MyOcean: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MyOcean logo.jpg

MyOcean is a project granted by the European Commission within the GMES Program (7th Framework Program), whose objective is to define and to set up a concerted and integrated pan-European capacity for ocean monitoring and forecasting. The areas it is aimed at are: Maritime Security, Oil Spill Prevention, Marine Resources Management, Climate Change, Seasonal Forecasting, Coastal Activities, and Monitoring Ice Sheet surveys, Water Quality and Pollution.



MyOcean's objective is to set up (definition, design, development and validation) an integrated pan-European capability for ocean monitoring and forecasting, using nationally-available skills and resources.

At the moment, each member state has developed its own capacities in oceanography, at global or regional scale, but the organizations, procedures and operational levels vary widely from one state to another. In Great Britain, operational oceanography is managed by a specific department of the UK Met Office, with strong commitment and strict procedures, whereas in Italy the centre of operational oceanography is part of the research institute for geophysics (INGV). For the Baltic Sea, several bodies have redundant capacities, whereas in France they are shared and grouped together within the same GIP (Mercator Ocean).

The challenges which « MyOcean » will have to take up will be to:

  • avoid resource duplication.
  • ensure that all the European subsystems are interoperable.
  • define the same procedures (quality standards) for development and operational qualification in every (sub)system and ensure they are applied.
  • define an architecture which integrates all these capacities (skills and resources) into an operational organisation.

prove that this organisation is reliable, robust, sustainable and meets the service quality requirements imposed by Europe.

Although the budgetary frame of « My Ocean » is labelled « Research », the priority is not to conduct further scientific research in the field of operational oceanography, even if this aspect is also taken into account. It is more a question of developing a System of Systems (in the industrial sense), according to the European quality standards, and to achieve operational qualification and eventually qualification of Service.


Europe, in its role as a 'major power', has decided to set up a number of European Public Services with the following dual objective:

  • to ensure the health, well-being and safety of European citizens,
  • to encourage the development of economic activities downstream of these services (while also reinforcing the level of European technical skills and know-how).

These Services fall within the scope of the GMES programme (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), and use both satellite data and in situ measurements as input. Eventually, these services should be financed by a dedicated budget item labelled 'operational'. For now, the responsibility for defining and setting up the three Services considered to be the most mature and with the highest priority (the precursor services or 'Fast Track Services' as defined by the Commission in 2005) has been assigned to projects financed in the framework of the FP7 (First Call). They are as follows (the name of the coordinator(s) is (are) given in brackets):

  • SAFER (Infoterra France) for the "Emergency Response Core Service"
  • Geoland2 (Infoterra Gmbh & Medias France) for the "Land Monitoring Core Service"
  • MyOcean (Mercator Ocean) for the "Marine Core Service"

Two 'Pilot Services' can be added to this list:

  • G-Mosaic (Télespazio) for security
  • MACC (ECMWF) for Atmosphere

A European operational budget item of €3M/year has already been set up to finance support activities for risk management (rapid mapping).

ESA's (European Space Agency) role is to procure and supply the satellite data needed as input for these Services.

ESA is also responsible for ensuring the consistency and continuity of GMES-labelled satellite missions, which include Envisat and the European 'Sentinels', as well as national missions such as Jason, TerraSAR, Spot, Cosmo-SkyMed, Pleiades, etc.

The 'MyOcean' project, due to last for 3 years (2009-2011), is a follow-up to the MERSEA project (FP6: system implementation phase: 2004-2008), but it also integrates some service lines developed as part of ESA's GSE (GMES Service Elements) projects, particularly Marcoast and PolarView.


'MyOcean' is a consortium of 60 partners in 28 countries (the 22 states of the EU-27 that have a sea coastline, plus Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Morocco, Israel and Canada). Two European bodies (JRC and ECMWF) are also partners of 'MyOcean', whilst the EEA (European Environment Agency) and the EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) will be represented on the Board.

NB: In the EU-27 the following 5 countries do not have a sea coastline and hence are not participating in MyOcean: Luxembourg, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The total budget is 55 M€, of which 33.8 M€ comes from a European Commission subsidy (representing 61% of the total budget), over 36 months. This budget essentially corresponds to staff costs (83.5%), with the second largest item being mission expenses (7.3% of the total budget). Management costs (and external communication costs) represent 4.1 % of the total budget. Lastly, equipment fees only represent 3%.

The total workload corresponds to the equivalent of 190 full-time employees, but in practical terms, there are more than 350 people involved in the project.


Managing such a large project requires a solid organisation. For this, a matrix structure was decided upon: the project is divided into 18 Work Packages, of which 12 are considered as 'Vertical' (the Production Centres) and 6 'Transverse' (centralised functions).

This organisation suits the management of an FP-type project, but could also be used as a basis when putting together a consortium whose mission would be to manage operations of the Marine Core Service over the long term.


TAC (Thematic Assembly Centres) Production Centres

Their role is to collect the measurements or observations, whether satellite or in situ, and to calibrate, validate, edit, archive and distribute them. There are 5 TACs (WP Leader shown in brackets):

  • Sea Level TAC (CLS)
  • Ocean Color TAC (CNR)
  • Sea Surface Temperature (UK Met Office)
  • Sea Ice and Wind TAC (
  • In Situ TAC (Ifremer)

MFC (Monitoring & Forecasting Centres) Production Centres

They correspond to the 6 European 'basins', plus the Global Ocean. By assimilating observation data in 3D Models, they are to predict the state of the ocean (or to say what the state of the ocean was between two observations). There are 7 of them:

  • Global MFC (Mercator Ocean)
  • Arctic MFC (NERSC)
  • Baltic MFC (DMI)
  • North West Shelves MFC (UK Met Office)
  • Iberian, Biscay, Ireland MFC (Mercator Ocean)
  • Med MFC (INGV)
  • Black Sea MFC (MHI)

Centralised or Transverse Functions

  • WP 1 (Mercator Ocean): Project management, Management, Coordination
  • WP 2 (CLS): Central Engineering, both to support the Production Centres and Management (definition and supply of methodologies, architecture, common standards, development plan and operational qualification) and to supervise production (supervision of operations, quality control of production, information systems, etc.)
  • WP3 (CNRS): Central R&D
  • WP16 (UK Met Office): Central Desk (Service provision)
  • WP 17 (Mercator Ocean): Service Definition (Portfolio, SLA, etc.)
  • WP 18 (HCMR): User Requirement (URD)

Governance of 'MyOcean'

The project is coordinated between the executive level (the Executive Committee) and the strategic level (the Board).

The role of the 'Governing Body' is to take high-level decisions that affect the project at a strategic level, the major themes, the budget or the make-up of the consortium.

It consists of a 'Board' on which the following are represented:

- Senior experts representing the main parties (INGV, Met Office, NERSC, DMI, Ifremer, CLS and Mercator-Ocean)

- The Chairmen of the Advisory Bodies (Core User Group and Scientific Advisory Committee)

- Representatives of the European Stakeholders (EEA, EMSA, etc.)

The Board and the Governing Body are chaired by the Project Coordinator: Pierre BAHUREL.

The Executive Committee's role is to manage the project on a day-to-day basis, in terms of technical and scientific coordination, as well as for financial and communication aspects.

It consists of:

  • a Project Management Office (PMO) which brings together:

- a Project Leader

- an Administrative and Financial Manager

- a Scientific and Technical Manager (Models, Assimilation, R&D, CalVal, etc.)

- a System Manager (Development plan, Planning, Qualification Reviews)

- a Production and Service Manager (Quality, Control and User Feedback).

  • all the WP Leaders representing:

- the 12 Production Centres

- the 5 Transverse Work Packages

- QuARG chair: Quality Assurance Review Group

- SCAMG chair: System Configuration and Change Management Group

QuARG and SCAMG chairs report directly to the WP 2 (Central Engineering).

Executive Committee and PMO are managed by the project Manager: Frédéric ADRAGNA


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address