Unesco’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission granted BMDC (Belgian Marine Data Centre) and China’s National Marine and Information Service the status of “accredited data centre” on Wednesday. The 2 centres are the first from the “International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange” (IODE) programme to achieve this status. IODE is a Unesco Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission programme aiming to improve marine research by helping disseminate marine data. A recommendation approved during the 2013 AGM of the programme, invited all members to supply their national marine data centres with a “quality management system” and to submit it for assessment by 2017. After that date, non-accredited centres would lose their national marine data centre status.
BMDC “tackled this challenge energetically,” highlights its leader, Serge Scory. “Developing a quality management system helped us understand how we work (…) It was a crucial first step towards our next goal: the ISO 9001 certification. The field of science is ever more competitive and we need to showcase our skills.”
BMDC is part of the “Natural Environment” operational management at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and was elevated to National Oceanographic Data Centre in 2000.
The 23rd IODE AGM brings together representatives from over 40 countries and is taking place in Bruges until Friday.