What is the added value of the EDITO-Model Lab Focus Applications? 

What is the added value of the EDITO-Model Lab Focus Applications? 

EDITO-Model Lab’s Focus Applications (FAs) are demonstrators of the capabilities of the core model suite that the project is building to support the construction of the European Digital Twin of the Ocean. We will deliver six FAs with high technology readiness level within three focus areas that are related to key EU policy questions: marine biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions from maritime shipping, and marine pollution.

The FAs will be interactive virtual demonstrators hosted on the EDITO platform currently under construction that will incorporate powerful technical components (such as data, software, and computational infrastructure) into a user-friendly environment. To provide transparency into the technical solution, input datasets, all processing tools, and the generated outputs will be published in different formats through various channels.

EDITO’s target intermediate users consist of a community of ocean modellers and data providers, and end-users related to the blue economy and ocean governance. These users help support the simplification, automation, and standardisation of the information services under development, thus enhancing informed decision-making. The project will train these individuals to encourage them to create their own FA-based services.

After participating in the co-design phase of the project and during the ongoing integration phase, users can tailor EDITO’s solutions to better fit their needs and therefore generate larger impact on marine biodiversity conservation, reduced marine pollution and reduced-emissions maritime shipping.  
Learn more about the co-design phase of EDITO-Model Lab here


Through FA1, EDITO-Model Lab will deliver three inter-compatible workflows that allow to map biodiversity indicators in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The project’s WP6 created demonstration cases for mapping biodiversity indicators for the Wadden Sea and in the Northern Adriatic. These locations are all classified as MPAs, with the Wadden Sea also being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Habitat suitability mapping provide indicators on the biodiversity ecological health. Key habitat species offer crucial food and shelter for protected and/or endangered species including birds, fish, and marine mammals. EDITO’s maps can be used to know more about their condition and behaviours, supporting the more effective decisions and actions towards conservation efforts. 


This application will enable intermediate users to create easily reproducible habitat suitability maps anywhere along the global coast where spatial data and ecological knowledge is available, as the EDITO tools and models are published. More specifically, intermediate users will be enabled to:

  •  Use existing or simulate new physical or biogeochemical spatial data using EDITO’s relocatable coastal numerical models 
  • Use existing or add ecological knowledge on the habitat species response to physical and biogeochemical conditions, through interactive notebooks
  • Compute habitat suitability maps, by applying the ecological knowledge rules to the physical and biogeochemical spatial data with D-Eco Impact  

The EDITO’s habitat suitability maps that intermediate users can create can help end-users, such as policy makers, with marine spatial planning and habitat restoration. This is crucial for protecting biodiversity in the global ocean and along its coastal zones.

The societal impact of this application is therefore to enable the creation of third-party services that support policy makers in effectively (re-)assigning the targeted MPAS and (re-)defining active legislation that facilitates the EU Biodiversity Strategy and other international goals such as the those in the EU’s Nature Restoration Law, that states that 30% of the ocean should be conserved and 30% of degraded ecosystems need to be restored by 2030.




EDITO-Model Lab also offers a demonstrator providing optimal routes for large ocean-going vessels. Utilising specific spatial route diversions, these simulations serve to minimise the overall CO2 emissions associated with maritime shipping. The diversions are determined by both the sea state and the ocean currents faced by each given vessel and are computed using the VISIR-2 numerical model.

This application will specialise in shipping routes in the northern Pacific Ocean, specifically between Shanghai and Los Angeles. This will contribute to the establishment of the first green maritime shipping corridor, allowing for a considerable reduction of the associated emissions. 

This application offers different service levels, namely: 

  • A freemium level, which computes optimal routes daily, departing from a coarse grid of locations in the Pacific Ocean
  • A premium level, which performs the same service but starts from specific locations and departure times as requested by a user, such as a shipping company 

One key outcome of this application is that users can utilise numerical tools and manipulate data to create a tailored service that meets the needs of the marine shipping industry. Another relevant outcome is the higher awareness on the benefits of incorporating ocean currents and waves into shipping route planning. This can lead to significant fuel savings (cheaper operations) and emissions reductions (environmental-friendly operations). 


A clear impact of this application is the saving of fuel and carbon emissions reduction in the maritime shipping industry. Preliminary tests indicate that EDITO’s route optimisation can help to save approximately 5% of CO2 emissions, with specific dates achieving up to two-digit percentage savings.

This is a crucial step for the EU’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and for a more sustainable Blue Economy. In parallel, EDITO’s outputs can represent a valuable contribution to the long-term decarbonisation strategy of the International Maritime Organization. 


EDITO-Model Lab’s third FA will deliver two types of demonstrators that simulate where marine pollution is transported, and how it spreads, by making use of ocean circulation data. The first demonstrator focuses on fate and pathways of river-runoff microplastics. Their workflow quantifies spatiotemporal distribution, residence pattern and microplastic budgets for a user specified area in the Baltic Sea. 

The outcome of this application is faster and easier to model.  The impact is that policymakers can design the most effective measures to reduce the amount microplastics in the Baltic Sea, and in the global ocean, in line with the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan. 


The second demonstrator on zero pollution focused on coastal oil spills in the Mediterranean Sea. EDITO’s technical solution enables the calculation of oil coastal spill hazard index and cumulative oil spill trajectories for operational events. This application’s results allow to create local coastal oil spill hazard maps, supporting relevant authorities that are responsible for emergency response, such as the coast guard. 

The outcome is that the data and tools of this demonstrator can be used for intermediate users to develop early-warning systems and preventive measures for reducing environmental hazards by oil spills. The impact is reduction in disaster risk by increasing disaster preparedness and strengthening disaster response capacities, in line with the goal of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations agency. Ultimately, this leads to the reduction of ecological and financial damages caused by oil spills.




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  • 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