Research Topic

Advancing Ocean Observing Technology and Industry - Science Partnerships for the Future of Ocean Science

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About this Research Topic

During the Ocean Science Meeting in San Diego, February 2020, a Town Hall on vendors' views of technology was organized by NASA and the Marine Technology Society. One of the purposes of the Town Hall was to address a common comment from the ocean science community heard by NASA co-convener Dr. Paula Bontempi ...

During the Ocean Science Meeting in San Diego, February 2020, a Town Hall on vendors' views of technology was organized by NASA and the Marine Technology Society. One of the purposes of the Town Hall was to address a common comment from the ocean science community heard by NASA co-convener Dr. Paula Bontempi that “they are unaware of products and instruments out there and have observational needs that are not being met.” Similarly, during the Town Hall, a scientist in the audience raised concern that they never knew if an instrument had been updated, or what was going on in terms of development amongst the various instrumentation manufacturers.

As instrumentation manufacturers with a highly scientific background, we feel their pain: We stay active and inform users/customers on multiple social media platforms, via email, and on our websites; we participate in exhibitions and present new research and development at scientific meetings, and we visit existing and potential customers face-to-face. Yet, one of the most frequent comments when talking to a scientist is, “oh, I had no idea you also did this,” despite us having done “this” for maybe more than a decade. We also repeatedly see that the working principles of the instrumentation (not just ours) are incorrectly explained by scientists in research articles. This is unfortunate for all parties involved: the scientists, as they demonstrably don't have enough information about existing and new technologies or methods that might help them in their research, as well as the instrumentation manufacturers, as they miss out on sales, profits from which can be used for internal research and development.

Traditionally, scientific journals have often shied away from being platforms on which instrumentation manufacturers could publish details about their instruments. However, scientists are more likely to read a scientific journal compared with grey literature linked to from email or social media updates. Our thinking is that a collection of:

a. instrument methods papers (especially focusing on instruments/methods that are geared toward key observational strategies like underway systems, autonomous platforms, swarm technologies), coupled with
b. position-type papers covering topics such as public-private sector collaboration, the path to new technology commercialization, and related case studies

would be of interest to scientists and manufacturers alike (article types including Methods, Review, Mini Review, Policy & Practice Reviews, Perspectives, and Policy Brief). An article collection on this topic could be a useful reference for scientists and manufacturers.

The Topic Editors, Dr. Ole Mikkelsen and Dr. Wayne Homer Slade, are employed by Sequoia Scientific, Inc. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Instrumentation, methods, observational strategies, commercialization, case studies


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