Horizon 2020 Blue-Cloud: the European marine thematic platform to explore and demonstrate the potential of Open Science for ocean sustainability
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) was launched by the European Commission in 2016 to provide a virtual environment with open and seamless services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data, across borders and disciplines. Within this framework, Blue-Cloud, as the "Future of Seas and Oceans Flagship Initiative" of EU HORIZON 2020 programme, piloted the thematic EOSC for the marine domain, serving the Blue Economy, Marine Environment and Marine Knowledge agendas.
Blue-Cloud delivered a collaborative virtual environment to enhance FAIR and Open Science. Between October 2019 and March 2023, Blue-Cloud deployed a cyber platform with smart federation of an unprecedented wealth of multidisciplinary data repositories, analytical tools, and computing facilities to explore and demonstrate the potential of cloud-based Open Science and address ocean sustainability, UN Ocean Decade, and G7 Future of the Oceans objectives.
Blue-Cloud federated leading European marine Research infrastructures (SeaDataNet, EurOBIS, Euro-ARGO, ICOS, SOCAT, ENA, EMODnet, CMEMS) and e-Infrastructures (EUDAT, D4Science, WEkEO DIAS), allowing researchers to combine, reuse, and share quality data across disciplines and countries. The federation takes place at the levels of data, computing and analytical service resources.
- Build and demonstrate a pilot Blue-Cloud by combining distributed marine data resources, computing platforms, and analytical services
- Develop services geared to support research to better understand & manage the many aspects of ocean sustainability
- Develop and validate a number of demonstrators of relevance for marine societal challenges
- Formulate a roadmap for the expansion and sustainability of the Blue-Cloud infrastructure and services
The Blue-Cloud project federated leading European marine data management infrastructures (SeaDataNet, EurOBIS, Euro-Argo, Argo GDAC, EMODnet, ENA, SOCAT, Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service CMEMS, Copernicus Climate Change Service C3S, and ICOS-Marine), and horizontal e-infrastructures (EUDAT, DIAS, D4Science) to capitalise on what already exists and to develop and deploy the “Blue Cloud” framework. The federation will be at the level of data resources, computing resources and analytical service resources.
Blue-Cloud service offer
The Blue-Cloud data discovery and access service was developed as an overarching service to facilitate smart sharing of multi-disciplinary datasets with human and machine users. The Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment (VRE) orchestrates the computing and analytical services in specific integrated and managed applications that through the same VRE use the federated Blue-Cloud data resources in addition to external data resources. The Blue-Cloud innovation potential was explored and unlocked by five dedicated demonstrators as Virtual Labs co-designed with top-level marine researchers:
- Biodiversity → Zoo- and Phytoplankton EOV products
- Genomics → Plankton Genomics
- Environment → Marine Environmental Indicators
- Fisheries → Fish, a matter of scales
- Aquaculture → Aquaculture Monitor
Through the Blue Cloud Platform, the Virtual Labs provide services such as access to datasets, products and computation routines that can be exploited to analyse datasets and (re)generate research products. They showcase how Blue-Cloud can shorten the time span between research and innovation in the blue economy field.
The Blue-Cloud consortium brings together leading, European, marine-data infrastructures and EOSC horizontal e-infrastructures. The project was coordinated by Trust-IT Services and technically coordinated by MARIS. An influential External Stakeholders Experts Board & an Expert Foresight Group supported the project.
Blue-Cloud addressed the IA ‘The Future of Seas and Oceans Flagship Initiative’ (BG-07-2019-2020) for the following topic: [A] 2019 - Blue Cloud services.