European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Technologies for Ocean Sensing

Project description

Innovative ocean observation technologies

The pollution of our oceans with plastics and other anthropogenic waste represents a threat to human activities such as fisheries and aquaculture. As a consequence, advanced ocean observation technologies are urgently needed. The EU-funded TechOceanS project will develop and demonstrate through several underwater vehicles nine pioneering technologies for ocean biology, chemistry and plastics monitoring. The novel solutions comprise five sensors, two imaging systems targeting seabed and pelagic biology and plastics, a sampler that will collect 1 000 particle samples and a new AI-based image processing method for data compression and information transmission. An in situ analyser for nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and lab-on-a-chip sensors will quantify species and genes and sense nutrients, carbonate essential ocean variables, organic contaminants and toxins as well as microorganisms and microplastics.


TechOceanS will produce and demonstrate in multiple underwater vehicles, 9 new technologies enabling a step change in ocean biology, chemistry and plastic observation.
The technologies include 5 sensors, two imaging systems, a sampler and a new image processing method using Artificial Intelligence (AI) that enables data compression and transmission of information about key variables from the remote ocean. All the systems are robust and submersible to >2000 m and collectively measure at least 63% (12/19) of priority Biogeochemical and Biology and Ecosystems “Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs)” and at least 53% (39/73) of these EOV’s sub-variables. The systems also measure litter, plastics, biotoxins, parasites, pathogens and organic pollutants of relevance to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as well as fisheries, aquaculture and offshore industries.
The sensors include: i) an in situ analyser for Nucleic Acids (DNA and RNA) including eDNA for quantifying species and genes; Lab on a chip (LOC) sensors that will sense ii) nutrients and the carbonate EOVs; and iii) organic contaminants and toxins detected with recombinant antibodies; iv) a primary productivity sensor using time resolved fluorescence; and v) a micro (LOC) cytometer for microorganisms and microplastics.
The imaging systems will demonstrate the new image workflow and target benthic (seabed) and pelagic (water column) biology and plastic. The sampler collects up to 1000 particle samples and can be used for plastics, microorganisms and eDNA for later analysis (e.g. sequencing of nucleic acids.)
TechOceanS will demonstrate technologies at two sites (Naples, Gran Canaria) for science, aquaculture, fisheries, regulator and industrial users. The project will both develop and use best practices, and will collaborate and disseminate widely with stakeholders and the international community including by hosting training events on ocean observing technologies. TechOceanS expects to commercialise the technologies resulting from this project.

Call for proposal


See other projects for this call

Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 2 984 916,34
SO14 3ZH Southampton
United Kingdom

See on map

South East (England) Hampshire and Isle of Wight Southampton
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
No data

Participants (13)