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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article2 July 20211 min read

State of the development of sensors and platforms in ocean observation

Final report of the study on new technologies in the sector now downloadable via CINEA's website

New technology for ocean observation study (final report) - Image from Shutterstock

The final report of the study on the uptake of new technologies for ocean observation is now available  for download also via CINEA's website (click here).

This study investigates the current state of the development of sensors and platforms to gain a better understanding of the uptake of new technology in ocean observation in and outside Europe.

It looks at the challenges and opportunities for the EU observation sector through literature review, online surveys and questionnaires as well as interviews with a wide range of stakeholders. 

The study focuses on four main dimensions: 

  1. the state of the art of the observation sector;
  2. the market;
  3. the financing modes of the sector globally and; 
  4. the public and private efforts made to stimulate and accelerate the deployment of new observation technologies. 

The conclusions identify a number of challenges related to technology, data analysis and the development of the sector. 

Regarding the latter: “The lack of cooperation on the use and development of technologies is seen as a major restraint, one of the major factors limiting a coordinated approach across Europe is the differences in the level of importance that national governments place on the need to push development in ocean observation technologies and the collection of data across a variety of parameters”.

The study also acknowledges a number of opportunities for the further development of the EU Ocean Observation sector. It recommends a better and clearer alignment of ocean observation to societal challenges such as climate change, while artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data can support advances in data analysis. Regarding further development of sensors and platforms, biological sensors and autonomous sensors and platforms is clearly where there is a gap at the moment. Finally, ocean data governance and the promotion of a continuous dialogue between policy makers, researchers and other developers to discuss which technology and data are available and what needs to be developed can also be a strong element to further support the advancement of the sector.  


Publication date
2 July 2021