MARINE environmental in-situ Assessment and monitoring tool BOX
Due to growing concerns about the health of the oceans and their capacity to continue to provide resources as well as associated risks to the human health, there is an increasing demand for real-time monitoring of the environmental status of marine water quality and the provision of early warning systems. Real-time in-situ monitoring of marine chemical contaminants (including man-made pollutants and algal toxins) is of utmost importance for the sustainable management and exploitation of the sea. MariaBox will develop a wireless, portable marine environment analysis device, based on novel biosensors of high-sensitivity, capable of repeating measurements over a long time for monitoring chemical and biological pollutants.
The MariaBox project has 4 major steps. The first step refers to producing a marine pollution-monitoring device, based on new biosensors, implemented as a set of autonomous modules for the analysis of marine pollutants and the assessment of water quality. The system will be suitable for free floating devices, buoys, ships, or to be used as a portable instrument. Also, the project will develop novel biosensors for monitoring 5 man-made chemicals and 4 categories of microalga toxins. The
third step of development of MariaBox will be a software platform and smartphone application for the marine monitoring and Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and Global Earth Observation System of System (GEOSS) data collection and distribution so to be almost real-time available and interfaced to Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) services. Finally, MariaBox will prove the validity of the system in real and varying conditions in Norway, Cyprus, Ireland and Spain.
The MariaBox platform will also provide technical tools in order to support the National implementations of the Discharge of dangerous substances directive and the Water Framework Directive that sets out 'Strategies against pollution of water'. MariaBox will additionally emphasise on reaching the general public and maximizing project impact: 45 minutes of video material will be developed for use in International Exhibitions and TV documentaries including Euronews Innovation Showcase. Multiple and sundry dissemination actions, involving presentations in 8 conferences, participation in 5 Trade Fairs, newsletters publication and social media actions are also foreseen in the work programme. Another key objective of MariaBox is to prepare a cost effective solution to be exploited commercially. The device design will be optimized in cost, size, and power consumption to offer a suitable solution for large-scale production by the SMEs.
The work plan has been structured to capitalize on the individual skills of the partners, which include: a) SMEs with expertise in mechanical and industrial design and manufacturing, sensors calibration, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) platforms, web and mobile applications development, electronics and communication systems design and marine monitoring systems integration, b) Universities, private companies and research centres experts in biosensors and their development and finally c) End-users with access to demonstration sites. The participants in the project will therefore work together to form an integrated and committed partnership, and the consortium will provide the best possible combination of scientific and technological skills to execute the work plan.