European Digital Twin of the Ocean at the Digital Ocean Forum 2023

European Digital Twin of the Ocean at the Digital Ocean Forum 2023

The Digital Ocean Forum 2023 takes place on the 15th of June in Brussels and brings together marine scientists, numerical modellers, ocean experts, policymakers, and citizens interested in the co-design and co-creation of the European Digital Twin of the Ocean (EU DTO).

The EU DTO, announced by President von der Leyen at the One Ocean Summit in Brest, in February 2022, will be a key deliverable of the EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters. Its purpose is to provide society with actionable knowledge and to support daily decisions and planning, to ensure a healthier and more sustainable ocean.

The purpose of this event is to foster stakeholders’ collaboration in defining the goals and aspirations that can be accomplished by setting up a robust EU DTO. The Digital Ocean Forum 2023 is therefore an opportunity to showcase the role of this technology to address challenges, such as the marine implications of climate change or biodiversity loss.

The event is to facilitate collaboration among diverse stakeholders, engaging all in thoughtful discussions about ethical considerations and identifying potential avenues for utilizing digital twins to tackle various pressing ocean issues. The contribution of the EU DTO to decision-making processes is also being discussed with the aim of fostering a more sustainable blue economy.

The development of the EU DTO core infrastructure has been entrusted to the main operators of the Copernicus Marine Service and European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) , respectively Mercator Ocean International and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), through the EDITO-Infra project. Its sister project, EDITO-Model Lab, is also part of this revolutionary endeavour, with the responsibility to develop the next generation of ocean numerical models by combining artificial intelligence and high-performance computing to provide access to focus applications and simulations of different what-if scenarios.

During the Digital Ocean Forum 2023, Yann Drillet, coordinator of the EDITO-Model Lab project, is co-chairing a breakout session dedicated to ocean numerical modelling within the context of the co-construction of the EU DTO. The session will serve to highlight the challenges of co-developing, sharing and accessing ocean numerical models. High-level exchanges between numerical modelling experts and numerous EU projects representatives will allow to discuss what kind of numerical models are needed to run on-demand ocean simulations and how can they be developed, maintained, and shared.

Stay tuned for further updates on the construction of the European Digital Twin of the Ocean by subscribing to the EDITO mailing list and by following its LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.


  • 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