EDITO Model Lab highlights major achievements at 2024 General Assembly

EDITO Model Lab highlights major achievements at 2024 General Assembly


The EDITO-Model Lab project held its 2024 General Assembly at the CMCC Headquarters in Lecce, Italy. Over three days from 16th to 18th January 2024, the assembly served to highlight our advancements in ocean numerical modelling towards the construction of the European Digital Twin of the Ocean (European DTO). Several demonstrations were performed to display the project's progress in its Focus Applications (FAs) and What-if Scenarios (WiS). The gathering concluded with an overview of future key events and remote collaboration strategies, emphasising the importance of co-design, user engagement, and practical training sessions.


Day 1 – 2023 achievements

The opening day saw insightful discussions including representatives from the European Commission, the project’s Advisory Board, and partner institutions. The speakers emphasised the project's overarching goals and highlighted milestones achieved during the co-design phase in 2023. Key points centred around the close collaboration among the 13 partners from 8 European countries and the development of an integrated platform delivering new tools and datasets to the various ocean communities. 

The day's discussions also focused on communication and dissemination strategies, with particular emphasis on showcasing EDITO-Model Lab’s added value and engaging stakeholders effectively. Advisory Board members stressed the importance of demonstrating EDITO-Model Lab’s innovative features, while partners explored ways to simplify workflows for enhanced user experience. The consortium and the external participants debated the key messages to be conveyed in 2024 and beyond. 

After a first year of raising public awareness about the project and growing its visibility, in the next months, we will also publicise the first results of EDITO-Model Lab. You will be able to learn more about the added value of the EDITO initiative to marine and coastal stakeholders and users, and what the various communities of users will be able to do with the future European DTO. Specific demonstrations and applications will be showcased in several ways as concrete examples of what our novel tools can produce and share in real time.


Day 2 - User sessions and applications

On the morning of Day 2, over 100 project partners, ocean numerical modellers, beta-testers, intermediate users, and end users - including Mission Ocean and other EU representatives, as well as several local stakeholders involved in marine sciences, ocean governance, and coastal monitoring - gathered, onsite and online, to present and discuss a wide set of hands-on demonstrations, namely on all the many Focus Applications and What-if Scenarios that the project is developing. 

Various user sessions presented impactful case studies and demonstrations related to on-demand numerical modelling of, for example, storm surges, marine plastic pollution, and habitat suitability mapping. The EDITO-Model Lab partners highlighted innovative approaches to simulate and mitigate environmental risks, receiving valuable feedback from stakeholders on numerical model validation and uncertainty management. 

Some of the demonstrations displayed the use of seagrass meadows as a nature-based solution to protect coastlines from coastal hazards, such as coastal erosion and sea-level rise, highlighting the efficiency index developed by the EDITO-Model Lab and addressing audience inquiries on result uncertainties and user involvement. The use of seagrass to combat coastal erosion in the Adriatic Sea was also presented, emphasising the importance of numerical models in understanding vegetation dynamics and their impact on wave energy reduction. 

In the afternoon, technical sessions allowed partners to discuss integration strategies, model validation techniques, and workflow optimisation. Presentations highlighted advancements in core model suite development, including super-resolution data assimilation and benchmarking efforts.


Day 3 - Technical sessions and future planning

The final day continued the technical discussions on integration tasks, simulation quantification, and workflow optimisation. Partners exchanged insights on using GPU resources and expanding training datasets for enhanced AI capabilities, culminating in discussions on future events and remote collaboration strategies. This day also served to set the project’s next steps towards the first demonstration of the European DTO later in 2024.


A key event in 2024, the third Digital Ocean Forum (DOF), is scheduled for mid-June in Brussels and will be a fantastic opportunity to assemble the EU community contributing to the European DTO. EDITO-Model Lab and EDITO-Infra are already putting up an exhibition with exciting advancements in the development of the EDITO infrastructure. This annual event is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the European DTO, explore its applications, get to know the associated communities of developers and users, and collect valuable feedback to guide future developments. 

Throughout the General Assembly in Lecce, the EDITO-Model Lab project also highlighted its commitment to driving ocean numerical modelling advancements and fostering collaboration among stakeholders. With a focus on delivering tangible results in Focus Applications and What-if Scenarios, the project is already working to enhance the future uptake and exploitation of its outputs towards a significant impact on the ocean’s sustainable management. 

An interesting aspect of this General Assembly was the participation of a cohort of high school students from Italy. They attended the three days of the event to practice other languages in an international professional context, to understand how to plan, organise and run an important event, as well as to experience real working environments to help them define their future career. 

Curious about our Focus Applications and What-if Scenarios and how they will serve to help researchers, numerical modellers, blue economy actors, policymakers, and the wider public to know more about the marine environments and how they will react to specific management actions? Do not want to miss the announcement of the 2024 DOF? Stay tuned and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and subscribe to our joint mailing list.

  • Portability and interoperability of numerical models and simulation techniques
  • Optimisation and adaptation to new and future computing platforms
  • Coupling, interaction and hybridisation between different numerical models and Machine Learning components to represent ocean physics, biogeochemistry, biology and ecology
  • Flexibility in use, configuration design and simulations to suit applications
  • Virtual Ocean Model Lab is a co-development platform to connect developers of various models, users willing to produce simulations using AI and ML, and associated infrastructure providing access to different computing (HPC, CLOUD) and data storage and dissemination resources (data lake)
  • Usage examples and user support for Focus Applications and What-if Scenarios