Towards a European e-DNA library of marine and freshwater species

Towards a European e-DNA library of marine and freshwater species

Genomic techniques represent a major source of innovation in marine monitoring techniques. They offer the potential to provide accurate, real time and cost-efficient monitoring and observation of the marine environment and its biological diversity that can be used for policy making and policy implementation, such as in the case of status assessment requirements.

This topic aims at coordinating and networking ongoing activities at EU level, assessing the needs and requirements for establishing an EU e-DNA repository/library of marine and freshwater species and developing plans for its efficient data curation and storage to ensure the provision of accurate time series, data standards and harmonisation for marine biodiversity monitoring and observation.

Interdisciplinary by nature, proposals should integrate in the consortium relevant scientific expertise (e.g.: in marine monitoring and observation, genomics, blue biotechnology, marine biology and ecology, big data analysis, machine learning methods) as well as European Research Infrastructures and relevant end users, such as environmental agencies, regional convention programmes, institutes in charge of the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive[1], national and regional authorities.

Use cases are expected to demonstrate the value of establishing an e-DNA library of marine and freshwater species at EU level and their contribution to EU biodiversity strategies.

Proposals are expected to link with the Digital Ocean and Water Knowledge System (Digital Twin ocean) to address how to digitally record and manage EU e-DNA data and meta-data through appropriate standards, formats, data policy that facilitate open data and knowledge sharing for further use for biodiversity monitoring and modelling. Cooperation, networking and exchange of information is also expected with projects funded under Cluster 6 topic HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-03 (Understanding and valuing coastal and marine biodiversity and ecosystems services), in particular its workstream on genomics and taxonomic technologies for the inventory and fast identification of marine species, topic HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-01 (European participation in global biodiversity genomics endeavours aimed at identifying all biodiversity on Earth) as well as any other relevant projects focusing in this area.


Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Contribution to the development of the next generation marine monitoring programmes and mapping initiatives that focus on collecting and analysing environmental DNA-of marine and freshwater species;
  • Assessment of all relevant activities, actions and projects that entail collecting and analysing environmental DNA from marine and freshwater species implemented in the European Union and in the Associated countries for their synergies;
  • Assessment of the feasibility of creation of an integrated European e-DNA library of all marine and freshwater species that would be based on FAIR principles and publicly available and support marine biodiversity monitoring programmes and mapping initiatives. Compatibility with the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EmodNet) and the future Ocean and Water knowledge system (Digital Twin Ocean) will be part of the assessment;
  • Assessment of ongoing international efforts on standards and interoperability of data, methods, techniques, etc.
  • Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of marine genetic resources linked to biodiversity, in line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030;
  • Promote synergies and harmonisation between projects and initiatives to collect and analyse DNA of marine and freshwater species for their future successful scale up.


Link with CMA Goals

Goal I: Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems / Priority 1: Ensure the protection and sustainability of the marine ecosystem

Moldova Romania Georgia Bulgaria
Horizon Europe - HORIZON-MISS-2022-OCEAN-01-09
The global value for this initiative is EUR 2 000 000
Link to the tender
Sector of Activity
Research & innovation