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Harnessing big ocean data: The philanthropic way

REV Ocean, the huge Norwegian philanthropic organisation being built out of the wealth of the country’s industrialist Kjell Inge Rokke has big intentions with ocean data. And it has head hunted the man credited as the creator of the DNV GL Veracity platform to get the job done.

Big data has arrived and with more digital solutions flooding on to the ocean and shipping market, analyzsng and using the data is the next challenge that Rev Ocean is looking at, creating data hubs to solve the issue.

The ocean scientific community is now becoming aware of digital platforms and the way that they will be able to streamline how solutions will work in a more collaborative way, but capturing and standardising the data, from those digital solutions, so that it can be used across different platforms will be the next challenge.

REV OCean has turned to the digital expert credited in the industry with building the DNV GL Veracity platform, Bjørn Tore Markussen. He will be building the organisaiton’s huge data platform.

Martin Moen, CFO at Rev Ocean explains about Markussen’s role at the company: “He will be the CEO for the Ocean Data Platform Foundation; responsible for setting up and managing this initiative going forward.”


Bjørn Tore Markussen: From Veracity to Ocean Data Platform Foundation

Rev Ocean believes that the only way forward to collect the data is through “mission-control” style data warehouses. Restoring ocean health requires large scale systems-change, and investments of over US$100bn a year by 2020, which must be built around comprehensive use of ocean data.

“The Ocean Data Platform Foundation will not be a traditional data centre. Our ambition is to create an ecosystem around ocean data. We want to liberate ocean data from different sources and formats, contextualise that data, and provide APIs that enable all users to build applications on top of our open source platform”, explains Moen,

“We want to create a new venue for partnerships and collaboration, let algorithms and applications do the heavy lifting, and free up time for people to concentrate on understanding and actually using the data.”

In its research Rev Ocean has seen that there are a number of smaller data initiatives and platforms, but no all-encompassing platform combining it all.

The company comments that through systemising available knowledge, data, and science would make it readily available for the public, decision-/policymakers and businesses worldwide. ​

To make this happen the company says that there would need to be open collaboration with all existing data providers and knowledge hubs for ocean data and uniting the knowledge and capabilities into one global ocean data platform.

According to Moen there is a large potential for linking current and new ocean technology directly to the Ocean Data Platform. “We have good capacity to add many new data points that can create additional layers of context in our platform – giving users a better tool to make the right sustainable decisions,” he says.

Some of the advantages that these data hubs would bring are connecting the right people​ to create new ocean solutions, bringing business, NGOs, science, institutions, decision-makers and relevant stakeholders together to create sustainable business concepts and create an Interactive knowledge and information sharing centre.

“Looking ahead; we also believe there will be great possibilities to add live and up-dated data from ocean technology, especially with the advances in new satellite technology and novel ways to share data”, Moen concludes.

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