Roadmap progress of the Spanish National Working Group on ocean-gliders

The Canary Islands Government delegation in Madrid hosted this week the annual meeting of the national Working Group on ocean gliders, currently joined by five institutions: AZTI (Basque Country), IEO/CSIC – Spanish Institute of Oceanography/Council for Scientific Research ( Madrid and Santander), SOCIB – Coastal Observation System (Balearic Islands), ULPGC – University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and PLOCAN – Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (Canary Islands).

The main goal of these working sessions, currently under coordination of PLOCAN, lies in trying to advance efficiently and synergistically in the organization and internal collaboration at the national level between the different institutions operating this type of technology under a common roadmap, while promoting the strategy with which Spain could eventually contribute to the European Infrastructure (RI) Glider that is currently being outlined by the EU’s GROOM-II project.

The meeting agenda allowed at first instance to share between members the current state of the capabilities and activities of each of the nodes that make up this distributed and high-specialized infrastructure on ocean-observing at national level, which enabled to review needs, technological opportunities and services, etc. where to implement synergies and collaborative added-value frameworks, to ultimately improve capabilities, efficiency and sustainability of the current glider contribution to the Spanish ocean-observing system.

Currently, the Spanish fleet of ocean-gliders has around twenty operational units, with scientific payloads and capabilities of various types and scope, which enables to cover a wide range of scientific-technical and operational applications in the scope of both ocean research and other strategic sectors of the Blue Economy, ultimately for the benefit of society.

The work session had the active in-person participation of representatives of the General Sub-directorate of Large Scientific-Technical Facilities (ICTS), General Secretariat of Research of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, as well as the specific contribution of the coordinator of the EU’s project GROOM -II who tried to bring closer to the members of the national group the European strategy for the future implementation of a research infrastructure (RI) for ocean gliders, where Spain, according to its current capabilities, should play a relevant leadership role, counting on the necessary governmental support.

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