EU awards €8.4 million to ODYSSEA Project for Developing and Deploying Integrated Observatory Systems of the Mediterranean Sea

(Tunis) The collaborative international project will develop a platform that will integrate existing data with information generated by coastal observations, new and existing sensors at sea, oceanographic models and mobile apps.

The European Union (EU) has awarded the international ODYSSEA consortium €8.4 million to develop an interoperable and cost-effective platform that fully integrates networks of observation and forecasting systems across the Mediterranean basin.

The ODYSSEA platform will collect information from databases maintained by agencies, public authorities, research institutions and universities. The 4.5-year project is aimed at making Mediterranean marine data easily accessible and tailored to the needs of multiple maritime sector end-users.

ODYSSEA will develop a network of coastal observatories, deploying novel in-situ sensors at sea, employing oceanographic modelling and integrating existing mobile apps for citizen and scientist networks. It will also apply advanced algorithms to organise, homogenise and integrate large quantities of data to provide tailored information services.

The ODYSSEA platform will provide, through a public portal, on-demand information services, including forecasts. The project will include capacity building, with training led by the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (SPA/RAC) of the UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan, based at Tunisia, to maximise exploitation of the information services for creating business and research opportunities across the Mediterranean Sea basin.

ODYSSEA, led by the Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH) in Greece, is funded by HORIZON 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

“We have identified a real need to harmonise existing earth observing systems operating around the Mediterranean and upgrading their operational oceanographic capacities,” said Prof. Georgios Sylaios from DUTH, who coordinates ODYSSEA. “The project will support EU policy implementation, thus improving interoperability in monitoring and fostering blue growth jobs creation.”

ODYSSEA is comprised of 28 partner organizations from 14 EU and non-EU countries across the Mediterranean. The consortium includes research institutes, universities, policy makers, non governmental organisations and SMEs.

ODYSSEA will hold its opening conference in the city of Kavala, Greece June 6–8, 2017.

Project coordinators:

Menelaos Hatziapostolidis
+30 (6) 945154829

Simon Van Dam
+972 (54) 4563384

SPA-RAC Contact:

Daniel Cebrian
(+216) 71 947 162

Date of Article: 
Friday, June 2, 2017