The Blue-Cloud project
In 2016 the European Commission launched the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) 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. Blue-Cloud, as the “Future of Seas and Oceans Flagship Initiative” of EU HORIZON 2020 programme, is the thematic EOSC for the marine domain. Blue-Cloud developed a collaborative web-based environment that enables open science, providing simplified access to an unprecedented wealth of marine data resources and interoperable tools. On the latest episode of the AtlantECO podcast, we had the pleasure of speaking with Sara Pittonet Gaiarin from Trust-IT, and coordinator of the Blue-Cloud project, who told us about the context, objectives and achievements of the project.
Blue-Cloud is providing three main services: the Data Discovery and Access Service, the Virtual Research Environment and the Virtual Laboratories and after three years of activities, the project has achieved a lot!
A couple of examples include the Zoo & Phytoplankton Essential Ocean Variable products Virtual Lab that provides a description of the current state of plankton communities. It has been used by an international team of scientists to develop a "Wildlife Tracker for Oceans" tool, dedicated to the real-time assessment of Marine Protected Areas - MPAs. The software is able to retrieve live feeds from Satellite Constellations for animal tracking and Copernicus for ocean bio-physic data to visualise the movements of marine megafauna with a real-time feed.
Another case is the pilot application that was awarded first prize at the Blue-Cloud Hackathon in February 2022. The Particle Trackers is a group of eight early-career ocean professionals who developed Sea Clearly, a tool based on an open-access modelling framework to track particles to hack the origin of microplastics that reach aquaculture cages using the the location of the aquaculture farms provided by the Blue-Cloud Aquaculture monitor and provide recommendations for where to place aquaculture cages to decrease the probability of pollutants reaching them.
If you want to know more about the project and hear about its successes and future plans, make sure to listen to the full episode and check out the project’s website.
Find out more about the Blue-Cloud project:
○ On Twitter: @BlueCloudEU, @sarapittonet
○ Blue-Cloud website
○ Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment Blue-Cloud Gateway
○ Blue-Cloud Data Discovery & Access Service