Valencia – 01.02.22. This week saw the kick-off meeting of the ILIAD project (Integrated Digital framework for Comprehensive Maritime Data And Information Services), an initiative co-funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme that has brought together 56 partners from 18 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, with the common goal of implementing a Digital Ocean Twin that will provide highly accurate predictions of the future evolution of the world’s seas.
This project, led by Intrasoft International and in which Fundación Valenciaport participates, has a total budget of 17 million euros, received within the framework of the EU’s European Green Deal, endowed with 1 billion euros, and is scheduled to be developed over a period of 36 months, ending in January 2025.
The ILIAD project will develop virtual models designed to accurately reflect the changes and processes occurring in the ocean and will commercialise an interoperable, data-rich, and cost-effective model, taking advantage of the explosion of new data provided by many different land-based sources and modern computing infrastructure, including the Internet of Things, social networks, Big Data and cloud computing, among others.
The ILIAD consortium will combine high-resolution modelling with real-time sensing of ocean parameters, advanced algorithms for space-time event forecasting and pattern recognition. The virtual representations will consist of several digital replicas of the ocean in real or near-real time. In addition, the project will also create a marketplace for distributing applications, plug-ins, interfaces, raw data, citizen science data, synthesised information, and value-added services in combination with ILIAD’s Digital Ocean Twin.
Project partners include industrial companies, end-users, academic institutions, research and technology developers and private companies.
According to ILIAD’s chief scientific officer, Bente Lilja Bye, “The development of innovative methods in open frameworks and platforms is necessary to enable meaningful and informative model assessments and comparisons for many major earth science applications, from meteorology to climate. The ambitious ILIAD project aims to leverage the assets resulting from two decades of investment in blue economy policy and infrastructure to contribute to a sustainable ocean economy”.
For his part, Rafael Company, Director of Safety and Security of Fundación Valenciaport, highlighted that “one of the main objectives of this project is to protect and monitor our seas from the risk posed by invasive species from ships’ ballast water”. Therefore Fundación Valenciaport will actively work to understand and evaluate the influence that maritime traffic in ports has on the increase of invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea, being one of the priorities in order to take measures to prevent and mitigate the impact on biodiversity, the blue economy and health. Company also stated that “in order to ensure compliance with the BWM Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, it is essential to have the information and tools that allow us to know at all times the possible risks, control them and provide successful solutions”.
In this framework, ILIAD will develop modelling actions by monitoring through satellite imagery and data acquisition from the Copernicus marine programme, will monitor origin-destination port traffic and will raise awareness of the Nature2000 areas close to the ports. For more information: https://ocean-twin.eu/