science.

4. To support and encourage the broad use of SOCIB data and services through:

  • Open, well designed and easy to use data access systems 
  • Partnership with external research organisations 
  • Transfer of knowledge, through outreach, education, training and mobility activities

5. To develop and maintain an international perspective, in order to increase the international visibility of the ICTS, to attract the participation of the best researchers from around the world, and over the medium term to advance towards participation within the European ESFRI framework.

6. To support SOCIB publications made in collaboration with key Balearic research institution, such as IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), COB-IEO and UIB, and other national and international, and progressively with other key national and international partners and collaborators.