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Aqua Research Infrastructure Services for the health and protection of our unique, oceans, seas and freshwater ecosystems


Project timeline
March 2024
48 months
February 2028
General Information
AQUARIUS will provide a highly comprehensive suite of integrated research infrastructures appropriate to addressing significant challenges for the long-term sustainability of our unique oceans, seas and freshwater ecosystems. For the first time, diverse research infrastructures will be combined to facilitate the work of researchers and key stakeholders focused on challenges and opportunities for both marine and freshwater systems. An impressive range of 57 research infrastructure services will be made available to include research vessels, mobile marine observation platforms, aircraft, drones, satellite, sensors, fixed freshwater and marine observatories and test sites, experimental facilities, and sophisticated data infrastructures. AQUARIUS will support the development phase of the EU Mission to Restore our Ocean and waters by 2030, the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership, the European Green Deal, and international climate initiatives. It will also be an essential component in achieving the European Digital Twin of the Ocean and the UN Decade for Ocean Sciences.
The needs of researchers will be met through a robust and transparent system of transnational access funding Calls, facilitated by centralised user-friendly access portal. The Call programme will be informed through stakeholder engagement and brokerage events.
Projects to be selected for Access must convincingly integrate multiple infrastructures and contribute to the core policy objectives of Mission Ocean, that is, to protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity; to prevent and eliminate pollution of our oceans, seas and waters; and to ensure a sustainable, carbon-neutral and circular blue economy. A thematic and geographic focus will be the hallmark of the proposed transnational Calls, aligning with the Lighthouse Regions, that is, the Baltic and the North Sea Basins, Black Sea, Atlantic/Arctic, and Mediterranean Sea along with their associated rivers.

Hereon offers several of its research infrastructures for transnational access including to Cuxhaven and Tesperhude research stations, the Mobile Underwater Observatory in the North Sea (in cooperation with AWI), RV Ludwig Prandtl, the Elbe-GB-EcoHealthMonitor and the stable isotope lab in KCN.
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaHORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01-01
Project TypeResearch and Innovation Action (RIA)
Contract NumberGrant Agreement 101130915
Funding for the Project (€) Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Dr. Yoana Voynova, Institute of Carbon Cycles, Coastal Productivity, KCP, Phone +49 4152 87-2377; Dr. Holger Brix, Institute of Carbon Cycles, Global Coast, KCG, Phone +49 4152 87-1523; Dr. Johannes Pein, Institute of Coastal Systems - Analysis and Modeling, Hydrodynamics and Data Assimilation, KSD, Phone +49 4152 87-1564
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung AWI (DE), Centro De Ciencias Do Mar Do Algarve (PT), Centro Interdisciplinar De Investigacao Marinha E Ambiental (PT), Centrum Vyzkumu Globalni Zmeny Av Cr Vvi (CZ), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (ES), Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (IT), Consorcio Para El Diseno, Construccion, Equipamiento Y Explotacion De La Plataforma Oceanica De Canarias (ES), Consorcio para la construccion, equipamiento y explotacion del Sistema de Observacion Cost (ES), EMSO ERIC (IT), European Marine Biological Center European Research Infrastructure Consortium (FR), European Molecular Biology Laboratory (DE), Finnish Environment Institute SYKE (FI), Finnish Meteorological Institute (FI), Gronlands Naturinstitut (DK), Hafrannsoknastofnunin (IS), Havforskningsinstituttet (NO), Havstovan (DK), Hellenic Center for Marine Reearch (GR), Inkode Societa Cooperativa (IT), Institut De Recherche Pour Le Developpement (FR), Institut Francais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer IFREMER (FR), Instituto Hidrográfico (PT), Institutul National de Cercetare - Dezvoltare Marina (RO), Interact-International Network for terrestrial Research and Monitoring (SE), Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (IT), Istituto Nazionale Di Oceanografia E Di Geofisica Sperimentale Ogs (IT), Mariene Informatie Service "MARIS" B.V. (NL), Marine Institute (IE), Mercator Ocean (FR), National Institute of Marine Geology and Geo-Ecology (RO), National Metrology Institute of Turkey UME (TR), NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS (NO), Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NO), Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (BE), SEASCAPE Belgium (BE), Stichting Nederlandse Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Instituten (NL), Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SE), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SE), Universitat Politecnica De Catalunya (ES), Université de Liège (BE), Universite Sorbonne (FR), University of Limerick (IE), Vlaams Instituut Voor de Zee (BE), Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Oderzoek (BE)
Last Update: 29. February 2024