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Starting from the legacy of its pilot phase, over its thirty-six-month lifetime Blue-Cloud 2026 aims to address the need to expand and consolidate Blue-Cloud as a thematic EOSC to support research to better understand and manage the many aspects of ocean sustainability. While the Blue-Cloud Consortium already possesses the necessary skills to execute the Project work plan, it also avails itself of the support of an External Stakeholders Expert Board (ESEB) for high level guidance on strategy and policy and leverage of their relevant cross-sectoral networks.

The ESEB Members have been invited to support the project given their capacity, skills and network and are asked to provide ad-hoc, independent, competent and timely feedback to the strategy and operations of the Blue-Cloud initiative and its demonstrators, advise on strategic global “Blue” trends, facilitate dialogue with policy makers and stimulate discussion between the relevant key stakeholders in the EU, and where appropriate, beyond.

The ESEB also help strengthen the Blue Cloud framework, leveraging on their network and experience and ultimately increase the visibility of project and support the dissemination of project results.

Meet the Blue-Cloud experts below

Below you'll find the members of the External Stakeholders Expert Board that supported the Blue-Cloud pilot project between 2019-2023 and those who are providing guidance in the second phase until 2026.


Lijing Cheng

Institute of Atmospheric Physics

Lijing Cheng received his PhD from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2014 . He then worked in IAP/CAS as a full professor. His work includes examination of systematic errors in ocean observations, study of historical ocean heat content (OHC) change, and Earth's energy budget.

Othman Cherkaoui Dekkaki

Université Mohammed V de Rabat

As a doctoral student in Applied Mathematics with a passion for natural resource management, Othman specialises in mathematical modeling and the application of optimal control theory and viability theory. His research provides insights to aid in decision-making processes related to the management of these resources. Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? "With a background in Applied Mathematics, with a focus on data analysis, mathematical modeling, and optimal control theory, as well as a strong interest in natural resource management, I believe that joining the Blue-Cloud 2026 External Stakeholders Expert Board will give me an unrivaled opportunity to put my knowledge and abilities to use. I can provide significant insights and research-based recommendations to help decision-making processes in the field of resource management by utilizing my knowledge. I would have the chance to work with other like-minded individuals who are passionate about sustainable ocean management by joining the expert board. Additionally, I would be able to influence policy and take use of the Blue Cloud 2026 initiative's vast reach thanks to this role."

Jean-Noël Druon

European Commission - Joint Research Centre

European Commission Joint Research Centre, Directorate D Sustainable Resources Unit D.02 Water and Marine Resources, Scientific Officer Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? "As a scientist of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, my contribution to the Blue-Cloud ESEB shall contribute to follow and guide the project in the use of  leading European marine data infrastructures (such as Copernicus Marine, SeaDataCloud, EurOBIS, EMODnet) with strategic positioning at policy level in a European and global context."

Tiziana Ferrari

EGI Foundation

Managing Director at the EGI Foundation: Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? Blue-Cloud is a major European initiative that well aligns with major European and international priorities, including the European data space strategy. With its federated approach to data, computing resources and adding value services, Blue-Cloud will pave the wave of data-centric web-based marine science. As Director of the EGI Foundation and Coordinator of the EOSC-hub project, I express the full commitment of the EGI Federation to support the Blue-Cloud computing needs, and of the EOSC-hub consortium to onboard Blue-Cloud research outputs in the EOSC portal. Blue-Cloud provides a blueprint of how thematic clouds can contribute to the advancement of data-intensive research and of European excellence in research.

Marco Filippone

Fugro Germany Marine GmbH

Dr. Marco Filippone is Chief Hydrographer and Operations Manager at Fugro Germany Marine GmbH. He is a certified hydrographer, Cat. A certified surveyor, with a MSc in “Marine and Nautical science” from the Italian Naval Academy and Pisa University and second level post degree in “Marine Geomatics” from Genoa University.

Luciano Gaido

Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics

Luciano Gaido is Director of Technology at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN). He has 30 years of international experience in research environments related to distributed computing and in the last decades he was the national responsible for the INFN contribution to several Grid and EOSC related projects.

Sara Garavelli


Sara Garavelli works as EOSC Program Manager at CSC – IT Center for Science in Finland and is the coordinator of the EOSC Finnish Forum, the EOSC national structure supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture in charge of organising the EOSC activities and engagement at country level.

Hernan Garcia

US National Oceanographic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

As a researcher at one of the world's premier oceanic research centers, Hernan Garcia performed field sampling in the Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and the Mediterranean. He is also a researcher in the Ocean Climate Laboratory of the US National Oceanographic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Sheila JJ Heymans

European Marine Board

Executive Director of the European Marine Board and Professor in Ecosystem Modelling at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) in Scotland Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? "As an ecosystem modeler I know the value of good, easily accessible data. Without the ability to download data freely, and in multiple formats ecosystem modelers would not be able to address the sustainability questions we are asked. As Executive Director of the EMB I have also seen the issues of lack of FAIR data, the lack of biological observations, the complexity of data created in marine science, and the lack of interoperability of data and computing  resources. I want to help the EU’s Blue Cloud project to address these problems."

Robert Huber

Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences

Marine Geologist and Information Specialist at Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) at the University Bremen Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? I am very pleased to have the opportunity to participate as an expert in the Blue-Cloud ESEB. The project offers an extraordinary opportunity to bring together marine data from different domains and to demonstrate their re-use within well selected use-cases. PANGAEA as an interdisciplinary data archive has already experienced similar challenges during various national and international projects (e.g. I hope that this can be helpful for the success of Blue-Cloud.  

Rupert Lueck

EMBL IT Services

Head of IT Services at EMBL Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? “I look forward to contributing to the Blue-cloud project with my background as a member of the EOSC Executive Board and co-chair of the Board’s Sustainability Working Group. I am fascinated by the important role of the Blue-cloud project in supporting interdisciplinary research to better understand ocean sustainability by providing essential FAIR access to multidisciplinary data, analytical tools and data processing. Consequently, I hope to also contribute to the project with expertise from my role at EMBL in providing IT for many interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, often on a large scale, and from my work as EMBL IT representative within the EIROforum and as a member of a number of high-level IT advisory boards.”

David Mills

Integrated Marine Data and Information System

Director of IMARDIS (Integrated Marine Data and Information System) Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? "Blue Cloud is an extremely timely initiative with the potential to assemble and take advantage of the vast marine data and information resources distributed across Europe. It resonates with my current efforts to lead the co-design and co-development of an EU funded cloud-based data infrastructure (IMARDIS) designed to drive blue growth in the Welsh ocean renewable energy sector. As a former UK government scientist, I also bring significant experience in designing and implementing data gathering and information systems to meet and EU and international policy requirements. My primary contribution will be to clarify societal user needs and challenge success criteria."

Alexandra Neyts

European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform

General Secretary of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? EATiP recommends to review existing aquaculture regulations and move towards a more predictable and evidence-based licensing system across Europe. In particular, the need to target and demonstrate that its environmental footprint is within acceptable limits is crucial to achieve better control and a more positive public perception of the sector. This requires sound ecosystem-based management and decision-making tools. Integrated monitoring systems, transparent data collection and targeted models can contribute to this objective. We are therefore eager to learn how the Blue-Cloud services might help the sector to better manage and operate its farms using tools and indicators derived from marine data.

Jaume Piera

Institute of Marine Sciences

Chair of the Working Group “Data, Tools and Technologies” at the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA).  H2020-Cos4Cloud Coordinator. Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? Blue Cloud is developing the framework to assemble marine data from different domains and resources distributed across Europe. It offers the extraordinary opportunity to promote the interaction of different marine related disciplines, both scientific and social, towards a more sustainable ocean. I hope that I could contribute in the Blue-Cloud ESEB with my expertise in the field of citizen science and its related infrastructures, the citizen observatories for an optimal integration of marine data based on participatory processes. As member of the European Citizen Association Steering Committee, and the EOSC-Skills & Training Working Group, I am planning as well to strength the links between Blue Cloud initiative and the Citizen Science community.

Peter Pissierssens


Head of the IOC Project Office for IODE: Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? Linking e-infrastructures is the core objectives of the IOC’s Ocean Data and Information System (ODIS) which will provide an interoperability layer and supporting technology to allow existing and emerging ocean data and information systems (from any stakeholder) to interoperate with one another. This will enable and accelerate more effective development and dissemination of digital technology and sharing of ocean data, information, and knowledge. Because of the similarity between the objectives of ODIS and Blue Cloud, we therefore look forward to collaborate in a complementary way.” community.  

Karl Presser

Premotec GmbH

Managing Partner at Premotec GmbH, President of EuroFIR AISBL and Elected Member of the International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO)  Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? I decided to join the Blue-Cloud to coordinate collaboration between the Blue-Cloud and FNS-Cloud which are sibling thematic EOSC projects. The Blue-Cloud project is very interesting and touches my expertise in information system and food data. My background is computer science, in particular global information systems, and therefore I can contribute to ICT architecture, ICT implementations, data quality, data standardisation and harmonisation, data processing and data exchange

Elisa Ravagnan

NORCE Norwegian Research Centre

Elisa's main interests are inter- and cross-disciplinary approaches to environmental challenges. She has more than 20 years of experience in environmental modelling and statistics. She has been leading and participating in many national and international projects and industry financed projects in aquaculture and marine sciences.

Nicolas Segebarth

European Commission

Policy Officer at the European Commission

Marc Taconet

FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Division

Marc Taconet is the Team Leader of the Information Management and Knowledge Team at FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, in Rome Headquarters. His career spans from 15 years of appointments in the Caribbean, West Africa, Western Indian Ocean and North Africa as biostatistician and GIS expert involved in capacity development activities, to 24 years of various responsibilities in FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (Rome).

Toste Tanhua

GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel

Chemical oceanographer at GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? I joined the Blue-Cloud ESEB since the project address the important aspect of FAIR ocean data - without a well functioning system of accessing and (re)using the data from ocean observations, those observations is of little value. I am proud to support Blue-Cloud from the perspective of the data provider as well as scientific data user.

Martin Visbeck

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Professor for Physical Oceanography at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel  Why have you decided to join the Blue-Cloud ESEB and what contributions you can bring? The Blue-Cloud project had tremendous opportunities to advance the sharing of ocean knowledge between science and a wide range of stakeholders. I am pleased to bring the broad perspective from the ocean science and sustainable development community to the board.