ESONET Activities

ESONET NoE activities have been divided into seven Work Packages (WP) of activities.

The activities of ESONET correspond to networking activities for some specific topics like the standardization and interoperability (see Work Package 2). ESONET is also planning its specific scientific objectives (Work Package 3), and is preparing the implementation strategy of observatories (Work Package 5).
Links with socio economic users are also developed in the framework of the Work Package 6. In order to set up the interoperability of the data flow, the data infrastructure is prepared in the first Work Package. This Work Package is also managing some exchanges of personnel in order to increase the cross-cutting activities and to share the knowledge amongst members.
ESONET also intends to share its activities and how-to with public and student. This part is addressed by the Education and outreach part in the Work Package 7.

Additionally, in order to check the ESONET technical choices and to demonstrate our capability to implement deep sea observatories at European level, some Demonstration Missions are proposed (see Work Package 4).

WP number 

WP title 

WP leader 

Leader affiliation 



Mathilde Cannat 



and interoperability

Christopher Waldmann 



Scientific objective and Observatory design

Henry Ruhl 



Demonstration missions

Laura Beranzoli 



Implementation strategies

Mick Gillooly 



Socio-economic users

Jorge Miguel Miranda 



Education and outreach

Laurenz Thomsen 



Management activity

Ingrid Puillat 



Networking ESONET Data management

Robert Huber 


Description of Work Packages

WP1: Networking

WP1 intends to set on and maintain the integration of the community, its know-how, as well as its facilities and common practices.

WP1 shall deliver the basic organisational and technical concepts for a European seas observatory network. This shall be done through:

  • exchange of staff,
  • the definition of a common data infrastructure (based on global standards),
  • the sharing of facilities and of tests procedures,
  • the promotion of interoperability at an international level, especially with other international projects and
  • scientific cooperation.

WP2: Standardization and interoperability

Standardization & interoperability activities of WP2 shall be implemented in the following subjects:

  • while studying current systems engineering schemes or subsea infrastructure interfaces (e.g. ANTARES or SN1),
  • when assessing practicability of existing standardization concepts (with involvment of European SMEs),
  • while defining quality assurance & quality control procedures,
  • by organizing a Best Practices workshops,
  • when defining a first implementation phase and specifying the demonstration cruises.

Testing facilities and procedures database link (restricted to ESONET partners with password):

WP3: Scientific objective and Observatory design

WP3 intends to define the best methodology, scientific packages including instruments and underwater components to be applied in a long term cabled observatory in collaboration with the WP2. The second and major aim of WP3 is to contribute to further structuring and definition of the design of an underwater observatory system to collect long-term real-time series measurements. This should allow the monitoring of biological, geochemical, geological and geophysical key processes that document global change, and contribute in the detection and early warning of short and medium term potential hazardous events.

To do this, key scientific objectives relevant to deep sea observatories shall be continuously updated as new results become available.This shall result in refining:

  • specific scientific objectives (relatively to a site or a field),
  • generic scientific objectives.

WP4: Demonstration missions

WP4 will fund and coordinate real sea-scale experiments at sites of high scientific interest. It will also coordinate joint research activities related to the preparation, data analysis and interpretation of these demonstration missions. Concepts shall be demonstrated during field trials, using existing observatories/infrastructures.

Demonstration missions will be planned according to a selection procedure started by the issue of a ‘Call for proposals’. One call has already been achieved and another one is in progress. WP4 will then manage the evaluation process and moderate discussions of submitted projects at the “All regions Workshop”.

WP5: Implementation strategies

Implementation strategies of WP5 include:

  • cost benefit analysis,
  • identification of technology and evaluation of construction, operation and management risks, including environmental ethical issues,
  • performing of site studies in term of environmental constraints, potential conflicts of use, etc.
  • suggestion of risk mitigation approaches,
  • study of ethical and environmental issues,
  • cash-flow forecasts,
  • technical & financial project appraisal for an observatory site,
  • production of tutorial(s) and guidance materials based on updated ESONIM deliverables,
  • selection of most appropriate partnership or co-ordination structure,
  • organization of meetings with decision makers and negotiation of MoUs and contracts.

WP6: Socio-economic users

After identifying potential clients, their requirements and their ability to contribute to funding, WP6 will develop a first circle of core-services user group. In the same way, a group of regional observatory stakeholders will be defined and a group of SMEs will be formed (see Yellow Pages web site), in addition to current SME-partners. Finally, a communication policy shall be defined with the publication of ESONews letter every 4 months.

WP7: Education and outreach

Education and outreach WP is characterized by 3 parts:

  • the definition of education tools, including an educational website and adapted class materials for teachers;
  • the publication of a Web portal;
  • the communication of results.

A dedicated web site is managed by Jacobs University Bremen 

WP8: Management activity

This workpackage is in charge of all the management activities of the ESONET network, which is constituted by 3 Governing Bodies (the General Assembly (GA), the Strategic Committee (STRAC) and the Steering Committee (SC), 3 Advisory Councils (the Scientific Council, the Test and Operation Council and the Data Management Council) and by 7 workpackages (WPs) of activities.

The Coordinator makes sure that the organizational, management and governance structure of ESONET NoE aims at ensuring:

  • balanced participation in the network of the different types of members: large institutions, university laboratories, major industrial groups, SMEs,
  • efficient decision making,
  • high quality management of the network's resources.

Tasks like the reporting and the following up of the link with the European Commission and other EU projects are fundamental part of the WP8 tasks.

Two other fundamental objectives are to update the definition of the ESONET Label, the organization of the General Assemblies in addition to usual meetings (Steering Committee, ...).

WP9: Networking ESONET data management

  • Data management plan;
  • ESONET knowledge base;
  • ESONET Data infrastructure: Sensor registry;
  • ESONET Data infrastructure: SOS development and implementation;
  • ESONET Data infrastructure: prototype implementation.