MariaBox – Marine environmental in situ assessment and monitoring toolbox
The MariaBox project – “Marine environmental in situ assessment and monitoring toolbox” -, co-funded by the European Commission (Contract no.614088), is developing an autonomous, analytical device based on novel biosensors to monitor chemical and biological pollutants in seawater. The device is suitable for installation on free-floating devices, buoys, ships or to be used as a portable instrument. The main, high-level user requirements for the system are for the device to be highly sensitive (respecting minimum detection thresholds required by EC regulations), relatively portable and capable of repeating measurements over a long time, allowing for 6-months unattended deployment at sea. The project includes 13 partners: Universities, private companies and public institutions from 6 European countries: Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Ireland, UK and Norway and is coordinated by CyRIC – Cyprus Research and Innovation Center Ltd. The heart of the device are the eight different biosensors developed for detecting 4 categories of man-made chemicals and 4 categories of microalgae toxins. During the project, four prototypes will be built and used for real-world demonstration of the technology through long term monitoring campaigns (2017) in Cyprus, Spain Ireland (on buoys) and Norway (inside a ferryboat).
CyRIC is coordinating the project and is responsible for the overall project management. From a technical point of view, CyRIC is designing and developing the MariaBox device mechanical and hydraulic sub-systems. The company is also leading the system integration.