Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


BlueBRIDGE Report Summary

Project ID: 675680
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BlueBRIDGE (Building Research environments for fostering Innovation, Decision making, Governance and Education to support Blue growth)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The major objective of the BlueBRIDGE project is to implement and operate a set of Virtual Research Environments (VREs) facilitating communities of scientists, innovators from SMEs and educators operating in different domains (e.g. fisheries, biology, economics, statistics, environment, mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences, computer science) in their knowledge production chain, from the initial phases, data collection and aggregation, to the production of indicators for competent authorities and investors. These communities span from European and International world-renowned leading institutions (e.g. ICES, IRD, FAO, UNEP), providing informed advice on the sustainable use of marine resources to member countries, international organizations and relevant Commissions, to local level ones, such as national academic institutions and SMEs.
The objective is implemented by performing complementary activities aimed at developing and deploying VREs for supporting:
Blue Assessment
The collaborative production of scientific knowledge required for assessing the status of fish stocks and producing a global record of stocks and fisheries
Blue Economy
The production of scientific knowledge for analysing socio-economic performance in aquaculture.
Blue Environment
The production of scientific knowledge for fisheries & habitat degradation monitoring.
Blue Skills
Knowledge bridging between research and innovation in the area of protection and management of marine resources.

These activities are complemented by:
Blue Commons
The development and deployment of services and resource commons across VREs facilitating the exploitation of existing infrastructure resources and re-use of scientific outcomes.
Blue Uptake
The promotion of the uptake of the BlueBRIDGE tools and services within and beyond the scientific and academic communities addressed by the planned VREs, with a particular focus on SMEs and on policy making contexts.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

A total of 38 VREs were created in the first 18 months of the project that have been accessed by 1512 users from 22 countries. This is the result of development activities performed at different levels of the underlying platform. Some of the VREs serve the needs of project partners’ subteams in creating, populating, tuning and validating environments suitable for being used by third party users. Others, instead, offer facilities to third party users meeting the BlueAssessment, BlueEconomy, BlueEnvironment and BlueSkills needs. BlueAssessment VREs, for example, offer as-a-service access to key models like VPA and Ichtyop, DLMtool (Data-Limited Methods), CMSY and SS3, while BlueSkills VREs offer dedicated environments for training courses belonging to the educational offer of ICES, IRD and of multiple European academic institutions.

New VREs will soon be released. Among them the VRE that will give access to the Global Record of Fisheries and Stocks (GRFS). This knowledge base, built in the first project period, today includes 7712 GRSF fishery (fishing description/activities) records and 2190 GRSF stock (assessment units/resources) records. Access to this VRE will soon be granted to experts that will validate data before making the entire KB publicly available. In the area of Blue Economy three VREs were deployed to serve the needs of as many aquaculture companies. By exploiting models that were developed in the first project period through these VREs companies will perform production data analysis, production modelling and delivery of production KPIs. A VRE supporting techno-economic analysis will become available in Spring 2017. It will include methodologies and models for the cost-based techno-economic analysis of aquafarms that are being finalised. In the Blue Environment area, a VRE including a specialized toolkit that has been developed to recognize mariculture facilities with a high precision and accuracy will be created to analyse the Greek marine area. VREs dedicated to other regions are also planned.

All the VREs created so far can be accessed at the address:

An intense activity of infrastructure maintenance and development of “Blue Commons” facilities has also been performed. These facilities include, among the others, a Data Catalogue service supporting search, access and publication of available datasets and tools, a Data Miner service, offering a unique access to perform data mining and statistical operations on heterogeneous data which may reside either at client side or be remotely hosted, and a Statistical Manager Algorithms Importer Service (SAI) that allows scientists to easily and quickly import R scripts onto the e-Infrastructure and that transparently publishes the scripts as-a-Service and manages multi-tenancy and concurrency.

At a lower level, a new and much more flexible model of Infrastructure resources has been designed. It represents the core of a new Information Service that will be finalised in the second part of the project. Moreover, connectors to improve the federation of a multitude of external data sources and to interact with the EGI FedCloud infrastructure were also developed.

All of the above activities were complemented by an intense outreach activity addressed to a large number of stakeholders including many SMEs. This activity included 4 workshops, an online survey being answered by 200 companies, a vivid social activity that has resulted in 426 Twitter followers and 980 Tweets, 1118 LinkedIn connections and 800 visits per month to the BlueBRIDGE web site (

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Marine fisheries and monitoring and biodiversity monitoring activities are spread out in a large number of complex and fragmented processes performed by different actors operating across national jurisdictions and natural barriers. These actors are struggling with the recurrent problems of data exchange and collaborative analysis across different domains and different organizations, both from academia, research institutes and also from private companies. This makes it extremely hard to exploit the advantages that come from the increasing availability of data for deriving indicators that may drive appropriate choices.
BlueBRIDGE is contributing to remove these obstacles and to foster higher scientific productiveness and innovation by injecting data infrastructures capacity in important operational contexts related to the fisheries and aquaculture domains. Through the developed VREs it will offer a large international community of scientists, policy makers, educators, and private companies simplified access to a multitude of widely demanded datasets, products, and tools through environments that will also support data aggregation, curation, analytics, and publishing. All of the developed VREs are expected to have a high impact since they address relevant concrete needs expressed by key stakeholder initiatives with a large network of collaborators at an international level. Moreover, by tackling the issue of the current silos approach between solutions for science and for society, it will also address the vision expressed by the recent calls for the establishment of a European Open Science Cloud that should make it possible “to move, share and re-use data seamlessly across global markets and borders, and among institutions and research disciplines”.

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