The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) is a network of European organisations working together to observe the oceans, to make the collected marine data freely available and interoperable, to create seamless data layers across sea-basins and to distribute the data and data products through the Internet. The primary aim of EMODnet is to unlock existing but fragmented and hidden marine data and make them accessible for a wide range of users including private bodies, public authorities and researchers.
Jan-Bart Calewaert graduated as a bio-engineer in cellular and genetic biotechnology from the University of Ghent in 2001 and completed an additional Masters in Marine Environment Management with specialization in eco-toxicology from the Free University of Brussels and University of Antwerp in 2004. Through most of his career, Jan-Bart has been involved in a multidisciplinary research projects and science policy advisory bodies in support of marine research, sustainable management of marine and coastal environments and related policy frameworks. He has worked mostly at the interface between science, policy and industry, combining his expertise in marine sciences with knowledge of the marine and maritime policy landscape in Belgium and Europe. Jan-Bart has worked for institutes and organisations in Belgium and Europe, including Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), the Maritime Institute (UGent) and the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology (UGent). For more than six years at the European Marine Board Secretariat, Jan-Bart Calewaert coordinated foresight and policy activities in various working areas including marine biotechnology, oceans and human health, climate change impacts on the marine environment and marine pollution. Jan-Bart joined Seascape Consultants in 2013, bringing expertise in coordination of science support activities, marine environmental management, project coordination and science policy communication. Since 2017, is lead manager of Seascape Belgium which he co-founded in 2017. From September 2013 until March 2023, Jan-Bart has dedicated most of his time to support the European ocean observing and data community as Head of the Secretariat of the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet), a long-term marine data management and sharing initiative supported by the European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Since June 2023, he has changed roles to take the Lead of the newly established Decade Coordination Office for Ocean Data Sharing in an assignment for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. Within the context of the UN decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (https://oceandecade.org/) the Decade Coordination Office for Ocean Data Sharing (DCO-ODS), hosted by IODE (https://iode.org) acts as sub-unit of the central Decade Coordination Unit to catalyse and coordinate Decade Actions falling under its scope, promote cooperation amongst UN and Member State partners, monitor progress, communicate on achievements and mobilise resources. The DCO on ocean data management will take on an important role in (i) supporting the decade actors with their data and information challenges and to assisting with the implementation of the Decade’s Data and Information Strategy (https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000385542). The overall objective of the DCO Ocean Data Sharing is to manage the Data Sharing component of the digital ecosystem needed for the Ocean Decade to be successful.