The European Commission awards €16 million to the Blue-Cloud 2026 and the AquaINFRA projects in order to protect oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters. Connecting data on the marine and coastal environment, on biodiversity, and on the water cycle with the ‘Blue Economy’ is essential to achieve the goals of the EU Mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters” by 2030. This is why the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative, that aims to enable Open Science practices in Europe, is funding these two projects.
The Blue-Cloud 2026 and AquaINFRA projects will indeed promote Open Science practices as well as implement FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data commons and collaborative data services. The objective is to accelerate the sharing and reuse of publicly funded research findings and data amongst the multiple contributors to the Mission, from scientists to public authorities, citizens and industry.
Both projects will demonstrate the interplay between the EOSC data space and the Green Deal data space and act as EOSC blueprints for ‘blue research’. They will involve several research communities and data infrastructures in multi-disciplinary use cases demonstrating the value of the EOSC and contributing to the science base enabling the Mission’s ‘Digital Ocean and Waters Knowledge System’, and it’s ‘Digital Twin’ of the Ocean in particular.
Both projects have different, but complementary, foci that will support the uptake and continued development of the EOSC as a federated European infrastructure. The tools and services developed by the two projects will be made available to other researchers through the EOSC portal and other relevant platforms such as EMODnet. Both projects will kick off mid-February 2023 and will be running until 2026.
Blue-Cloud 2026 follows the pilot Blue-Cloud project that combined the interests of the EOSC and the ’blue research’ communities. It aims at a further evolution of this pilot ecosystem by means of a collaborative web-based environment in support of the EU Mission on Oceans and Waters, providing services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data as well as simplified access to multi-disciplinary datasets from observations, analytical services, and computing facilities. These essential actions for blue science will be carried out thanks to the development of a collaborative web-based environment.
By 2026, the Blue-Cloud pilot ecosystem will evolve into a federated data management infrastructure to deliver FAIR, open and high-quality data, and analytical services that are instrumental for deepening the knowledge of marine and fresh waters.
The project will involve more sea-related data stakeholders and increase the interaction with EOSC so that it can support the EU Green Deal, UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, EU Destination Earth, and the EU Mission “Restore our ocean and waters by 2030”.
The BlueCloud 2026 kick-off conference takes place in Pisa, Italy, from 13 to 15 February 2023.
The objective of this new project is to develop an AquaINFRA Interaction Platform (AIP) equipped with FAIR multi-disciplinary data and services. This will allow seamless data discovery and processing through a single interface.
The AIP will be the central gateway for scientific communities in the aquatic realm to interact seamlessly with the EOSC. This will include the development of a cross-domain and cross-country search and discovery mechanism, as well as building services for spatio-temporal analysis and modelling through Virtual Research Environments (VREs).
The AquaINFRA VREs will enable stakeholders to store, share, access, analyse and process research data and information from their own discipline, as well as across research infrastructures, disciplines, and national borders. The project also aims to address the specific needs for enabling researchers from the marine and freshwater communities to work and collaborate across the two domains, under a ’single hydrosphere’.
The AquaINFRA kick-off conference takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 14-16 February 2023. All are welcome to register to participate in person or online in the open part of the AquaINFRA kick-off on 15 February.
Source: European Commission I Research and Innovation (https://bit.ly/3YKwTlZ)