The interview with Donatella Castelli, Research Director at ISTI-CNR Italy, on virtual research environments supporting Blue Growth featured on the Digital Single Market portal.

Donatella Castelli is the project coordinator of the European research project BlueBRIDGE: Building Research environments for fostering Innovation, Decision making, Governance and Education to support Blue Growth. Co-financed by the Research and Innovation programme of the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020, the project ran from September 2015 until February 2018 and received a total of EUR 5 million of EU funding.

As the project has just recently come to an end and published its final review, we have asked Donatella to tell us more on the achievements of the project.

Donatella, what is the first and primary objective of BlueBRIDGE?

The goal of BlueBRIDGE was to develop a set of Virtual Research Environments bringing together various stakeholders (scientists, data managers, educators & experts but also policy-makers and the private sector) from different disciplines, such as, for example, fisheries, biology, economics, statistics and the environment, around one single theme: the sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors, or the so-called “Blue Growth”. The objective was to exploit existing data and computing infrastructures in order to increase the scientific understanding of the marine environment,provide a better ground for informed advice to competent authorities and involved stakeholders and encourage a sustainable management of the marine resources.

Did the project meet its goal?

Yes! Absolutely and to be honest I can say that it went way beyond my expectations! ...