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Budget: € 20.65m for 4 years (April 2015 – June 2019)

Partners: 62 (research institutes, universities, marine service providers, multiinstitutional organisations, international partners, private sector) from 18 countries (13 EU & 5 non-EU) plus supporters

Coordinator: GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany (Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck)

The project: AtlantOS is a BG 8 (Developing in-situ Atlantic Ocean Observations for a better management and sustainable exploitation of the maritime resources) research and innovation project that proposes the integration of ocean observing activities across all disciplines for the Atlantic, considering European as well as non-European partners.

The vision of AtlantOS is to improve and innovate Atlantic observing by using the Framework of Ocean Observing to obtain an international, more sustainable, more efficient, more integrated, and fit-for-purpose system. Hence, the AtlantOS initiative will have a long-lasting and sustainable contribution to the societal, economic and scientific benefit arising from this integrated approach. This will be achieved by improving the value for money, extent, completeness, quality and ease of access to Atlantic Ocean data required by industries, product supplying agencies, scientist and citizens.

The overarching target of the AtlantOS initiative is to deliver an advanced framework for the development of an integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System that goes beyond the state-of –the-art, and leaves a legacy of sustainability after the life of the project.

The legacy will derive from the AtlantOS aims:

  • to improve international collaboration in the design, implementation and benefit sharing of ocean observing,
  • to promote engagement and innovation in all aspects of ocean observing,
  • to facilitate free and open access to ocean data and information,
  • to enable and disseminate methods of achieving quality and authority of ocean information,
  • to strengthen the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and to sustain observing systems that are critical for the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service and its applications and
  • to contribute to the aims of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation

The project is organized along work packages on: i) observing system requirements and design studies, ii) enhancement of ship-based and autonomous observing networks, iii) interfaces with coastal ocean observing systems, iv) integration of regional observing systems, v) cross-cutting issues and emerging networks, vi) data flow and data integration, vii) societal benefits from observing /information systems, viii) system evaluation and resource sustainability. Engagement with wider stakeholders including end-users of Atlantic Ocean observation products and services will also be key throughout the project.

The AtlantOS initiative contributes to achieving the aims of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation that was signed in 2013 by the EU, Canada and the US, launching a Transatlantic Ocean Research Alliance to enhance collaboration to better understand the Atlantic Ocean and sustainably manage and use its resources.