PLOCAN in the ILIAD Consortium to develop a Digital Twin of the Ocean

By January 31, 2022 February 4th, 2022 News

The European Union (EU) has granted the ILIAD Consortium, in which the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) is a partner, €17 million to develop and launch a Digital Twin of the Ocean (DTO) that will provide highly accurate predictions of the future evolution of the world’s oceans.

The ILIAD project, comprising 56 partners from 18 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, received the funding under the EU’s €1 billion European Green Deal.

ILIAD will develop virtual models designed to accurately reflect ocean changes and processes. It will bring to market an interoperable, data-rich and cost-effective model, harnessing the proliferation of new data provided by a variety of different land-based sources, modern IT infrastructure, including the internet of things, social media, big data and cloud computing, inter alia.

The ILIAD consortium, which has received funding through the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, will combine high-resolution modelling with real-time sensing of ocean parameters, advanced algorithms for spatio-temporal event forecasting and pattern recognition. The virtual representations will consist of several real-time or near-real-time digital replicas of the ocean.

ILIAD will also create a marketplace to distribute apps, plug-ins, interfaces, raw data, citizen science data, synthesised information and value-added services in combination with the Digital Twin of the Ocean.

Project partners include industrial companies, end-users, academic institutions, research and technology developers and private firms.

“The development of innovative methods in open frameworks and platforms is needed to enable meaningful and informative model evaluations and comparisons for many large Earth science applications, from weather to climate,” said Bente Lilja Bye, CEO of BLB and innovation manager of ILIAD. “The ambitious ILIAD project aims to build on the assets resulting from two decades of investments in policy and infrastructure for the blue economy to contribute to a sustainable ocean economy.”

“Our aim is to assemble as broad and diverse a community of existing and new users as possible, who will use the project’s innovative technological solutions to address future challenges,” said Professor Georgios Sylaios of Democritus University of Thrace, ILIAD’s operational manager.

“By combining a large amount of diverse data in a semantically rich and data-agnostic approach that allows simultaneous communication with real-world systems and models, we will enable researchers to develop what-if scenarios and analyse the impact of measures to prevent and adapt to climate change.”

For the director of PLOCAN, José Joaquín Hernández Brito, “with ILIAD we are part of an advance in computer technology that is also being constructed from the Canary Islands and to which we will contribute a wide range of ocean data sources from deep sea and the ocean’s surface, the water column, the coasts, and all the data that reach us from marine vehicles and platforms, and that are produced by offshore renewable energy generation devices”.

“The need for near-real-time monitoring of the ocean and the seas has led to the creation of the Digital Twin of the Ocean, which in turn will provide us with dynamic visualisations and scientific insights for understanding and predicting and for modelling the behaviour of the ocean. The resulting knowledge will be transferred to both the scientific community and users. This digital boom will go hand in hand with meeting the objectives of the European Union’s Green Deal,” said Hernández Brito.

Dr Hernández Brito added: “The aim of this project is to combine analytical sources and tools for artificial intelligence and computer infrastructures from various internationally renowned centres to analyse the data and provide smart services to support decision making for environmental and socio-economic benefit.”

About ILIAD

ILIAD is an EU-funded project that aims to develop and launch virtual ocean models that provide highly accurate predictions of the future evolution of the world’s oceans. ILIAD develops representations designed to accurately reflect ocean changes and processes. ILIAD will bring to market an interoperable, data-rich and cost-effective model, harnessing the proliferation of new data provided by a variety of different land-based sources, modern IT infrastructure, including the internet of things, social media, big data and cloud computing, etc.

For more information: https://ocean-twin.eu/