An interesting win-win scenario is emerging where ocean observations for environmental management, for monitoring the health of the marine ecosystem, and for marine safety and surveillance could also serve, in their non-confidential elements, to feed the research and economic sectors for added value and societal benefits at no additional data acquisition costs. In an evolving knowledge-based society, access to key technologies, high quality data, modelling and satellite observations, are perceived to be key ingredients to support sustainable blue growth, especially in the coastal areas where many essential economic activities are occurring at the national scale. This goes hand in hand with the process of extracting essence from data, together with value addition by a wide range of downstream services that are fitting to the user needs, especially in the local scale application scenarios.
The advent of multi-disciplinary, spatially widespread, long term and real-time marine data and information is expected to trigger an unprecedented leap in the economic value of ocean data. This is bringing about a paradigm shift in our perception of the value of marine data, information and knowledge for managing marine resources, and furnishing direct applications and benefits to many sectors in industry and services such as marine transportation, safety and public health. The future is pointing towards multiple-purpose observing systems, linking marine data to economy, environmental and social domains, and targeting a wide range of applications that cater not only for monitoring, but also for the provision of services in key marine activities and industries as well as for research, security, safety and enforcement. This is critical to competitiveness, product development and enhancement of services, and will weave the intricate way to shape Blue Growth in practice during this decade.