DTO-BioFlow aims at incorporating previously unavailable or difficult-to-access marine-biodiversity data into the biodiversity component of the EU Digital Twin Ocean, ensuring sustainable data flows for marine biodiversity research.
The ocean and its biodiversity are essential to life on this planet. Comprehensive data on biodiversity, and related human and environmental pressures are crucial to understand its current state and how this may change. Protecting and restoring biodiversity is one of three objectives of the Horizon Europe Mission to restore our oceans and waters by 2030, enabling the EU to reach its Green Deal and Biodiversity 2030 targets. Identified as one of the Mission “enablers”, the EU will build on “a digital knowledge system” to include a Digital Twin of the Ocean (DTO) allowing simulation of ‘what if’ scenarios, advancing ocean knowledge, informing evidence-based policy and offering a range of societal applications. To effectively replicate the ocean’s ecology, the DTO requires sustained flows of data on biodiversity and associated pressures. Despite myriad actors collecting biodiversity data, and the development of novel cost-effective monitoring technologies, much of these data are inaccessible or unusable for a variety of reasons, hampering the development of the DTO biological component and limiting its efficacy. DTO-BioFlow will activate access to (“sleeping”) marine biodiversity data and enable the sustainable integration of existing and new Artificial Intelligence processed and automated data flows from various sources to EMODnet and into the EDITO infrastructure serving the EU DTO. Combining sustained data flows, models and new algorithms, DTO-BioFlow will develop and integrate the biological component of the DTO, including new digital tools and services. Policy-relevant use cases, will demonstrate the benefit for marine ecosystems of continuous data streams flowing through EMODnet and usable by the EU DTO infrastructures and ultimate end-users. Mobilising the marine biodiversity community towards increasing the availability of biodiversity monitoring data into 2030, DTO-BioFlow and its outputs will support the Mission’s actions to protect and restore biodiversity.