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€17 million from the EU to create a ‘digital twin’ of the oceans

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The EU has granted €17 million in funding to a project to generate a digital twin of the ocean that helps to have very precise predictions on the evolution of the seas in the future, an initiative in which the Canary Islands Oceanic Platform (Plocán) participates.

In a statement, Plocán details that it is a project promoted by Iliad, a international consortium made up of 56 partners from 18 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

In its development of a digital twin of the ocean, Iliad “will combine high-resolution modeling with real-time sensing of ocean parameters, advanced algorithms for spatio-temporal event forecasting and pattern recognition”, to generate “several digital replicas of the ocean in real or near real time”.

Iliad also claims create a marketplace to distribute applications, plug-ins, interfaces, raw data, citizen science data, synthesized 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 companies.

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From weather to climate

“The development of innovative methods in open frameworks and platforms is necessary to enable meaningful and informative model evaluations and comparisons for many large Earth science applications, from meteorology to climate,” said Bente Lilja Bye, Director General of the Norwegian company BLB and scientific coordinator of Iliad.

Bye explains that in this international consortium they intend to “take advantage of the assets resulting from two decades of investment in policies and infrastructure for the blue economy in order to contribute to a sustainable ocean economy».

“Our goal is to bring together as wide and diverse a community of users as possible.both existing and new, that will use the innovative technological solutions of the project to face the challenges of the future”, adds Professor Georgios Sylaios, from the Democritus University of Thrace (Greece), operational director of Iliad.

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For the director of the Spanish scientific consortium Plocán, José Joaquín Hernández Brito, participating in Iliad means being immersed in “a computer technological advance that is also being built from the Canary Islands” and to which they will contribute multiple ocean data sources at depth and sea surface levelthe water column, the coasts, as well as all the data that reaches them from vehicles and marine platforms, and produced through renewable energy generation devices in the sea.

“The need for near-real-time monitoring of the ocean and sea leads us to the creation of the digital twin of the ocean, which in turn will allow us to have dynamic visualization and scientific analysis to understand and predict the behavior and modeling of the ocean. This resulting knowledge will be transferred both to the scientific community and to users”, argues Hernández Brito.

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