SOCIB takes part in the EuroGOOS General Assembly 2021

From 27 to 28 May 2021, the EuroGOOS General Assembly virtual Meeting has brought together all EuroGOOS members, including the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB), as well as the chairs of the EuroGOOS Regional Operational Oceanographic Systems (ROOSes), Task Teams and Working Groups. During this two-day event, the Assembly has discussed the implementation of the EuroGOOS 2030 strategy across the EuroGOOS ROOS, Task Teams, and Working Groups, and synergies with the European projects and initiatives supported by EuroGOOS. The formal session on 28 May has included the Executive Directors Board elections, approval of the budget, and other formal decisions.

EuroGOOS is an association of national governmental agencies, research organizations, and private companies, committed to oceanography within the context of the intergovernmental Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). EuroGOOS is one of the UNESCO-IOC Global Ocean Observing System regions and is currently Chair of the GOOS Regional Alliances Forum. Founded in 1994, EuroGOOS has today 44 members from 18 European countries, including SOCIB, providing operational oceanographic services and carrying out marine research. EuroGOOS is registered as an international non-profit association under the Belgian law and its headquarters are in Brussels.

EuroGOOS goals are to identify strategies, cooperate, co-produce, and promote the operational oceanography value for society. EuroGOOS is achieving this through a broad network of organizations and initiatives operating at various levels. Collectively through EuroGOOS, its members and partners improve the overall European capacity and competitiveness in ocean observing sectors. To that end, it operates in five regional sea areas where operational systems have been set up: the Arctic (Arctic ROOS), the Baltic (BOOS), the North West Shelf (NOOS), the Ireland-Biscay-Iberian area (IBI-ROOS), and the Mediterranean (MONGOOS). Strong cooperation within these regions, enabling the involvement of many more regional partners and countries, forms the basis of EuroGOOS work and is combined with high-level representation at European and Global forums.

The role of SOCIB in EuroGOOS

It is nearly four years since SOCIB became a member of EuroGOOS, after being accepted at the annual General Assembly celebrated in June 2017. Since then, SOCIB collaborations have been enhanced and several members of the institution are now involved in different Working Groups and Tasks Teams, being also an active member of MONGOOS. SOCIB’s contributions have been strengthened beyond presentations at the annual meetings, reaffirming its commitment as a member, by participating in tangible joint activities such as ROOS. SOCIB is currently co-chairing the MONGOOS-HFR network, together with the Spanish Port System, in the context of which coordinates a joint submission to the Ocean Sciences SI “Advances in interdisciplinary studies at multiple scales in the Mediterranean Sea”, with the participation of 42 co-authors from 7 Mediterranean countries. In addition, SOCIB Modelling and Forecasting facility co-chairs the  “Modelling and integrated observation studies” Working Group.

Furthermore, SOCIB participates in the Data-MEQ, Coastal modeling, and Ocean Literacy Network Working Groups. Regarding the latter, it has collaborated in the First Virtual Ocean Literacy Summit, co-organised with EuroGOOS, OceanWise, and Experimental Atelier on the World Ocean Day 2020 on 8 June 2020, as well as in the publication of the EuroGOOS Policy-oriented Brief on Ocean Literacy, among others. In this regard, the SOCIB Corporate Strategy, Communication, and Ocean Literacy Office supports the promotion of EuroGOOS activities.

SOCIB also leads several tasks for HF radars and Argo floats (Euro-Argo) Task Teams. Regarding the former, SOCIB leads three tasks: (i) the edition and distribution of the biannual newsletter, (ii) the searching for new opportunities for joint proposals and for promoting partnership, and (iii) the boosting of HFR community interaction and collaboration to submit joint contributions. As a result, two newsletters have been already published (#1, #2), a Competence Matrix survey has been distributed to promote the creation of consortiums, and an intense and long-lasting collaboration has been maintained with the MONGOOS-HFR community. In the Euro-Argo Task Team, SOCIB has contributed to the edition of the Activity Report and has participated in the last Mediterranean and Black Sea Workshop.

Moreover, SOCIB has provided feedback to the recently launched EuroGOOS 2030 Strategy, also keeping its own 2021-2024 Strategic Plan aligned.

Considering the results of the EuroGOOS General Assembly, the joint projects and publications are key to understanding the success of the coordination, as they strengthen the collaboration between memberships in most of the ROOSes.The successful completion of the EuroGOOS 2030 Strategy would also depend on the resolution of the outstanding bottle-necks related to the geographical unbalance of observations and representatives from different countries; the lack of sustainable funding; the need to update the Memorandum of Understanding of several ROOSes to actual needs; and the poor data policy.