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High Resolution Copernicus-Based Information Services at Sea for Ports and Aquaculture

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HiSea (High Resolution Copernicus-Based Information Services at Sea for Ports and Aquaculture)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-12-31

Ports and aquaculture sectors depend highly on water quality information, among other activities at sea. Satellites provide a global view of environmental parameters and models can develop precise parametrisations of processes at sea. However, this information is often difficult to access, manipulate or process, particularly for the format data and the model set-up and run. For this reason, HiSea offers a service co-designed with users that provide high resolution added value products of water quality at sea that are a clear extension of the CMEMS products and Sentinel missions. Those are used to give focused answers to specific questions from the targeted sectors improving operation, planning and management of different marine activities.

The main goal of the HiSea services is to deliver accurate and reliable information, readily available, easily understandable and with high resolution to fit users' operation, planning and management requirements seamlessly. The high-resolution information provided by HiSea allows Ports and Aquaculture to make decisions in terms of planning and safety and environmental impact.
In the first months of the project, the Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) has been established to ensure the project goals are consistent with the needs of beneficiaries, suggesting where feasible, additional work to help realise social, environmental and economic benefits for the broadest possible range of stakeholders and public. In total, 7 workshops/webinars have been organized to collect the users needs and feedback (reported in WP2 deliverables) and used to identify and fine-tuned the HiSea services.

Hydrodynamics and water quality models have been developed for the Greek and Valencia sites, and on-demand services capable of simulating transport, dispersion and fate of oil spills, algae blooms and jellyfish blooms are also made available. In addition, an extra number of demonstration cases were also added to the HiSea portfolio. With the introduction of the Atlantic sites in Portugal and the extended site in Ireland, the consortium demonstrated its capability to provide added value services to a broader spectrum of potential users.

The HiSea platform was also designed together with the users. The initial version of the platform was launched in February 2020 and feedback was gathered. Further improvements based on the user experience had been worked on and a new version of the platform was presented during a hands-on webinar in May 2021. The platform, currently available at https://hisea.hidromod.com/ offers a flexible dashboard easily adaptable according to the user needs. Moreover, users can define and set thresholds and display warnings and alerts if a certain threshold has been exceeded. The platform integrates different modules and various data sources from external providers, data from local databases, high-resolution model output, and complementary algorithms. Measures of uncertainties and probabilities of exceedance of thresholds are used to highlight the accuracy of provided estimates. The validation metrics and procedures have been settled and carried out for the remote sensing and the models. This validation has been reported D6.3.

The consortium accomplished the innovation and planned exploitation activities for commercialisation. A project-specific innovation management approach and plan to provide (a) a conceptual framework for all partners to work towards the final outcome of this project, namely, marketable, novel, next-generation marine-based downstream information services, and (b) guidance to follow in all project work concerned with business development, business planning, and preparation for market introduction. This was presented in D7.5. The market assessment and analysis were presented in D7.1. Finally, D7.4 reports on the ethics requirements related to collecting, storing, and processing personal data and D7.6 on IPR management & Technology transfer.

Different activities were identified to maximize the impact of the project's results through marketing and communication of the project results to a wide range of relevant audiences. A communication and dissemination plan was developed in the early stages of the project by the Dissemination, Communication & Visibility leader, Agora, in consultation with all project partners to guarantee the dissemination of HiSea results and assuring that the project's main findings were spread to the target groups and to the wider public. The marketing activities and materials carried out throughout the entire duration of the project have been reported in D8.3 and in D8.1 D8.2 and D8.4.
The demand for such services is of increasing importance for the port and aquaculture sectors are moving towards sustainable development of their activities at sea. The key benefits for the users are the ability to acquire accurate and reliable information (instead of data) resulting from the integration of different data sets, the ability to receive daily reports with information on selected parameters and/or ask to be notified in case some foreseen (critical) situation is met (warnings and alerts). The information provided also includes estimates of uncertainty, which assist in making scientific-based decisions in the daily use of the service. Improving the operation and planning of the activities at sea, a decrease of costs is also expected. The strong presence of SMEs and R&D entities in the HiSea consortium ensures that the innovation's quality and effectiveness are in balance with space industry participation, providing sound references in bulk processing and industrial work organization for the basic scientific questions.

Data quantity and sources are constantly increasing (models, Insitu, remote sensing). Ports and aquaculture need a chain of many components and expertise, such as cloud computing, processing, data integration algorithms, storage and processing capacity, visualization, and reporting to process and integrate the available data. HiSea offers a sustainable downstream service platform; back-end, front-end, and data processing algorithms exist. The relevant information is available in a web-based interface. The user can customize the visualization, the access, and the reporting process. Moreover provides accuracy metrics for the information supplied on hydrodynamic and water quality forecasts that help planning operations.
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