Shaping an Ocean of possibilities
Helmholtz researchers are working on solutions to the challenges of our time: from energy to mobility to climate. In order to transfer their results into practice, the Helmholtz Association is now funding three new innovation platforms with a total of 40 million euros. One of them, coordinated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, will also involve the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, with funding starting in the second quarter of 2023. The title: Shaping an Ocean Of Possibilities (SOOP).
Establishing direct access to knowledge and technology developments in cooperation models between research and industry is an important task. As an instrument for this, so-called innovation platforms have been set up, which create simplified access to knowledge and relevant infrastructures and thus facilitate the exchange between research centers with stakeholders. The project "Shaping an Ocean of Possibilities" (SOOP) is set in this context.
Understanding the sea
SOOP brings great opportunities in ocean exploration. Photo: Team Malizia/ Antoine Auriol
On the one hand, the innovation platform aims to develop sustainable infrastructures in ocean observation in order to collect important data, improve access to ocean data and thus expand knowledge about the ocean. For this purpose, GEOMAR, the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon bring together stakeholders from industry, civil society and science. Together, they are collaborating to develop new measurement devices such as modular sensors and autonomous infrastructures that can be deployed on non-scientific vessels, as well as on private sailboats, to collect data that will then be gathered and made available on a digital platform. "In this regard, the SOOP innovation platform offers great opportunities to further fill the large data gaps that still exist in the ocean to better understand the underlying processes. This is important due to the current changes and in terms of sustainable management and use of the oceans," says Dr Klas Ove Möller, scientist and coordinator of the SOOP platform at Hereon. It is especially important to develop new innovations and opportunities for society based on this collected data. These can help develop new models to improve early warning systems regarding toxic algal blooms, make statements about the "health status" of the sea or, for example, the spread of microplastics. The aim is to open up new markets and make data applicable. The data is made freely available and is thus generally usable by various stakeholders.
"Innovations that support better adaptation to the consequences of climate change or even reduce the negative effects are particularly important. In addition, SOOP represents an opportunity to introduce new standards for handling data, platforms and software at Hereon and to work even more intensively across centers," says Friedrich von Rantzau, head of the Innovation and Transfer staff unit at Hereon.
Helmholtz is supporting the three platforms with 40 million euros from the Pact for Research and Innovation. In close cooperation with strong partners from industry and society, the platforms will strengthen transfer and innovation and initiate long-term applied solutions. In addition to SOOP, the Helmholtz Innovation Platform for Accelerator-based Technologies & Solutions (HI-ACTS) and the Technology Acceleration Platform for emerging Photovoltaics (Solar TAP) have already been funded since January 1, 2023. Funding for SOOP will start from the 2nd quarter of 2023.