Name: Marine robotics research infrastructure network
Funding scheme: H2020-INFRAIA
Total budget: 4.998.736,75 EUR
Total budget for UNIZG-FER: 301.250,00 EUR
Duration: 36 months
Coordinator: Universidade do Porto
UNIZG-FER LABUST status: partner
Project website: https://www.eumarinerobots.eu/
EUMarineRobots (EUMR) provides an access-infrastructure for the deployment of a full-range of aerial, surface, and subsurface marine robotic assets. The EUMR consortium comprises 15 partners from 10 countries who, collectively, can deploy a comprehensive portfolio of marine robotic assets with required associated support assets and expertise with a capital value of well in-excess of €500M.
Our oceans are the least-explored region of planet Earth. Protection and sustainable development of ocean resources present formidable challenges. Robots will play an increasingly key role in the near future and this role will expand and become more challenging as we extend into deeper, remote and hostile marine environments. Europe leads in many aspects of maritime, but lacks well integrated and coordinated oceanic robotic infrastructure or presence. The marine-robotics industry is growing rapidly. It is a crucial high-value/high-cost sector with considerable entry-barriers to R&D. The full growth potential of this industry will be greatly enhanced with access to shared robotic research infrastructure.
The main objective of the EUMR project is to open key national and regional marine robotics research infrastructures (RIs) to all European researchers, from both academia and industry, ensuring their optimal use and joint development to establish a world-class marine robotics integrated infrastructure.
Some of the expected impacts of the EUMR project are as follows:
World-class education and training: EUMR will contribute to the advanced education of a new generation of marine robotics researchers, ready to optimally exploit all the essential tools provided by the RI for their research.
Improved access to data, knowledge, and equipment: EU researchers and other stakeholders will have efficient access to the best marine robotics resources to support their research and development activities, including user-friendly e-infrastructure and effective data sourcing.
Supporting EU innovation and economic growth: EUMR will facilitate sharing of resources and expertise between academia and industry to drive innovation and help overcome barriers to economic growth in marine robotics, such as cost of operation, investor confidence, technology immaturity, and operational reliability.
Advancing marine robotic technology: A series of Joint Research Activities will be delivered that will help to optimise operational use of marine robots, including co-operative navigation and control of networked vehicles, improved underwater communications between fleets of marine robots, efficient data retrieval from fixed infrastructure and improved launch-and-recovery systems.
Demonstrating capability in challenging environments: EUMR trials will have a particular focus on demonstrating the operational capability of marine robots in challenging environments, including shallow wave- and tide-dominated environments, the open ocean, complex deep-water habitats including cold-water coral reefs and submarine canyons, and inaccessible under-ice environments.
Integrated marine observing: EUMR will underpin the development of a next-generation observing system for European seas that integrates new marine robots with existing infrastructures such as ships, moorings, and satellites, and improves co-operation across national boundaries.
Improving the marine environment and public perception: Increased uptake of marine robots through this RI will ultimately support improvements in ocean health through reductions in vessel-based emissions and noise, and will increase data extent and quality to support policy-makers responsible for the management of marine living and non-living resources.
3. Implementation - Goals and Achievements
The project is implemented through 8 work packages that cover all main groups of project activities and project management.
Networking activities within WP1 will focus its work plan on tackling strategic factors pertaining to the implementation and future sustainability of EUMR such as: assessing current and future needs; networking with professional/industry societies and exploring methods to bridge science and technology. In parallel, WP2 will focus on organizing and expanding the EUMR marine robotics network promoting synergies as well as spearheading a comprehensive dissemination plan. WP3 will focus on establishing and demonstrating a virtual infrastructure. WP4 will focus on education and training in regards the overall community thus contributing to EUMR sustainability by educating the next generation of practitioners.
Work related to Transnational Access (TNA) within WP5 will focus on access to RIs in the modalities of single RIs access or distributed joint experiments/exercises, derived from specific use-cases.
All these efforts are further supported by the Joint Research Activities (JRA) developed in WP6 and WP7, which will be ongoing throughout the life cycle of the project. WP6 will focus on the development of advanced marine robotic systems and technologies to improve existing infrastructures. WP7 is about testing all of the infrastructure capability enhancement components developed in EUMR in a comprehensive, distributed approach to provide proof-of-concept at various levels.