The Smart Ocean-Smart Industries (SO-SI) Program is a major initiative to catalyze industry leadership in contributing to the long term science and understanding of the ocean. The SO-SI Program will facilitate ocean industry efforts to collect and share data that: a) contributes to describing the status, trends and variability of ocean, weather and climate (including ocean acidification); and b) improves the understanding, modeling, forecasting, monitoring and management of ocean ecosystems, resources, weather and climate, and improving disaster risk reduction efforts.
The need to better understand, model and monitor the ocean in support of responsible economic use, conservation and management, and reducing the risk of disasters, has never been greater. At the same time, government and scientific institutions have less and less resources to collect data in the ocean. Shipping, offshore oil and gas, and other ocean industries, e.g. ferries, fisheries, aquaculture, offshore wind farms, operate tens of thousands of vessels and platforms, and the telecommunications industry adds to the I million km of cables on the seafloor. This ocean industry infrastructure provides tremendous potential for cost effectively collecting data, often in areas important to filling science gaps, e.g. the Southern Ocean, high seas, deep seabed. Piecemeal efforts to date have put instruments on ships of opportunity and yielded important data and experience, but these have been limited in numbers of vessels, area covered and timespan due to the lack of an overall system to foster, plan and coordinate the strategic use of industry vessels, platforms and cables for data collection.
A comprehensive structure and process is needed to organize industry partnerships with science to scale up the level of data collecting from ships and platforms of opportunity and expand the spatial and temporal extent of ocean observations. The WOC SO-SI Program will bring together industry and other stakeholders to develop the vision and initial roadmap in close collaboration with the international oceanic and atmospheric science community.
The SO-SI Program will achieve the following:
Vision: Leadership companies from a range of industries are engaged in the systematic, regular, sustained and integrated collecting and reporting of standardized oceanic and atmospheric data for input to scientific programs that contribute to: monitoring /managing ocean ecosystems, understanding ocean, weather and climate conditions and trends, improving ocean health and management, reducing disaster risk and improving the safety and sustainability of commercial activities at sea.
Goal: To establish a program platform that fosters, facilitates and coordinates efficient, cost-effective efforts by shipping and other industries in the collecting and sharing of ocean, weather and climate data.
Outputs: A significant increase in the kind and amount of robust, cost-effective ocean, weather and climate data, resulting from industry partnerships with the scientific community, governments, inter-governmental agencies and other key ocean stakeholders.
Outcomes: Substantially improved understanding, monitoring, modeling, forecasting and management of the ocean and a new era of industry collaboration with the scientific community, governments, inter-governmental agencies and other key ocean stakeholders.