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Radioactivity Monitoring in Ocean Ecosystems

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RAMONES (Radioactivity Monitoring in Ocean Ecosystems)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2022-06-30

RAMONES is an ambitious, high-risk/high-gain project that aims at addressing long-standing questions regarding radioactivity monitoring in the marine environment. RAMONES is working on designing and implementing innovative solutions by investing on novel interdisciplinary approaches and producing beyond-the-state-of-the-art technology to deliver game-changing practices towards in situ measurements of radioactivity at large spatiotemporal scales inside the harsh oceanic environments. In doing so, RAMONES considers the existence of radioactivity in terms of its short- and long-term impact on marine and coastal ecosystems, also in correlation to natural hazards, such as seismic activity over submarine faults. Significantly undersampled in oceans, radioactivity poses real risks to marine ecosystems and human population. RAMONES will offer detailed, data-driven modelling and appropriate exploitation of the results to strengthen the resilience of the ecosystems, as well as inform community, governmental, scientific, technological and societal stakeholders, thus magnifying and consolidating the impact of the project.

From the technological perspective, RAMONES is working to develop a new generation of submarine radiation-sensing instruments (alpha, gamma, and cherenkov radiation), assisted by state-of-the-art robotic and artificial intelligence (AI). The instruments are being developed towards understanding radiation related risks near and far from coastal areas, while providing data towards shaping new policies and guidelines for environmental sustainability, economic growth and human health. The main ambition is to lay a radical new path to close the existing marine radioactivity under-sampling gap and foster new interdisciplinary research in threatened natural deep-sea ecosystems. RAMONES is preparing tools for long-term, rapid deployments, while aiming to offer scaled-up solutions to researchers, policy makers and communities.
During the first eighteen months, RAMONES started working amid the international pandemic crisis that has affected dramatically mobility, supply chains, personnel recruitment and services availability worldwide, and continued to work and stay successfully on track, handled the execution of its workplan across all project directions in a successful way, with minor reasoned deviations, issuing high-quality and complete deliverables, by exploiting the interdisciplinarity and diversity of the potential and expertise of the consortium partners to the benefit of the project goals and objectives.

In terms of networking and dissemination, the project managed to: (a) disseminate, communicate, as well as shape effectively the overall exploitation of its thematic and core objectives; (b) initiate fruitful collaborations and innovation activities; (c) undertake a leading role in the Environmental Intelligence Initiative supervised by the EIC; (d) invest on user-engagement to strengthen and secure the overall project’s impact.
By the end of the project, RAMONES aims to deliver a new generation of radiation instruments operating safely, long-term, in situ in the harsh oceanic environments aboard robotic instruments operating autonomously, equipped with newly developed AI algorithms. RAMONES will offer completely new and ground-breaking solutions and lay a radical new paradigm for the future. The expected results, offered according the Open Science principles (such as data FAIRness), will be delivered in a concrete and transparent way to a broader research and scientific audience through its stakeholders, thus laying the foundations for fast and reliable risk estimation and forecasting of both natural and anthropogenic hazards, and increasing the resilience and the sustainability of marine ecosystems at a world-wide scale.

The project seeks to create an impact that spans research, business, and society, in general, and inform socioeconomic stakeholders enabling better decision-making where big data, risk, uncertainty and forecasting play a pivotal role.
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