Governance and Strategy

Organisation of sustainable development

NEMO Consortium Agreement writes:

The purpose of this Agreement is to set up appropriate arrangements for the successful and sustainable development of the NEMO System as a well-organised, state-of-the-art ocean model code system suitable for both research and operational work.

The NEMO Consortium ensures the sustainable development of NEMO. Indeed, an institution joining the Consortium commits to dedicate a minimum of one man-year per year into the NEMO System Team, which is responsible for the development and distribution of NEMO.

The Organizational chart of NEMO Consortium and community is shown in figure 1 below:

The NEMO community includes a large variety of projects and goals including oceanic research, ocean forecasts and climate studies with a quite wide range of spatial an temporal scales.

The NEMO Consortium organization is composed of

NEMO System Team

A team of high-level experts in model development (natural and computer sciences). Their main task is to sustainably develop NEMO (i.e. develop the code appropriate for all applications, the associated documentation, validate the results, and distribute the NEMO shared reference code including all coherently merged developments).
For an institution of the consortium, adding one-man year per year into the System Team leverages ~ 10 man-years per year from the other members of the NEMO System Team.

NEMO Developer’s Committee

A Scientific Advisory Board composed of  Executive Board, External Experts, Consortium Experts System Team members, and leaders of Working groups.  Its role is to

  • give advice on yearly workplan,
  • coordinate developments planned by scientists outside the NEMO System Team, and in particular to coordinate them with the Work-Plan for the NEMO System Team
  • set up working groups, to appoint their leaders and to validate the report drafted by the working group

NEMO Steering Committee

An executive board composed of one representative of each institution of NEMO consortium, the NEMO Project Manager and Scientific leader. The Steering Committee is the consortium’s decision-making and arbitration body. It must decide and agree on:

  • the strategic direction of the Project;
  • the NEMO Project Manager, the NEMO Scientific Leader and NEMO System Team coordinator:
  • the Work-Plan for following year and the contributions of each Consortium Member to the Work-Plan
  • approval on an annual basis of the members of Developers Committee
  • any modifications needed to this Agreement

Development Strategy

The mid- to long-term development strategy is clearly established through a written document, regularily updated. The NEMO Steering Committee (executive group with one representative per institution of the Consortium) endorses this document.

Some areas of model development demand a best possible answer for some open scientific questions, in order to define an appropriate development action. The NEMO working groups are dealing with these aspects of the work.

A yearly work plan is elaborated each year, and approved by the NEMO Steering Committee. It identifies the development tasks and their PI within the NEMO System Team .

Experience in many modelling centres has shown that to develop model code suitable for a range of configurations requires substantially more effort than to develop code to be used in “research mode” by a single researcher or team. The development of NEMO follows a carefully defined process, which has been steadily refined over the 10 years since the NEMO consortium was initiated. Developments are supported by the NEMO System Team funded by the consortium members, whose job is to incorporate new scientific developments into the NEMO reference code and ensure that the code and its documentation are of robust quality.

The NEMO software development process consists of:

  • Initial code design, reviewed by science and software experts;
  • Definition of specific test cases;
  • Development of code in a separate code branch, including validation and documentation by the developer;
  • Run and evaluate test case(s) including the new development, write a report to demonstrate success of development;
  • Full expert review of development and testing;
  • The NEMO Systems Team merges all code developments (on a yearly cycle) into the main NEMO reference code.

This process has been tested and refined over a number of development cycles.

Throughout the year, collaborative work is discussed and synchronized through regular videoconferences. The developments of the year, once completed, validated, and (scientifically and technically) reviewed are merged together to build the new version of NEMO. This traditionally takes place during a dedicated week of work by the NEMO System Team who gather at one of the Consortium’s centres for the event.