EU network of mesocosms facilities for research on marine and freshwater ecosystems open for global collaboration.

Work Packages

The mission and vision of AQUACOSM-Plus is the use the experience and successes developed in AQAUCOSM to expand and strengthen the network of mesocosm infrastructures through inclusions of 10 more organisations to 31 in ERA, and to connect to other international facilities worldwide.

AQUACOSM-plus will reach its ambitious objectives through the 3 mandatory coordinated activities (i.e. NA, TA and JRA). The work flow is organized in 8 work packages plus one dedicated to the coordination (WP1). WP2, 3, 4 5 and 6 are devoted to Networking Activities (NA) with goal of significantly expand, integrate and develop leading aquatic mesocosm RIs not only in Europe, but also globally through fostering international co-design with a symposium on Grand Challenges, expert summits, a range of open workshops, surveys with associated partners, and training of young scientists through summer schools and through advancing Open Mesocosm Science.

AQUACOSM-plus will further intensify the collaboration with industry and other non-academic stakeholders to unlock the innovation capacity of the RI for industry. Close cooperation with other EU-funded RIs (LTER, ICOS, DANUBIUS, JERICO-S3) is also a priority for AQUACOSM-plus for maximizing European and global readiness and collaboration, in order to tackle the Grand Challenges (support letters not attached due to page limitations, but can be shown upon request).

Joint Research Activities (JRA) foster new high-throughput leading edge technology, affordable and reliable methods to obtain high-frequency data and develop novel effective methods enabling mobile large-scale mesocosms approaches. Support Actions to the infrastructure are distributed in WP9 for Transnational Access, which have an increased focus on user needs for easy, wide and efficient access.

Activity 1 – five Networking actions (WP 2, 3, 4, 5, 6):

  • Increased interactions and collaboration with industry, European RIs to RIs, and policy makers. As the latter have been non-optimized in many RIs, AQUACOSM-plus use a new channel through our NGO, AirClim that specialises at such communication. Their new CEO Dr. Marko Reinikainen, has further unique knowledge in the AQUACOSM-plus project and mesocosm based science as former leader of the HU partner in AQUACOSM.
  • Identifying grand challenges that can best benefit from AQUACOSM facilities, and elaborating and testing approaches to address them.
  • Ensure an effective build-up of a new generation scientists and engineers prepared to maintain and further develop mesocosm-based research and services.
  • Developing and implementing approaches towards open science compliancy, and ease the application of principles of open data, open workflows and open access results

The networking actions are: NA1- Science and innovation strategy for society (WP2), NA2- Networking and Training for Knowledge Transfer (NTKT) (WP3), NA3- Breaching barriers to open mesocosm science, including open science tools and data (WP4), NA4- Outreach: Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation (WP5) and NA5- Defining Grand Challenges in aquatic mesocosm research (WP6).

Activity 2 – Joint Research Activity actions (WP7, 8)

AQUACOSM-plus JRA will develop affordable, light-weight, and easily transportable mesocosms allowing for standardized experimentation over wide geographical and environmental gradients. Emerging automated, high-resolution imaging techniques, coupled to Artificial Intelligence developments in computer vision and machine learning, as wells as high frequency sensing of greenhouse gas fluxes is expected to provide essential break-throughs that will be effectively shared among the consortia, associated partners, and beyond. The JRA actions are: JRA1: Towards transformative mesocosm research – breaking the spatial and temporal barriers of aquatic ecosystem experimentation (WP7) and JRA2- Pilot execution of Grand Challenge scenario-testing through bridging scales of experimental and observational RI networks (WP8).

Activity 3 – Transnational Access (WP9)

AQUACOSM-plus has increased focus on user needs for easy, wide and efficient access to standardised and harmonised use of the RIs and to reach these goals emphasis is given to a) Pre-TA training of participants to ensure that TA receive essential skills, b) fast and easy access to the projects offered by the different RI facilities significantly supported by a new interactive open web-based “Project Tracker” (WP5), and c) more than doubled number of skilled User Selection Panel members (4 to now 7, WP1) ensuring fast access and evaluation.