iMagine project is a Research and Innovation Action for Research Infrastructures, funded through the Horizon Europe Work Programme for 2021-2022. The project develops research infrastructure services for better use of imaging data coming from different thematic areas. Specifically, iMagine, Imaging data and services for aquatic science, provides a portfolio of ‘free at point of use’ image datasets, high-performance image analysis tools empowered with Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Best Practice documents for scientific image analysis.
These services and materials enable better and more efficient processing and analysis of imaging data in marine and freshwater research, accelerating scientific insights about processes and measures relevant for healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters. By building on the compute platform of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) the project delivers a generic framework for AI model development, training, and deployment, which can be adopted by researchers for refining their AI based applications for water pollution mitigation, biodiversity and ecosystem studies, climate change analysis and beach monitoring, but also for developing and optimising other AI based applications in this field. The iMagine AI framework offers neural networks, parallel post-processing of very large data, and analysis of massive online data streams in distributed environments. 12 Research Infrastructures (RIs) share over 9 million images and 8 AI-powered applications through the framework.
Having representatives of so many RIs and IT institutes, developing a portfolio of eye-catching image processing services, also give rise to Best Practices. The synergies between aquatic use cases lead to common solutions in data management, quality control, performance, integration, provenance, and FAIRness, contributing to harmonisation across RIs and providing input for the iMagine Best Practice guidelines. The project results are integrated into and bring important contributions from RIs and e-infrastructures to EOSC and the European Union's landmark Artificial Intelligence project (AI4EU).