AQUARIUS Project: Aquatic research infrastructure services for the health and sustainability of European marine and freshwater ecosystems

Led by the Marine Institute of Ireland, with a budget of €14.5 M and a consortium of 45 members representing 18 European states, kicks off the AQUARIUS project (Aquatic Research Infrastructure Services for the health and protection of our unique, oceans, seas and freshwater ecosystems), to offer free access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure across Europe to undertake collaborative research for the next 48 months, to address challenges relevant to the long-term sustainability of our oceans, seas and freshwater ecosystems.

AQUARIUS will make available to users from the scientific community, stakeholders and industry for the first time in Europe through a single project framework, a significant and unprecedented 57 research infrastructure services including scientific vessels, mobile marine-observing platforms, aircraft, satellites, sensors, fixed freshwater and marine observatories and test beds, experimental facilities and cutting-edge data infrastructures. PLOCAN will contribute as a partner to the development and execution of AQUARIUS by making available access to its ocean-glider training school (Glider School) and its marine testing area (Test Site).

The needs of the different users interested in accessing to the research infrastructure services that AQUARIUS offers will be covered through a solid and transparent system of Transnational Access funding calls, enabled by a centralized and easy-to-use access portal. AQUARIUS invites collaboration and engagement from researchers, industrial communities, citizen science groups and SMEs through a highly focused outreach program.

AQUARIUS represents an interesting project for European and international marine and freshwater ecosystem researchers, as it offers opportunities for joint and synergistic work to access unique infrastructures integrated in the basins of the Baltic Sea, North Sea, Black Sea, Atlantic/Arctic and the Mediterranean together with its associated rivers for the development of research activities, technological development and qualified training.

AQUARIUS contributes to the development phase of the European Union’s Mission 2030 for the restoration of oceans and inland waters, the Partnership for a Sustainable Blue Economy, the European Green Deal and international climate initiatives. It also represents an essential component to achieve the European Digital Twin of the Ocean and the United Nations Decade for Ocean Sciences.

AQUARIUS is a Research and Innovation Action (RIA) project funded by the HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 call of the HORIZON Europe program through the Grant Agreement No. 101130915.

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