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AMBIOS – Autonomous Marine Biodiversity Mapping and Bioprospecting Platform

The collaborative project AMBIOS aims to develop the world's first fully autonomous platform for multi-layer mapping of biodiversity in the marine space and validate it on selected use cases in Mid-Norway.

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AMBIOS is enabled by the consortium's unique access to marine research vessels and autonomous technology, in combination with its transdisciplinary expertise in the fields of biotechnology, marine biology, automation, ICT and modelling of ocean dynamics. The autonomous marine vessels will be equipped with sensors for physicochemical characterization, instruments for automated water sampling, and an underwater video recording system for AI-based detection of macroscopic species in the benthos. Targeting the complete water column, the platform enables comprehensive mapping of marine life in unprecedented detail at reduced cost. We will apply the system to survey three areas of biological, ecological, and economical interest around the Trondheim fjord, and leverage samples and acquired data for three main purposes:

  1. Improving our understanding of how variations in micro- and macro-biodiversity are intercorrelated and with physicochemical parameters.
  2. Extending the existing ocean model SINMOD to allow prediction of biodiversity from real-time sensor data and connect these predictions to the autonomous navigation systems used on the research vessels to enable AI-based systematic data acquisition and targeted sampling at areas of interest.
  3. Extracting and sequencing environmental DNA from selected water samples with the most interesting micro-biodiversity for the purpose of bioprospecting, searching for novel enzyme-encoding genes and biosynthetic gene clusters of potential value in biotechnological or medical applications.
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The technological developments in the project will be complemented by assessments and communication of opportunities and possible consequences of AMBIOS as a new concept for marine exploration and bioprospecting.

AMBIOS is a KSP project financed by the RCN with a budget of 20 MNOK.


For more information about the project AMBIOS, see the website

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Project duration

2023 - 2027