Coastal and marine biodiversity has been declining at an alarming rate in recent years due to anthropogenic activity, climate change, ocean acidification and other factors.
To help protect and preserve these precious ecosystems, the new research project under the name of ANERIS (operAtional seNsing lifE technologies for maRIne ecosystemS) and coordinated by the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) was launched under the Horizon Europe program.
ANERIS aims to contribute to improving the understanding, monitoring and protection of these ecosystems through technological, scientific and methodological innovation in the fields of marine life-sensing and monitoring.
Pensoft is joining the ANERIS consortium as a leader of WP6 Exploitation, Communication and Networking. The Pensoft team is to develop and implement sustainable communication and dissemination strategies, which will ensure the impactful knowledge exchange between partners and external stakeholders.
In addition, Pensoft is responsible for the development of a long-lasting brand identity of the project, which shall be reached by establishing and maintaining a user-friendly and eye-appealing public website. The overall visual identity of ANERIS will be supported by a set of innovatively-designed promotional materials.
ANERIS launched in January 2023 and will be running until December 2026 with the support of EUR 10 million of funding provided by the European Union’s Horizon Europe program and the work on the project officially kicked off with the project’s first consortium meeting, which took place on the 8th and 9th of March 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
The joint mission of the ANERIS partners for the next four years is to build the next generation of marine-sensing instruments and infrastructure for systematic routine measurements and monitoring of oceanic and coastal life, and their rapid interpretation and dissemination to all interested stakeholders.
In total, ANERIS aims to pioneer 11 novel technologies rerelated to marine ecosystem monitoring, data processing and dissemination:
- NANOMICS – NAnopore sequeNcing for Operational Marine genomICS
- MARGENODAT – workflows for the MARine GENOmics DAta managemenT
- SLIM-2.0 – A Virtual Environment for genomic data analysis (ANERIS extended version)
- EMUAS – Expandable Multi-imaging Underwater Acquisition System
- AIES-ZOO – Automatic Information Extraction System for ZOOplankton images
- AIES-PHY – Automatic Information Extraction System for PHYtoplankton images
- ATIRES – Automatic underwaTer Image REstoration System
- AIES-MAC – Automatic Information Extraction System for MACroorganisms
- AMAMER – Advanced Multiplatform App for Marine lifE Reporting
- AMOVALIH – Advanced Marine Observations VALidation-Identification system based on Hybrid intelligence
- AWIMAR – Adaptive Web Interfaces for MARine life reporting, sharing and consulting
These technologies will be validated across four ANERIS case studies which aim to bridge the gaps between existing technologies and incorporate them into a functional technological framework:
- High-temporal resolution marine life monitoring in research infrastructure observatories;
- Improved spatial and temporal resolution of marine life monitoring based on genomics;
- Large scale marine participatory actions;
- Merging imaging and genomic information in different monitoring scenarios.
The final goal of the project through the creation and validation of these novel technologies and involving academia, industry, governments and civil society, is to build up the concept of Operational Marine Biology (OMB) to provide faster, higher quality, reliable, and accessible marine and coastal life data. OMB opens the door for near-real-time marine observations, data interpretation and decision making based on that data.
The interdisciplinary ANERIS consortium consists of 25 partnering organisations from 13 countries around Europe, the Mediterranean basin and Israel, bringing diverse expertise spanning from robotics, biooptics, marine biology and genomics, to programming and sustainability.
Many partners represent acclaimed scientific institutions with rich experience in collaboration in EU projects, specifically in the fields of marine research.
Full list of partners:
- The Spanish National Research Council CSIC
- EMSO ERIC
- Marine Institute – Foras na Mara
- Polytechnic University of Catalonia UPC
- LifeWatch ERIC
- European Marine Biological Resource Centre ERIC
- Sorbonne University
- Hellenic Centre for Marine Research HCMR
- Euro-Bioimaging ERIC
- EGI Foundation
- Quanta Labs
- Pensoft Publishers
- Science for Change
- University of Haifa