International Centre for Advanced Studies on River-Sea Systems
General Info

DANUBIUS-RI The International Centre for Advanced Studies on River-Sea Systems

Bucharest, Romania (provisoral)

legal status



remote, virtual, physical

DANUBIUS-RI will offer a pan-European Research Infrastructure (RI) to support the Research and Innovation (R&I) needed to achieve healthy River-Sea Systems: enabling state-of-the-art, holistic, R&I from river source to sea and providing the integrated knowledge to manage River-Sea Systems, utilizing a source-to-sea perspective to understand their evolution and functioning. DANUBIUS-RI will offer services integrating capabilities from: remote and in-situ observation platforms, experimental facilities, laboratories, modelling tools and resources for Knowledge Exchange along the river source to sea continuum. The DANUBIUS-RI components comprise the Hub (Romania), Data Centre (led in Romania), Nodes (led by UK, Italy, Romania (in the Hub) and Netherlands), Supersites (across Europe), e-Learning Office (led in Spain) and Technology Transfer Office (led in Ireland). DANUBIUS-ERIC, to be registered in Romania, will be the legal entity providing the governance framework for DANUBIUS-RI. DANUBIUS-ERIC will provide users from science, environmental agencies, river basin and regional seas commissions and business with access to a range of River-Sea Systems, facilities, data and expertise, and enable interdisciplinary research, innovation opportunities, knowledge exchange, education and training. DANUBIUS-ERIC’s Strategic Objectives are to: (1) Advance integrated understanding of the functioning of the River-Sea Systems covering a wide spectrum of climatic, environmental, and societal contexts. This encompasses the interaction of humans and the environment, the drivers of change, the resulting pressures and impacts, and the responses by nature and society; (2) Advance transboundary, interdisciplinary and world-leading research on the River-Sea continuum. This links field observations (Earth Observation, in-situ measurements) with analysis (laboratory analysis, experiments) and modelling (coupled socio-ecological models, scenario modelling), and ultimately engaging with stakeholders e.g. to support blue growth; (3) Deliver the knowledge base and the practical solutions to enable sustainable management of River-Sea Systems, and to reconcile conflicting interests and pressures in a well-informed, adaptive and participatory manner and support the implementation of the Green Deal; (4) Provide harmonised long-term data across sectors and disciplines and promote knowledge exchange and education; (5) Support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, by contributing to initiatives such as the Global Environment Monitoring System for Freshwater and the United Nations’ Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development; (6) Support assessments of European Environmental Legislation and provide the scientific evidence base for environmental policymaking at the European level by bridging the current gaps between land, freshwater and marine environmental policies. DANUBIUS-RI’s research priorities for the first five years are socially relevant and in line with Mission areas of the Horizon Europe Framework Programme: Research Priority 1 – Water Quantity; Research Priority 2 – Sediment Balance; Research Priority 3 – Nutrients and Pollutants; Research Priority 4- Climate Change; Research Priority 5 – Extreme Events; Research Priority 6 – Protecting and Restoring Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Research Priority 7 – Digital Twin
Total Investment 208,26 M€ Design 2 M€ Preparation 4,226 M€ Implementation 203,994 M€ Operation 14,65 M€/year Project 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 2032 2034 2036 2038 RM06 RM08 RM10 RM16 RM18 RM21 LA24
Roadmap Entry
as project: 2016
Total investment
208,26 M€
Design Phase
2 M€
Preparation Phase
4,226 M€
Implementation Phase
203,994 M€
Operation start
14,65 M€/year
The Design Phase was from 2013 to 2016, with most funding from the Romanian Government. EU funding started when DANUBIUS-RI became an ESFRI Project on the Roadmap 2016. The Horizon 2020 funded Preparatory Phase (DANUBIUS-PP) project was from December 2016 to November 2019. During the Preparatory Phase, the decision was taken to apply for an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) as legal status.The Implementation Phase began in August 2020 with the submission of the DANUBIUS-ERIC Statutes in Step One. The Horizon Europe funded DANUBIUS-IP (DANUBIUS Implementation Phase) started in October 2023 and lasts 36 months. The overall goal is the successful initiation of DANUBIUS-ERIC enabling DANUBIUS-RI to proceed to the Operational Phase. DANUBIUS-IP will ensure the successful implementation of DANUBIUS-RI by addressing the bottlenecks and associated recommendations in the 2020 and 2021 ESFRI and EU Commission High Level Group reports with respect to securing financial commitments, testing the service offer and funding module and enhancing the RI’s web presence. The project will provide practical demonstration of DANUBIUS-RI’s potential to fill gaps in the global and EU R&I landscape, as identified in the ESFRI 2016 Roadmap, to address global megatrends in a catchment-river-sea continuum perspective using an integrated interdisciplinary approach. DANUBIUS-IP will strengthen the RI’s sustainability by continuing the work of the Board of Government Representatives (BGR) and securing commitments from additional member countries. DANUBIUS-IP will develop individual Service Level Agreements (SLA) between DANUBIUS-ERIC and the Leading Institutions of its Components to ensure the effective functioning of the RI. This will enable appropriate use of initial (national) financial contributions from members of DANUBIUS-RI as it becomes fully operational. During the first 18 months of the project ERIC Step 2 was submitted.
ADANUBIUS-RI brings together the latest technologies, facilities and approaches across a range of strategically important supersites that cross geographical, climatic, environmental and economic gradients. New insights and understandings of these critical exchange environments are delivered through three main categories of services: (1) In situ Observation and Analysis: This category encompasses 17 services dedicated to real-time data collection and analysis for River-Sea Systems. The services are utilize state-of-the-art instrumentation and methodologies. Researchers using these services will gain invaluable insights into water quality, sediment characteristics, and ecosystem dynamics of River-Sea Systems. (2) Observation with Satellites and Radar Analysis: This category utilizes the latest developments in satellite based technologies, and offers 5 services designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of River-Sea System environments. These services include water quality and quantity (floods and droughts) and the deployment of in-situ technologies for satellite validation, and guidance to optimize sampling campaigns and validate models. (3) Modelling: This category comprises 6 services that encompass an array of modeling techniques essential to understand and predict complex environmental processes within River-Sea Systems. The services include hydrodynamic modeling, to simulate water flow patterns and dynamics, hydrodynamics, and hydrodynamic connectivity. The category also includes forecasting systems, which utilize real-time data and advanced algorithms to predict future environmental conditions. Across the RI, access to data is critical service category, currently under development, and aims to achieve the proper implementation of Open and FAIR Data. The facilities and services will empower the research and innovation community to tackle societal challenges, test and deliver solutions in response to a changing climate.
S S H D I G I T E N E H & F P S E
CCooperation is being enhanced between DANUBIUS-RI and the wider RI community. The integration of DANUBIUS-RI within the community of ESFRI ERICS has involved identifying key ERICS and other RIs to engage directly with (LifeWatch, EMSO, ICOS, EMBRC, MARINERG-I, AnaEE, ACTRIS, JERICO and eLTER). The development of the digital services (mainly data catalogue) has benefitted a lot from the collaboration with the other Ris in the H2020 project ENVRI FAIR. DANUBIUS-RI is actively collaborating with JERICO-RI and ICOS-ERIC in the Horizon LandSeaLot project, bringing together services (from EO and in situ measurements to modelling and integration with citizen science and educational services) for a new strategic agenda dedicated to the land-sea interaction zone. DANUBIUS-RI has been providing its specific competencies and services in the river-sea continuum approach in a series of Supersites. DANUBIUS-RI Supersites (such as the Danube Delta and the Ebro Llobregat delta system) offer federated services together with EMSO-ERIC and Eurofleets in the Horizon AQUARIOUS project. A showcase of the mix of European specific RI services is brought as a showcase in the Black Sea, in the H2020 DOORS Project (where DANUBIUS-RI Collaborates with EMSO, EMBRC, EURO-ARGO, LifeWatch). Horizon LandSeaLot means also collaboration with the Copernicus and ESA initiatives, to improve the observing capability of the land sea interface. In parallel to the RI community, DANUBIUS-RI has been examining opportunities with non-ESFRI European initiatives, such as Copernicus. Progress has been made by DANUBIUS-RI partners in interactions with the early-stage Copernicus Coastal Hub initiative, and the Copernicus Marine Service. A collaboration has also been established with Water4All Partnership. At a wider scale, DANUBIUS-IP is expanding cooperations in a more global context beyond Europe. For example, through Horizon DANUBIUS-IP project, DANUBIUS-RI partners have cooperated with CoastPredict Programme endorsed by the UN Ocean Decade. A first interaction with MegaDelta Programme has been developed.