Over the past decades, Europe developed an impressive capability for aquatic environmental observation, data-handling and sharing, modelling and forecasting, second to none in the world. This builds upon national environmental observation and monitoring networks and programs, complemented with EU infrastructures such as the Copernicus satellite observation programme and related thematic services, the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet), as well as a range of environmental European Research Infrastructures and major R&D projects.
Within this framework, since October 2019, the pilot Blue-Cloud project combined both the interests of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), aiming to provide a virtual environment with open and seamless access to services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data, across borders and disciplines, and the blue research communities by developing a collaborative web-based environment providing simplified access to an unprecedented wealth of o multi-disciplinary datasets from observations, analytical services, and computing facilities essential for blue science.
Blue-Cloud 2026 aims at a further evolution of this pilot ecosystem into a Federated European Ecosystem to deliver FAIR & Open data and analytical services, instrumental for deepening research of oceans, EU seas, coastal & inland waters. It develops a thematic marine extension to EOSC for open web-based science, serving the needs of the EU Blue Economy, Marine Environment and Marine Knowledge agendas.
Over the course of 42 months starting in January 2023, Blue-Cloud 2026 will evolve the core services, integrating more blue analytical services, configuring more Virtual Labs, improving services for uptake of new data sets from a multitude of data originators (such as SeaDataNet, EurOBIS, Euro-Argo, ELIXIR-ENA, SOCAT, EcoTaxa, and ICOS-Ocean), and major e-infrastructures, namely EUDAT, D4Science, and WEkEO (CMEMS DIAS) and for discovery and access to their structured data collections.
Blue-Cloud 2026’s overall Objective is to expand the federated approach of Blue-Cloud, involving more aquatic data stakeholders, and interacting with EOSC developments, in support of the EU Green Deal, UN SDG, EU Destination Earth, and the EU Mission Starfish on healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, ultimately to provide a core data service for the Digital Twin of the Ocean.
Blue-Cloud tools and services
- Data Discovery & Access Service: An easy and FAIR service for discovering and retrieving multi-disciplinary data sets and products managed and provided by Blue Data Infrastructures.
- Virtual Research Environment: An Open Science platform for collaborative marine research, using a wide variety of datasets and analytical tools, complemented by generic services.
- Thematic Virtual Labs: Researchers work closely together with the Blue-Cloud 2026 technical team to describe Virtual Lab workflows and technical requirements.
- Workbenches for Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs): Ocean and data scientists will implement efficient workflows that allow them to harmonise, validate and qualify large and various in situ data sources, exploiting the services available in the Blue-Cloud VRE.
- Data Catalogue: The Blue-Cloud Data Catalogue includes data, products, and resources of interest for the Blue-Cloud community.
Blue-Cloud 2026 is co-coordinated by CNR, Trust-IT & MARIS, counting on a core team of partners such as VLIZ, Ifremer, MOI, Seascape Belgium. Overall it mobilises a solid, multidisciplinary, committed team of 40 partners from 13 EU countries. The Blue-Cloud 2026 project is funded by the Horizon Europe programme under the Grant Agreement Grant agreement N. 101094227.
Blue-Cloud 2026 Kick-off meeting
The Blue-Cloud 2026 Kick-Off Meeting took place on 13-15 February 2023 in Pisa, Italy. The meeting provided an opportunity for the consortium to discuss the work performed in the Blue-Cloud pilot project since 2019 and the upcoming activities to be done towards a successful implementation of the project. The KOM paved the way to develop a federated European Ecosystem to deliver FAIR & Open data and analytical services, instrumental for deepening research of oceans, EU seas, coastal & inland waters and represented a great chance for project partners to meet towards the establishment of a proactive community.