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Oceanographic Instrumentation: Measurement, Process & Analysis

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The U.S. Ocean Enterprise $7B & Counting

In mid-February 2016 NOAA of? cially released its report which aims to give shape and size to the U.S. Ocean Enterprise, a collective entity esti- mated to be in excess of $7 billion annually. MTR spoke with Zdenka Willis,

Director, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), for her take on this initial survey and her perspective of its impact on the U.S. market.

By Greg Trauthwein

It is well-stated within, but in your own words and being observing systems as applied to end user bene? ts, nor does it as brief as possible, what was the original intent, and what investigate the full supply chain. While that information is is the point of producing “The Ocean Enterprise” study? very important, it was outside the scope of this study.

Our objective is to determine the breadth and value What were the biggest challenges in putting this report of the U.S. ocean observation enterprise to the US economy. together?

We used the term “ocean enterprise” as a direct reference to “weather enterprise,” which has been in use for over a decade The biggest challenge was identifying the companies and brought a great deal of interest and attention to ? rms and to be included in the survey group. A large part of the motiva- organizations working to improve atmospheric measurement, tion for this study is that this level of work isn’t easy to tease observing, and forecasting. Ultimately, we would like to see out – for one thing, the NAICS codes don’t resolve themselves this study bring the same gravitas and recognition to the ocean to a level that distinguishes maritime work in these areas--and enterprise. so we did a great deal of work developing our group. We worked with a variety of sources: trade groups, government

What does “The Ocean Enterprise” report say? program contact lists, industry trade shows, and through ad- vertising and web announcements. This study demonstrates that for pro? t and nonpro? t business activity in the ocean enterprise is thriving. Not only What are the primary limitations of the study?

does the ocean enterprise generate $7 billion in the U.S. every year, but also more than 85% of these ? rms have been in busi- This study is descriptive but not a full valuation as it ness over 5 years and expect to maintain their size or grow in does not consider the end-user values or the full supply chain. the near future. It’s a snapshot of the ocean enterprise at one point in time, and ultimately the most value will come from repeating the

What does it not say? study again in the future to show growth, trends, and overall changes. This study does not consider return on investment of

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