PRIMET was originally established in November 1999 under the name “Association of Environmental Data Users in Europe” (AEDUE) and changed its name to PRIMET in September 2003. With effect from 4th August 2010, PRIMET became a Company registered in England and Limited by Guarantee. The Company Number is 7335206 and the Directors for the time being are the members of the PRIMET Board.The association currently has 37 Corporate Members in 19 European countries. Additional members from among meteorological services companies supporting, in particular, unlimited, efficient, marginal cost or free access to meteorological and climatological data produced and/or funded by public agencies are welcomed.
PRIMET Mission Statement
PRIMET will be the principal federal trade organisation open to all companies with an operational base in Europe within the private sector of the economy that provides value added meteorological and climatological services to end users or distributors. PRIMET will seek to pursue actions that it believes will result in economic growth and facilitate competition on equal commercial terms within the data supply chain (particularly in respect of Public Service Information) for all those operating in its members’ market of interest.
The PRIMET Manifesto
PRIMET is a pan European Trade Association for independent (non government owned) meteorological service providers to the end user and redistribution markets such as the media. It was formed to encourage the establishment between the public sector and the private sector of a trading environment in meteorology and its related disciplines that is equitable and reasonable. Of particular concern is the licensing and re-use of public sector information (PSI) in the form of meteorological and climatological data. Our members are committed to working with the PSI holders to develop and maintain a strong, growing “knowledge economy” within all of Europe that works to the benefit of all. PRIMET seeks clarification of the role of PSI holders (PSIH) which it believes are in many countries subject to significant and undesirable conflicts of interest. These are PSIH who, in addition to their obligations under the terms of their “public task” for the generation, quality assurance and archiving of meteorological and related data, are also encouraged or required to exploit existing and new opportunities to add value to the data and sell both the data and the resulting products in the end user and redistribution markets, often in competition with their wholesale data customers.
In the meteorological sector, PSIH are, as the result of international agreements through the World Meteorological Organisation, monopoly suppliers of data within their own geographical areas. Moreover, they have collaborated to agree among themselves what data they will sell and have published a catalogue of prices for such data. They have created a secretariat to manage these transactions. PRIMET members believe that such arrangements as presently constituted and operated are antithetical to the concepts of a level playing field with fair and transparent trading arrangements across Europe as a whole.
License terms for the re-use of PSI can cause problems for both the public and the private sector and are also of concern. PRIMET members believe that PSIH licensing terms should cover periods long enough to allow industry investment in dependent products and should only be changed after a period of notice sufficient to permit the licensees to make the necessary commercial and product adjustments. The scope of the PSIH publicly funded data and services should be clearly defined and should not be changed without a suitable public consultation with those companies affected by such a change and a warning period of five years to enable the private sector time to adjust their products and services accordingly.
PRIMET members believe that, in general, PSIH’s core competencies lie elsewhere than being commercial organisations. They believe that PSIH should concentrate on using their skills for generating, collecting, quality assuring, archiving and re-distributing base data, ensuring that others can use these data on a non-exclusive basis to add value and stimulate the European economy as a whole.
PRIMET wishes to see European governments issue more detailed policies and guidance to PSIH so as to:
- encourage the widespread availability of unrefined PSI at the marginal cost of extraction and dissemination;
- ensure that the use of PSI by the PSIH trading arm is properly and transparently accounted for by the PSIH to provide a clear separation between the costs related to the public task and value added services;
- ensure that each activity/product is separately accounted for so that its costs and revenues can be accurately, openly and transparently measured;
- ensure that data and product bundling is avoided;
- ensure that where PSIH wish to compete with their distributors, they set equivalent terms and prices for unrefined information for their own downstream arms as for their competitors;
- ensure that no cross-subsidisation takes place between products; and
- stop the practice of providing value-added product free (via the internet or otherwise) to the market under the guise of their “public task”.
PRIMET believes that the EC and/or national governments should carry out a full and impartial review of the commercial aspects of Public Sector Information trading, the role of PSIH as downstream retail operators and the benefits and disadvantages for the public and private sectors, the end consumer and the wider economy.