BlueRemediomics Partner EMBL participates in DTO-BioFlow Horizon Europe Project

BlueRemediomics partner EMBL takes part in the new DTOBioFlow Horizon Europe Project, which officially kicked off on September 27th and is led by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). This ambitious new project aims to integrate previously inaccessible or challenging-to-obtain marine-biodiversity data into the biodiversity component of the EU Digital Twin Ocean. The primary goal is to establish sustainable data flows for marine biodiversity research. Within this project, the EMBL team will provide the link to their MGnify platform, a free to use resource for analysis, visualisation and discovery of marine microbiome data and studies.  

Understanding and managing biodiversity in marine habitats presents unique challenges in terms of observation, mapping, and monitoring. Despite considerable progress in Europe, thanks to initiatives like EMODnet, Copernicus Marine, and other European and international endeavors (MBON, OBIS, GOOS), a substantial portion of collected data remains untapped and inaccessible, often referred to as “sleeping data.” The DTO BioFlow Project intervenes at this crucial juncture, aiming to revive this biodiversity data for seamless integration into the EU Digital Twin Ocean.

This initiative strongly aligns with the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy and Nature Restoration Law, as well as the mission to “Restore our oceans and waters by 2030,” which advocate for the protection and restoration of both land and sea regions.

Over the next four years, the DTO-Bioflow consortium will focus on consolidating standards, quality control measures, communication protocols, harmonisation pipelines, data products, models, ingestion procedures, and incentives for sustainable connections. This concerted effort aims to improve the interoperability and digitization of biodiversity data. Additionally, the project will explore affordable and adaptable technologies for large-scale species monitoring. The end-to-end approach will be demonstrated through science-based use cases and mechanisms to monitor progress and mobilize community action towards increasing biodiversity data flows.

The Consortium comprises 30 partners from 14 countries, including research institutions, infrastructures (e.g., EMBRC, LifeWatch), networks (MBON), organizations (ICES), global aggregators, and platforms (OBIS). Their collective efforts aim to drive policy development and implementation relevant to marine biodiversity and enable the Mission to meet its 2030 targets. 

What is the European Digital Twin of the Ocean?

In general the term "digital twin" describes a digital representation of real-world entities or processes. The aim of the European Digital Twin Ocean is to make ocean knowledge readily available to citizens, entrepreneurs, scientists and policy-makers by providing them with innovative visualisation tools and consistent, high-resolution and multi-dimensional descriptions of the ocean.