03 Jul 2023
The All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) is the result of science diplomacy efforts involving countries from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean which aims to enhance marine research and innovation cooperation in all Atlantic nations, from the Arctic to Antarctica. TechOceanS is involved in the Alliance as one of The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Projects (commonly called “sister projects”).
The vision of the Alliance is to bring together and systematically connect all relevant actors across the Atlantic Ocean to identify concrete research and innovation activities with a long-lasting potential and impact across a range of six key areas.
TechOceanS, as one of the sister projects, plays a crucial role in contributing to many of the key areas of the Alliance, applying technological innovation to enhance our understanding and sustainable use of the Atlantic Ocean.
Ocean Technology Advancements
The marine environment poses unique challenges for technological interventions due to its harsh conditions, encompassing ocean waves, tidal currents, extreme temperatures, and salinity gradients. By minimising sensor size and power requirements, TechOceanS facilitates deployments on smaller platforms capable of hosting multiple observation and sampling systems. The project focuses on the development of low-cost, mass-deployable sensor technologies and imaging techniques, coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solutions for efficient low-bandwidth, over-the-horizon communication. Additionally the collaborative ethos of TechOceanS ensures the interoperability and shareability of the technology platforms, fostering accessibility for research organisations worldwide.
Mitigating Emerging Pollutants
Recognising the profound impact of human activities on the ocean, particularly with regards to pollutants and debris, TechOceanS addresses the critical issue of emerging pollutants. The project is developing innovative sensors capable of discerning the distribution and fate of marine litter, microplastics, and chemical contaminants. Through a combination of imaging systems and microsensors, TechOceanS aims to track the movement of pollutants, providing valuable insights into their behaviour and aiding in the development of effective solutions.
Advancements in Ocean Observation
TechOceanS seeks to revolutionise non-ship ocean observing systems, enhancing their capability to measure complex chemical and biological variables. By enabling the capture of previously inaccessible data on the ocean's biogeochemistry, biology, and ecosystems, TechOceanS will contribute to a paradigm shift in ocean observation methodologies. Notably, the low-cost and minimally demanding nature of TechOceanS technology ensures global accessibility, aligning with the project's commitment to democratising ocean observation.
Climate Variability Research
As climate variability exerts increasing influence on the oceans, TechOceanS focuses on the development of low-cost, user-friendly ecogenomic samplers and Nucleic Acid (NA) sensors. These technologies facilitate effective collection, processing, and analysis of a high number of samples, offering a nuanced understanding of life in the oceans. By extracting genetic elements from water samples, TechOceanS empowers comprehensive surveys and monitoring efforts, addressing the impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems.
Sustainable Exploitation of Ocean Resources
In the face of a growing global population and diminishing wild fish stocks, TechOceanS sensors will play a critical role in responsible and sustainable exploitation of ocean resources. The deployment of sensors in fish farms allows for early warning systems related to harmful algae, invasive species, and harmful bacteria, assisting aquaculture farmers and environmental monitors. Additionally, advancements in bio-assays for commercially important species enhance the precision of stock estimates, contributing to informed fisheries management.
TechOceanS shares the vision of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance and seeks to contribute to technological progress that transcends geographical constraints. Prioritising sustainable exploration and collaborative efforts, TechOceanS is dedicated to sustained cooperation and the pursuit of solutions that extend beyond short-term goals.