event 10 nov. 2016

Project // SIM4NEXUS

SIM4NEXUS envisions the Nexus concept as an integral part of the transition towards a resource-efficient and low-carbon economy. In order to boost the necessary transition SIM4NEXUS aims to develop innovative methodologies for the facilitation of the design of policies and bridge knowledge and technology gaps in the field of the water-land-food-energy-climate Nexus under climate change conditions.

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Website: Home | sim4nexus

SIM4NEXUS stands for Sustainable Integrated Management FOR the NEXUS of water-land-food-energy-climate for a resource-efficient Europe. The project runs for 4 years starting from June 2016 with a budget of €7.9 million.

Water, land, food, energy, and climate are interconnected, comprising a coherent system (the ‘Nexus’), dominated by complexity and feedback. Putting pressure on one part of the Nexus can create pressures on the others. Management of the Nexus is critical to securing the efficient use of our scarce resources. Through the five nexus themes, SIM4NEXUS aims to predict society-wide impacts of resource use and relevant policies on sectors such as agriculture, water, biodiversity and ecosystem services through a model-based analysis.

SIM4NEXUS will achieve this through:

  1. Scientific basis. To consist of (i) a complexity science library of integrated tools that use complexity science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches. (ii) a GeoPlatform to integrate data and metadata sources on all themes for decision and policy-making. The foundation of these components will be seven established computer models, each integrating two or more nexus themes (see below for more detail). (iii) A Knowledge Elicitation Engine (KEE) to provide the link to the Serious Game interface.
  2. Serious Game (SG). To create a user-friendly, cluod-based interface that will allow general experts to understand the Nexus themes, how they interact, and to test scenarios and policy choices, and to ultimately policymakers and policy decisions.
  3. Capability building and consultancy. Reliable application of the Serious Game and underlying models will require expert guidance and management. Project experts will work with ‘customers’ to support in-depth and project-specific Nexus studies, to help guide policy choices and decision-making. Other spin-off products will be developed to maximise the potential of the SG and SIM4NEXUS results.
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Work Packages

Work Package 1: Understanding the NEXUS

This Work Package creates a scientific inventory on the nexus and advances the state-of-the art in Nexus research. In this WP, we develop the Framework for the assessment of the Nexus to be used in the case studies, we identify suitable innovations/low carbon options to be implemented in the case studies, while Nexus Performance Indicators (NPIs) are used to assess how these innovations lead in Nexus-compliant practices and improve resource efficiency.

Work Package 2: Policy Analysis

WP2 analyses policy coherence for the Nexus at different scales and different phases of planning and implementation. It provides a better understanding of how the Nexus-relevant and related policies (e.g., biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals) are linked.

Work Package 3: Thematic Models and Integration

WP 3 will organize and carry out the application of the thematic models for partial simulation of the Nexus components of the Case Studies under different scenarios. It will then collect and organize the data from these runs into a semantic database that will be used for the complexity science tools to be developed for the integration. It will also review and select the most suitable integration methodologies for the Case Studies and the serious game (for WP4), and, using them, will develop the integrated complexity science models for all the Case Studies. These complexity science models will then run for a large number of scenarios.

Work Package 4: Serious Game

WP4 focuses on defining, implementing, testing and validating the Serious Game. The Serious Game will assist policy makers and stakeholders to better understanding and visualizing policies at various geographical and temporal resolutions, leading towards a better scientific understanding of the Nexus via unique immersive experience.

Work Package 5: Case Studies

WP5 supports the implementation of Nexus-compliant practices in Europe. The methodologies of integration and tools of integrating the Nexus components are applied, addressing real-life challenges in 12 selected case studies at regional, national, European and global scales.

Work Package 6: Business Plan

WP6 will create a business plan for the marketing the Serious Game.

Work Package 7: Communication

WP7 targets a broad spectrum of audiences through dissemination and communication activities, with a clear priority on decision-makers for the individual resources of the Nexus and researchers (e.g. related to IPCC).

Work Package 8: Project Management

This WP focuses on internal management and coordination.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 689150 SIM4NEXUS. SIMNEXUS is a member of the ict4water cluster and is leading the Water-Energy-Food Biodiversity Nexus WSSTP working group.

Further reading

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