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The targeted AQUARIUS call design process will ensure that the selected projects deliver outputs that contribute to EU policy goals and will enhance and further integrate research and innovation capacities in support of the development phase of the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030’, the European Green Deal, the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership, and international climate initiatives. It will also be an essential component in achieving the European Digital Twin of the Ocean and the UN Decade for Ocean Sciences (2021-2030).

At minimum 10 excellent projects will have been realised through the AQUARIUS RI services, of which at least 70% must have achieved super-integration of research infrastructures. The Access Calls will have been specifically designed, through consultation with expert stakeholders, to address clean oceans and waters. The dedicated outreach programme and campaigning will attract researchers who will have a high awareness of the new opportunities available through the easily accessible RI services. A diverse range of applications will have been received, of high quality due to the pre-application training and support services offered by the project.

Open Science

Open science is an approach to research based on open cooperative work that emphasizes the sharing of knowledge, results and tools as early and widely as possible. It is a legal obligation under Horizon Europe, and fosters greater transparency and trust for the benefit of scientific research and for the benefit of EU citizens. The European Research Infrastructures in AQUARIUS are crucial enablers of research and technological innovation and drivers of multidisciplinary and data-intensive science.

AQUARIUS is committed to open science and open science practices are an integral part of our training programmes to researchers of awarded projects, with a particular focus on open data.

Open Data

AQUARIUS will insist on a mandatory open data strategy for selected projects, facilitated by a dedicated Data Management approach, to ensure that all gathered and generated metadata and data will become part of the leading European data (management) infrastructures, such as SeaDataNet (physics, bathymetry, chemistry, biology, geology), EurOBIS (biodiversity), Copernicus INSTAC (Near- Real-Time data), and others, for quality assurance, long-term stewardship, and wide access and use. These infrastructures in turn are feeding data to EMODnet (European Marine Data and Observation Network), Copernicus Marine, Blue-Cloud, Digital Twin of the Ocean (DTO) developments, and globally to e.g. GEOSS, and the IODE Ocean Portal.

In addition, the scientific teams of the awarded projects will be invited and encouraged to register and make use of the Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment, which hosts a range of analytical software services and virtual labs and provides access to multidisciplinary data from observations and models, to enable them to experience web-based open science.

Economic and Technological Impact

Economic and technological contributions to Impact will be evidenced by potential new products or services that could be brough to the market based on exploitation of the results from the funded Access Projects. In terms of the AQUARIUS target user communities these will include researchers in non-academic sectors. Therefore, companies working in and for the blue economy sectors, for instance in marine living and non-living resources, marine renewable energy, aquaculture, fisheries, maritime activities, coastal tourism, and others may benefit from the outputs of funded Access projects. This will also help to contribute to the targets of the Sustainable Blue Economy.

Societal Impact

Societal contributions from the AQUARIUS will include healthier, better protected and more sustainable oceans and water in Europe. Better marine and freshwater policies should emerge, supported by the research infrastructure services and the direct outputs of the funded Access projects. Increased awareness of research infrastructure services amongst citizens will have been realised through the interesting and engaging AQUARIUS activities and communication efforts. As the target users are also citizen science groups, a major pillar of the Green Deal initiative, this will have helped to recognise citizen scientists as important collectors and providers of scientific data. Engaged citizens are more likely to adopt and promote measures, for instance to decrease pollution and contribute to restoring our environment.