The benefits of federating blue data infrastructures: an interview with Toste Tanhua

The benefits of federating blue data infrastructures: an interview with Toste Tanhua


Blue data infrastructures are complex systems that aim to make information coming from different environments interoperable, standardised and accessible to end-users. Blue-Cloud operates in this context, as it is federating marine data infrastructures to create a trusted virtual space where scientists can access the ocean data, tools, services and research outputs they need to perform research in a more efficient way.

We have interviewed a member of the Blue-Cloud External Stakeholders Expert Board (ESEB)Toste Tanhua from GEOMAR, who provided his view on data infrastructures:

 “It is crucial to build infrastructures and create research environments in order to make data accessible to everyone, and Blue-Cloud, thanks to the implementation of its five demonstrators, is following this direction. This is crucial to make knowledge available to the users (from policy makers to scientists).”


The data provided by the Blue-Cloud framework can help relevant stakeholders to perform analysisset up forecasting and modelling systems and understand if there are any gaps in terms of data. At the same time, the role played by scientists is crucial as it helps to highlight which data are missing and which strategies we should implement to retrieve them.

“Blue-Cloud is getting data from several data infrastructures, like EMODnet, Copernicus, SeaDataNet. Analysing the data helps understand what are the modelling gaps and the uncertainty level to estimate while conducting research." 


One way to overcome these issues is to create connections with European and international partners and check if the data infrastructures can be integrated. Blue-Cloud is investigating this potential and is currently exploring synergies with EuroSea, a Horizon 2020 project coordinated by Toste Tahnua. The cooperation between the two projects can bring relevant benefits, as stated by Toste himself:

“Both Blue-Cloud and EuroSea are developing Roadmaps that aim to depict medium to long term policy recommendations strategies. The roadmap cannot be defined without data based on observations. At the same time, both projects are developing demonstrators that can interact and exchange data. The EuroSea demonstrators aim to analyse real value chains, and can provide guidance on what and how we need to know to observe. Hence, incorporating data and turning them into a forecasting system and having products can support the feedback loop, which contributes to the assessment of the information and their impact.”




Publication date: 09Aug2021