EU awards €17 million to ILIAD, a new high-profile project to create a Digital Twin of the Ocean

4th November 2021
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The EU has awarded €17 million to ILIAD (Integrated Digital Twins for Marine and Maritime Data and Information Services). This international project will create a European Digital Twin of the Ocean (DTO) that will combine high-resolution modelling with real-time sensing of ocean parameters.

DTOs are digital replicas of aspects such as ocean data forecasting or climate change scenarios, global and local ocean circulation and the resulting biology / ecosystems in the ocean space. These Digital Twins of the Oceans (DTOs) will give end users access to information, services, models, scenarios, simulations, forecasts, and visualisations.

ILIAD is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The technology resulting from the ILIAD DTO will contribute to the design and development of smart and innovative services benefitting marine and maritime end-users and policy makers, as well as the public. This combination of using technology to facilitate sustainable advancement follows the aims of the EU’s Green Deal and Digital Strategy as well as being inline with the UN’s Ocean Decade actions.

Blue Lobster will have a significant role in the Design and Development of the ILIAD DTO. The existing Marinomica Platform will be extended with enhanced User XP (experience), Interfaces and data fusion. The team had a key role in the original design, development, branding and marketing of Marinomica, which is a bespoke data and visualisation tool initially developed as part of the H2020 funded ODYSSEA project and now being further developed as part of other projects, such as EcoScope and ILIAD.

As Work Package leader for the project’s outreach, communication and dissemination, Blue Lobster will also be responsible for the project Branding, identity and website, as well as the development and implementation of the outreach, communication and dissemination strategy.

Project Summary:

ILIAD builds on the assets resulting from two decades of investments in policies and infrastructures for the blue economy and aims at establishing an interoperable, data-intensive, and cost-effective Digital Twin of the Ocean (DTO). It capitalises on the explosion of new data provided by many different earth sources, advanced computing infrastructures (cloud computing, HPC, Internet of Things, Big Data, social networking, and more) in an inclusive, virtual / augmented, and engaging fashion to address all Earth Data challenges. It will contribute towards a sustainable ocean economy as defined by the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Ocean, a hub for global, multi stakeholder co-operation.

The ILIAD DTO will fuse a large volume of diverse data, in a semantically rich and data agnostic approach to enable simultaneous communication with real world systems and models. Ontologies and a standard style-layered descriptor will facilitate semantic information and intuitive discovery of underlying information and knowledge to provide a seamless experience. The combination of geovisualisation, immersive visualisation and virtual reality or augmented reality allows users to explore, synthesize, present, and analyze the underlying geospatial data in an interactive manner.

The enabling technology of the ILIAD DTO will contribute to the implementation of the EU’s Green Deal and Digital Strategy and to the achievement of the UN Ocean Decade's outcomes and Sustainable Development Goals. To realise its potential, ILIAD DTO will follow the System of Systems approach, integrating all existing EU Earth Observing and Modelling Digital Infrastructures and Facilities.

To promote additional applications through ILIAD DTO, the partners will create the ILIAD Marketplace. Like an app store, providers will use the ILIAD Marketplace to distribute apps, plug-ins, interfaces, raw data, citizen science data, synthesised information, and value-adding services derived from the ILIAD DTO.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037643 The information and views of this website lie entirely with the authors. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.