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Marine Data Exchange to boost “Blue Economy”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A new internet portal, which will allow the public to freely access a wealth of data about the UK’s territorial waters and beyond, has been launched today in a bid to boost the “blue economy”.

Developed by The Crown Estate, the Marine Data Exchange allows anyone with an interest in the marine environment access to over a terabyte of data collected from The Crown Estate's low carbon energy development partners, including: visual and landscape assessments, bird and mammal population studies, habitat characterisations and archaeological studies.

By allowing developers, businesses and other interested parties, free, easy access to this data, the Marine Data Exchange will contribute towards lowering the costs of developing in the marine environment, enhancing the sustainability of marine businesses and furthering our knowledge of the country's coastal areas.

Ultimately, these benefits will help everyone with a stake in the UK's coastal and marine environment to develop a sustainable "blue economy" and create opportunities for businesses to grow, developers to build and conservationists to conserve.  The data also instigates an enhanced push towards transparency in the sector.

Pete Edmonds, The Crown Estate's Marine Data Manager and head of the Marine Data Exchange project said: "As the organisation charged with the management of the UK's seabed, we are uniquely positioned to encourage and collate research into the marine environment. Our Marine Data Exchange utilises the latest technology to create an easily accessible hub for crucial data which will save businesses time and money and will help increase environmental sustainability. All of this will provide a measureable boost to the blue economy."

The Marine Data Exchange builds on the success of:

- the previous COWRIE (Collaborative Offshore Wind Research into the Environment) data management system;

- European Commission and UK Government initiatives such as MEDIN (the European Commission's Marine Environmental Data and Information Network);

- INSPIRE (an European Commission directive establishing infrastructure for spatial information to support European Community environmental projects);

- and data.gov.uk (a UK government project which aims to open up government data sets to the general public).