On May 21st, 2021, 1-3 PM UTC, the Networking Friday with EU Marine Robots will present an overview of the H2020 project EU Marine Robotics Research Infrastructure Network (EUMR), which will be organized around the three types of activities of the project:
- Transnational Access (TNA).
- Joint Research (JRA).
- Networking Activities (NA).
EUMR addresses the H2020 call topic INFRAIA-02-2017: Integrating Activities for Starting Communities by mobilizing a comprehensive consortium of 15 partners which, in turn, mobilized stakeholders from different Member States, Associated Countries and other third countries to achieve the following main objective: open up key national and regional marine robotics research infrastructures (RIs) to European and worldwide researchers ensuring their optimal use and joint development to establish a world-class marine robotics integrated infrastructure.
Figure 1: EUMR partners
Moderator: Fausto Ferreira, UNIZG-FER
13:00-13:05 Welcome – João Sousa, LSTS-UPORTO
13:05-13:15 EUMR overview – João Sousa, LSTS-UPORTO
13:15-13:25 Networking activities and Breaking the Surface Field experiment– Nikola Mišković, UNIZG-FER
13:25-13:30 Educational activities – Gianluca Antonelli, ISME
13:30-13:35 Training activities – PLOCAN Glider School – Carlos Barrera, PLOCAN
13:35-13:45 Joint research activities (development) – Antonio Pascoal, IST-ID
13:45-13:55 Joint research activities (operations) – Ralf Bachmayer, UNIBremem
13:55-14:05 Future outlook – Jan Opderbecke , Ifremer
14:05-14:15 Transnational access (TNA) – Guillem Vallicrosa, UdG
14:15-14:30 TNA in action – Coordinated by Carlos Barrera, PLOCAN
EUMR is organized around an evolving network model. It builds on existing networks of the EU marine robotics community and is synergistic with the worldwide marine robotics communities. EUMR is also aligned with the strategy for development of the European innovation ecosystem for robotics and autonomous systems, seeks to underpin the development of the next-generation observing systems, and complements large European Marine RIs.
Figure 2: A sample of the EU Marine Robots Network infrastructures
TNA aims to provide access to marine robotics infrastructures from the 15 EUMR partners. They include a large number of heterogeneous autonomous underwater, surface and air vehicles, ships and testbeds. There are two modalities of access to the general infrastructure in the form of access to marine robotics RIs operated by the partners and to collaborative sea experiments/use cases taking place in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans and in the Mediterranean. Access is granted through competitive calls. The first call closed October 1, 2018, with 26 eligible applications (70% from Europe, 22 from Asia and 7% from North America), and 22 projects were approved. The second call closed August 15, 2019, with 31 applications and 28 projects approved. The third call closed June 30th, 2020, with 11 applications and 11 projects approved.
Figure 3: TNA access. Blue – facilities of the partners; Green and yellow: Institutions with successful applications to TNA access.
JRA addresses the development of advanced marine robotic systems and technologies with a view to substantially improve existing infrastructures and thus afford scientific and commercial end-users cutting edge tools for ocean exploration/exploitation. This is being actively pursued along all technical tasks:
- Advanced vision, acoustic, and manipulation systems for automated inspection and intervention operations;
- Cooperative navigation and control of networked vehicles for increased autonomy at sea;
- Hybrid acoustic-optical underwater communication networks for next-generation cooperative systems;
- Advanced Systems for Under-Ice operations; v) Enhanced underwater LARS system; and,
- Cooperative human-marine robot systems.
JRA is also about taking these developments to sea and demonstrate operability and improvement of Technology Readiness level. Various ships were and will be made available for participation of EUMR partners demonstrating the potential of the developments accomplished in work packages on existing scientific cruises or on dedicated EUMR cruises.
Networking activities included co-organization and participation in the 2018,2019 and 2020 editions of the Breaking the Surface interdisciplinary field workshop of marine robotics and applications (Croatia), the PLOCAN glider school (Spain), the EMRA annual conference, as well as the participation by FEUP, Portugal in the Exploring Fronts with Multiple Robots science cruise funded by the Schmidt Ocean Institute. Networking activities also include educational activities targeting the community at large. To meet these goals, an e-access infrastructure is also under development to provide access to electronic versions of training courses and tutorials, as well as to data sets from robotic experiments. Similarly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and less opportunities for physical meetings and conferences, the networking has been expanded to the virtual world through the “Coffee with EUMR” webinar series. This series presents the best of EUMR research including presentations by TNA end users to further disseminate the results of TNA actions. EUMR is also working to maintain and further develop links within partners as well as international coordination groups such as the European Robotics Forum ERF, or the advanced community INFRAIA project Eurofleets+.
Annual project workshops address research infrastructure coordination and development and provide a strategic vision of the critical aspects through SWOT analysis covering:
- Standardization data, software, communication, and electrical interfaces;
- Data management of vehicle and payload data, long-term policies for access and storage;
- Open software policies;
- Best practice in marine robot operation for the TNA programs, quality of service, risk identification and mitigation; and,
- Assessment of sites for testing and coherent guidelines for rules and procedures, local site constraints (safety requirements, access formalities, logistics etc.).
EUMR´s vision is to foster and contribute to the development of methods, tools, and robot vehicles required for a sustained presence in the ocean by opening-up key national and regional marine robotics research infrastructures (RIs) to all European researchers and establishing a model of world-class marine robotics integrated infrastructure. Access to marine robotic infrastructures is key to a sustained presence in the ocean that will enable us to understand and monitor how key issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, unsustainable fishing, pollution, waste, loss of habitats and biodiversity, shipping, security, and mining are affecting global ocean sustainability and stewardship. Joint research activities towards integrated marine robotics research infrastructures, with strong emphasis on open innovation and open science, will be a stepping-stone for other developments worldwide. EUMR network activities are based on concept of evolving a scalable network model to become a world-class marine robotics network. In summary, the time is ripe for EUMR to have a lasting impact, well beyond the duration of the project.
We will continue with the Networking Fridays during the next months. More information about future sessions as well as presentations and videos from previous sessions can be found here. Twitter Hashtag: #netfridays. Expect some very exciting afternoons, or mornings or evenings, depending on where you are…
If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.
Networking Friday with Martin Visbeck (GEOMAR), who discussed the Future Ocean Sustainability – From Ocean Observation towards Sustainable Development. The session was moderated by Isabel Sousa Pinto (CIIMAR).
Networking Friday Special Thematic Session on Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices with Jay Pearlman, Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Rachel Przeslawski, Juliet Hermes, and Alison Clausen. this session was moderated by Frank Muller-Karger
Networking Friday Special Session on Sargassum with Cesar Toro (IOCARIBE of IOC-UNESCO), Karima Degia (UWI), Sandra Ketelhake (AtlantOS, KDM), Isabel Sousa Pinto (CIIMAR, GEO MBON), and Leah Mupas Segui (GEO Blue Planet Initiative). The moderator was Emily Smail (NOAA, GEO Blue Planet Initiative).