Iliad to develop Digital Twins of the Ocean, innovative tools for modelling marine systems - Earthwatch

Iliad to develop Digital Twins of the Ocean, innovative tools for modelling marine systems

The Iliad consortium, which includes 56 international partners, will develop virtual representations of the sea that will help users to make informed decisions about how to manage ocean spaces and address future challenges.

Earlier this year, the European Union (EU) granted the Iliad Consortium €17 million to develop and launch a set of Digital Twins of the Ocean (DTOs) that will provide highly accurate simulations of current and future developments at global seas. The project was awarded the funding as part of the EU’s €1 billion European Green Deal.

The Iliad consortium is comprised of 56 partners from 19 different countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The project partners include industrial companies, future users, academic institutions, research and technology developers and private firms. Earthwatch Europe is proud to be one of the partners working on this project.

Iliad will develop virtual models designed to accurately reflect changes and processes taking place in the ocean. Cost-effective models will be created that are able to use new data that is being collected by many different sources including sensors on buoys, boats and drones; satellites; and citizen scientists – that’s where Earthwatch comes in.

Earthwatch’s role is to consider how the public can be involved in the project. This will include citizen science, where the public make direct contributions to the research taking place, often by helping to collect data. But there are also opportunities for public engagement in helping to shape the design of the project and in using and understanding the digital twins of the ocean that the project will create.

The results from ILIAD will be distributed in a new, open digital marketplace where other organisations will also be able to share and find data (including from citizen science), models, visualisations and other services. 

Stephen Parkinson, researcher in the Innovation team at Earthwatch, said:

“ILIAD is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Earthwatch to be a part of such a large international research project. It’s great to see citizen science and engagement be featured so prominently in a project of this size and importance and we’re looking forward to seeing what the project can achieve in the next three years.”

You can read more about the project and keep up to date with its progress on its website:

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