Project Summary: FR EL MT LV DE

Project overview


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. The first step of the project will focus on building a complexity science library of integrated tools that use complexity science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches. A GeoPlatform to integrate data and metadata sources on all themes for decision and policy-making will also be developed. The foundation of these components will be seven established computer models, each integrating two or more nexus themes (see below for more detail). A Knowledge Elicitation Engine (KEE) will provide the link to the Serious Game interface.
  2. Serious Game (SG). Within the project, a Serious Game will be programmed to create a user-friendly, cloud-based interface that will allow general experts to understand the Nexus themes, how they interact, and to test scenarios and policy choices. Ultimately, the Serious Game aims to support decision-making by policy and civil society.
  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.



The Fig. 1 flowchart provides an overview of the interaction between the different outputs. Fig. 2 presents the schematic of the SIM4NEXUS system showing how different modules interact through different scales Fig. 3 gives a schematic presentation of the SIM4NEXUS workflow of its 8 work packages.

Fig. 1 Outputs

Fig. 2 Interaction of Modules

Fig 3. Work Packages


Work Package Descriptions

This Work Package creates a scientific inventory on the nexus and advances the state-of-the art in Nexus research. In this WP, we will develop the framework for the assessment of the Nexus to be used in the case studies (WP 5), including the identification of suitable innovations/low carbon options. In addition, Nexus Performance Indicators (NPIs) will be used to assess how these innovations lead in Nexus-compliant practices and improve resource efficiency.

WP2 analyses policy coherence among the Nexus policies - water, energy, land, food and climate - at different scales and different phases of planning and implementation. It outcome of the work package will provide a better understanding of how the Nexus-relevant and related policies (e.g., biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals) are linked.

WP 3 will apply the thematic models selected for the project within the individual Case Studies. This step will enable a partial simulation of the Nexus components under different scenarios, which will feed into the development of the Serious Game. Based on the testing, the partners will then collect and organize the data into a semantic database that houses  the complexity science tools (WP 1). It will also review and select the most suitable integration methodologies for the Case Studies and the Serious Game (for WP4). Thereby, integrated complexity science models will be developed for all the Case Studies. These complexity science models will then be used to run a large number of scenarios.

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

WP5 supports the implementation of Nexus-compliant practices in Europe. Themethodologies and tools to integrate the Nexus components will be applied, addressing real-life challenges in 12 selected case studies at regional, national, European and global scales.

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

WP7 focuses on dissemination and communication activities, both within the consortium and to  a broad spectrum of stakeholders and interested parties. Communication activities will include promoting the project within various Nexus relevant networks, holding presentations at regional, national and international workshops and oonferences and the publication of scientific articles.

This WP focuses on internal management and coordination.


Fifth Energy and Society Conference


New publications from the Greek case study


SIM4NEXUS shares its findings on the Horizon Results Platform