One of the main outputs of the Blue-Cloud project is its strategic Roadmap to 2030. The Roadmap is a policy document providing the basis for the future strategic development of the Blue-Cloud well embedded as a leading system in the wider marine community and as a component of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).
Why a Roadmap?
We live a Decade of unprecedented global change. It is also a Decade of Action, with the UN 2030 Agenda and its 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals to 2030, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and climate targets, with Europe pledging to be sustainable by 2030 through increased resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production, moving towards climate neutrality by 2050. Data is the new currency, and high quality, Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data from trusted sources, the new gold.
In the marine ‘blue’ domain, there is a growing wealth and diversity and multitude of infrastructures collecting, managing and providing access to marine data. However, none of these can serve the multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary information needs alone that are required to meet the monumental global challenge of climate change. To realise these policy targets will require new types of collaboration between Research Infrastructures and new governance and business models that provide holistic benefits to all the stakeholders involved and with the potential to reach new stakeholders (e.g., citizen scientists). The Blue-Cloud Roadmap investigates how Blue-Cloud can effectively and efficiently contribute to address the above challenges. It considers technical developments, user demand and needs, market analysis and opportunities for exploitation of Blue-Cloud resources, while providing options that ensure sustainability of Blue-Cloud services and interoperability with the EOSC ecosystem.
The Blue-Cloud project has piloted a digital platform and services showcasing how web-based Open Science can enhance the marine knowledge value chain in support of greater societal objectives, namely those seeking to address Ocean challenges and opportunities associated with the delivery of the EU Green Deal and UN Agenda 2030. It has proved how providing researchers with cloud-based analytical tools and computing resources, coupled with access to marine data openly available across different, existing European data services and research infrastructures, can shorten the research-to-innovation cycle, enabling them to harness artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the transformation of marine data to products, progress more efficient modelling of ocean variables, support environmental analytical data services, inspire and accelerate community-driven innovation and collaborate at a global scale. Blue-Cloud has further showcased the specific applications that these improved capabilities can deliver, advancing solutions towards e.g., monitoring biodiversity; predicting changes in ecosystems; producing marine environmental indicators; or managing fisheries and aquaculture.
Blue-Cloud will evolve as a key component of Europe’s FAIR marine digital knowledge ecosystem, providing a flagship community of practice and incubator for data analysis and modelling methods in support of applied research of the ocean, European seas, coastal and inland waters. It will contribute to the successful evolution of the (digital) marine knowledge system required to support the EU Green Deal and the UN Agenda 2030, namely becoming a key link in:
- Making ocean & freshwater digital commons accessible to the wider scientific community via EOSC: Blue-Cloud will offer its interoperable data framework to bridge the gap with EOSC, supporting the FAIRification of marine & freshwater data and facilitating multidisciplinary innovation at a wider scale.
- Supporting the development of analytical services and/or Digital Twins that add value to the core European Digital Twin of the Ocean (EU DTO) to inform policy making in the delivery of societal objectives: Blue-Cloud will leverage its digital ecosystem and community of practice to deliver both user-driven and/or community-driven value at the intersection of the communities enabling the development of environmental (marine & freshwater related) data analytical services and/or digital twins, namely: the “Observation and Data Collection & Management” communities, the “Data Modelling” communities and the “e-infrastructures” that provide cloud storage and computing capabilities.
Blue-Cloud Vision 2030
“To contribute to a European cloud-based knowledge system that provides access to a diverse and dynamic portfolio of analytical, prediction & visualisation capabilities underpinned by seamless access to a wealth of FAIR, transdisciplinary Ocean & freshwater observation data, enabling Open Science to deliver knowledge -including hindcast & forecast simulations-, and to drive innovation -notably through artificial intelligence-, science-based policies and public awareness for a safe, healthy and sustainably productive Ocean, in support of the EU Green Deal & UN Agenda 2030”.
Strategic Goals 2026-2030
The Blue-Cloud Roadmap designs Strategic Goals and a comprehensive Action Plan to drive future developments towards delivering Blue-Cloud’s Mission 2030, working around 5 strategic paths of action.
Putting users in the driving seat
Initiated and steered by the Blue-Cloud Consortium with the support of its External Stakeholders Expert Board and of an interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral Expert Foresight Group, the Roadmap has been co-designed with the wider marine and ICT community via extensive stakeholder consultations. A variety of tools to harness stakeholder input and foresight contributions were put in place, including workshops, online surveys, targeted interviews, and open feedback sessions.
The Blue-Cloud consortium welcomed contributions to its Roadmap from European and global players operating in the marine research sector and Blue Economy area. Target stakeholders are marine research infrastructures, marine research performing organisations, projects and initiatives supporting the UN SDGs, research funders, policy makers, private sector representatives and individuals operating in the “blue” area.
The first round of consultations for the Blue-Cloud Strategic Roadmap, led by Seascape Belgium with the support of Trust-IT and MARIS, was perfromed with an online survey was run with the wider community in October 2020, which collected over 130 contributions. The second phase of stakeholder dialogue ran between June 2021 and March 2022. It was led by Seascape Belgium, Trust-IT Services and MARIS, and encompassed a public consultation and targeted interviews with key stakeholders from research institutes and infrastructures, European and global Ocean observing and data management initiatives, Blue Economy and policy representatives, EOSC related initiatives and other groups, as well as bringing in feedback from participants engaged in the Blue-Cloud Hackathon.
- First release of the Blue-Cloud Roadmap. April 2021.
- Results of the second online consultation (2021)
- Results of the first online consultation (2020)