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UCAM gathers more than 30 scientists devoted to improving the Mar Menor

The yearly event of the European project called SMARTLAGOON, research H2020, headed by UCAM, which was celebrated today, has shared its results with regional, national and international scientists and with the Department for the Environment, Mar Menor, Universities and Research.

UCAM gathers more than 30 scientists devoted to improving the Mar Menor
Javier Senent, main researcher of the project, during his speech at the event held at UCAM HiTech.

The high-tech incubator for health, sports and nutrition, UCAM HiTech has been selected by the researchers of the European project, SMARTLAGOON, who come from Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy and Switzerland, to celebrate the second yearly event of their research. During the event, a video explaining the project was played and several scientific seminars were held surrounding this topic. The researchers that have participated in this event have been national and international ones involved in the project, but also other scientists from the Region of Murcia who belong to the General Management of the Mar Menor, UPCT or the Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua (New Water Culture Foundation). All this with the aim of finding new synergies between the different research projects that are being developed in order to improve the state of the saltwater lagoon.

Apart from scientists from different institutions, the counsellor for the Environment, Mar Menor, Universities and Research, Juan María Vázquez, and his team, have attended the event where the results were shared. This was done with the aim of knowing the details of the project to monitor and analyse the context of Mar Menor that is being held at UCAM in depth. The counsellor has emphasised that ‘we expect a lot from this project, since one of the objectives of our Department and of the General Management of Mar Menor is to perfectly monitor the saltwater lagoon’.

SMARTLAGOON, a project funded with almost 4 million euros by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 call, aims at creating a digital twin, through artificial intelligence, that will make it possible to predict physical, chemical and biological changes that the saltwater lagoon experiences as a response to different events that affect the Mar Menor, like weather-related events. This also includes those caused by human activities, predicting its changes in the short, middle and long term. Javier Senent Aparicio, coordinator of the SMARTLAGOON project and UCAM researcher, stated that ‘once the project is completed, a new tool of public use will be obtained, and it will help to make decisions for the Mar Menor and for other lagoons in a similar state’.

This digital twin that will be available for public administrations as a tested and effective tool to help in decision making is a clear example of the commitment shown by UCAM to do science that benefits citizens. Estrella Núñez Delicado, vice-rector of UCAM Research, has emphasised the importance of this project, pointing out that ‘it would not make any sense to invest in research projects that do not benefit society. SMARTLAGOON aims at contributing to solving the problem that the Mar Menor is facing’.

Partners of the European Project

The SMARTLAGOON project, led by the UCAM researcher Javier Senent, involves eight partnerships: Universidad Católica de Murcia, the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia and Vielca Ingenieros S.A (Spain), WaterITech ApS (Denmark), Uppsala University (Sweden), Norwegian Institute for Water Research (Norway), Università di Bologna (Italy) and Photrack AG (Switzerland).