Last Monday, I was at the information (half) day organised by ECMWF regarding the procurement of the atmosphere and climate services for Copernicus. I wish to thank them for organising this event and making the effort to promote and explain the procurement process.

Most will be aware that at EARSC, we have been promoting the necessity to involve industry as much as possible in the supply chain for the services. Today, the level varies widely between the Land services where there is a good industrial participation and others particularly the atmosphere, climate and marine where industry has not been really involved. Our goal is to change this recognising on the one hand that there are competences in industry that can and should be employed whilst there are capacities which only public bodies such as ECMWF can supply. This applies to all the Copernicus services and it is clear from the large number of meetings being planned already that we shall need a co-ordinated approach.

We seek to develop a partnership where the “optimum” arrangement can be deployed combining the strengths of industry with public bodies. Hence when ECMWF first contacted me at the end of last year, I was delighted to discuss with him how we could start to develop this arrangement. The information day was a very important first step and we now will work out how to establish a roadmap between the public and private sectors.

Mercator Ocean have also contacted me and I have now had 2 meetings with them to discuss the way forward. Their approach is different and a web-x presentation took place last Friday to start to explain their plans. Again we welcome this and the plans for future meeting s which bring transparency and opportunity to the process.

The discussions will not be limited to short term actions but must embrace planned R&D as well as promotional activities. The plan must show how to evolve from the current situation to one where a greater industry involvement becomes possible and perhaps even more importantly a stronger competitive landscape to ensure good value for the public sector and innovation in the private sector.

I very much hope that all the other EEE’s will follow a similar approach and look forward to discussing with them in the near future.

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