Cover of U.S. IOOS Enterprise Strategic Plan


The Plan

U.S. IOOS is pleased to release the U.S. IOOS Enterprise Strategic Plan (2018-22), which lays out Enterprise-wide objectives and priorities for the next five years and into the future.

This plan is the first written that addresses the full scope of the U.S. IOOS Enterprise, bringing together the needs and goals of the entire ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing system, which is comprised of federal, regional, and international partners in both the public and private sectors.  It focuses on cross-cutting goals and practical objectives to address IOOS core capabilities which include: sustained observations; data management and communication; modeling and analysis; user-driven products and tools; and stakeholder engagement, outreach, and education.

Download the Strategic Plan here (pdf)




The “U.S. IOOS Enterprise” represents the full scale of partners who may be contributing to and benefitting from the integrated ocean observing system. This includes global to local participants in ocean observing, data management and prediction from federal, academic, non-profit, and private firms or organizations. The U.S. IOOS Enterprise is a term intended to represent the inclusive mission of U.S. IOOS as defined by the ICOOS Act (2009). If you are contributing toward solutions or implementation of IOOS, then you are part of the Enterprise.

IOOS needed a new strategic plan. In 2007-08, both the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Observations and the U.S. IOOS Office published 5-year strategic plans. An updated plan will reflect the current vision and mission of the U.S. IOOS Enterprise, major advancements in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing trends over the past decade, and how U.S. IOOS can secure and improve future ocean observations.

This strategy takes a wider view than previous plans by involving the full U.S. IOOS Enterprise. It is inclusive of public-private partners and thereby adopts a high-level vision, and was developed through extensive engagement with IOOS partners including interagency and IOOS regional association contributors and end-users. U.S. IOOS continues to meet existing and emerging user needs by integrating across five strategic goals to address IOOS core capabilities of observing, data management and communication, modeling and analysis, user-driven products and tools, and stakeholder engagement, outreach, and education. The system will continue to infuse emerging technology into operations, which can save time and resources while improving our understanding of ocean and coastal systems. The infusion of emerging technologies has resulted in more cost efficient and advanced observing sensors, platforms, data management techniques and programs. U.S. IOOS remains committed to building improved pathways for research to operations.

The mission and vision reaffirm IOOS’ commitment to meeting the Nation’s needs for ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes information through observations, data management, data analysis, and user-driven products. The IOOS Enterprise is expanding the focus on end-user experiences and building on the strong, sustained partnerships that are the core of IOOS. The IOOS mission can only be accomplished through strong, sustained partnership.

Yes, next steps involve the development of an implementation plan. We intend the implementation plan to be inclusive of the entire Enterprise and will provide the opportunity to IOOS core partners to contribute. It will outline specific, time-bound activities that will contribute towards achieving the IOOS mission, goals, and objectives.