Last updateTue, 05 Dec 2023 9am

Back You are here: Inicio Environment Projects MINKE kicks off: a European project to improve the quality of oceanographic data

MINKE kicks off: a European project to improve the quality of oceanographic data

Data quality is key to developing environmental policies based on scientific evidence. The European project MINKE, coordinated by the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona, held its kick-off online meeting last June. The project partners took the opportunity to explain not only the role and responsibilities of each other, but also the main objectives and planned actions of a project that aims to improve the quality of oceanographic data.

MINKE was accepted last April and will run until March 2025 / OBSEA.In order to achieve its goal, MINKE will integrate different European marine infrastructures -from calibration laboratories to citizen science observatories- that are key for improving measurement methods within the discipline known as "metrology". The oceanographic variables covered in the project include some that allow us to understand the effects of climate change, such as sea temperature and sea salinity or ocean currents. Other variables included are ones that allow to assess the impacts of human activity, such as the loss of biodiversity or marine litter. 

Specifically, the project will coordinate the use and development of research infrastructures, proposing an innovative "oceanographic data quality" framework for the different European actors in charge of monitoring and managing marine ecosystems.

"Data quality is the key element for ocean and coastal observation systems in order to provide reliable measurements to develop evidence-based environmental policies," explains Jaume Piera, ICM-CSIC researcher and project coordinator.

In this sense, Piera adds that "MINKE will address the metrological requirements of data quality in a broad sense. Traditionally, quality had been associated with data accuracy, but there are other factors that need to be taken into account, such as comprehensiveness or speed. This has been seen during the current pandemic situation, where we not only want tests to be accurate, but also tests that can be applied to the majority of society and provide quick results.”  

In line with the above, Piera says that "future environmental challenges related to global changes will require both accurate, comprehensive and fast observations. Basically, we will need observations from everywhere at all times, and MINKE will try to improve metrological requirements to meet these demands.”

This new vision will be framed within a quintuple helix innovation model, which fosters collaboration between universities, policy makers, civil society, industry and the wider environment to address shared challenges and use them as a driving force to create innovative solutions through research and development.

Through teamwork and access to different infrastructures, MINKE aims to lay the foundations to create the necessary synergies between the different actors involved in the quintuple helix innovation model.

MINKE, which was accepted last April and will run until March 2025, is made up of 22 organisations from Europe and South America, and is funded by the INFRAIA H2020 Programme, which seeks to provide Europe with research infrastructures to which all researchers can have access, thus contributing to improving Europe's competitiveness in all scientific fields and boosting innovation in the technology sector.