High-Performance Center

Sustainable Ocean Business, Rostock/Lübeck

The High-Performance Center SUSTAINABLE OCEAN BUSINESS supports companies, start-ups and investors on questions relating to the sustainable use of the oceans. Our goal is to promote innovative technologies and their transfer to society, creating economically and ecologically sustainable added value.

As a consultant, mediator and signal generator, SUSTAINABLE OCEAN BUSINESS is committed to the sustainable use of the oceans in close cooperation between business and science. We act as advisors and brokers for our partners and provide technological expertise, testing and inspection infrastructure as well as access to excellent talent and expertise.


Technologies & Competencies

The High-Performance Center SUSTAINABLE OCEAN BUSINESS brings people, ideas and resources together to actively shape and promote the sustainable use of the oceans. We rely on a comprehensive technology- and competence-network, the strength of which lies in the intersections of the individual disciplines:

  • Marine biotechnology & aquaculture
  • Maritime systems
  • Sensor technology for maritime applications
  • Production processes for underwater applications
  • Digitization & maritime data
  • Measuring & monitoring
  • Materials in maritime environments
  • Infrastructure and testing options

This collaborative approach will give rise to interdisciplinary research questions whose solutions will shape the sustainable use of the oceans.

An analytics lab will enable the evaluation of selected marine environmental parameters, with a focus on microbiological investigations into water quality and efficient analytics to characterize pollutants such as microplastics. Quality standards are to be specified and made available to the market in a standardized manner.

Another research focus is on the multi-sensory assessment of underwater structures such as ship hulls or sheet pile walls. Using flexible equipment carriers, existing optical and acoustic sensor-arrays fit for underwater use are integrated, combined with comprehensive evaluation software and are thus qualified for use in different application scenarios until they are ready for market.

Moreover, a "Structural Health Monitoring System" is being developed and tested to detect faults in dynamic power cables. The goal is a complete wireless solution with permanently installed sensors and on-site data acquisition.

Projects and References

Martime Smart Sensor Data Space X (Marispace-X)

Consortium formation for Europe's largest maritime digitization project

With the support of the High-Performance Centre in submitting applications and forming the project-consortium, the Fraunhofer IGD is working together with another 8 partners, 25 associated partners and 10 maritime stakeholders on topics like the Internet of Underwater Things.

Marispace-X (marispacex.com)


Sustainable Blue Economy – Transformation, value and potential of marine economies & ecosystems

The FERI Cognitive Finance Institute, together with the FRAUNHOFER Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, have summarized the most important strategies for the sustainable economic use of the world's oceans. The study, titled "Sustainable Blue Economy - Transformation, Value and Potential of Marine Economic & Ecosystems", presents current scientific findings and highlights potential investment areas as well as innovative technologies that could revolutionize shipping, marine infrastructure, the generation of renewable energy from the sea and marine and coastal protection.

Sustainable Blue Economy: Investitionen für eine nachhaltige Meereswirtschaft (in German)

Transfer by Research-Design

Developing new transfer paths by involving politics and society in the R&D process

Together with the Center for Responsible Research and Innovation at FRAUNHOFER IAO and the SIMULATION & SOFTWARE-BASED INNOVATION High-Performance Centre, SUSTAINABLE OCEAN BUSINESS is developing methods and procedures to systematically involve politics and society in research and transfer processes. This means that conditions and impulses for social acceptance as well as requirements for sustainability and political regulation can be already considered in the research process and in the development of technological innovations.

TRAFO (in German)im neuen Fenster: Projektwebseite Aquakultur



Building a community of practice for the aquaculture industry

Aquaculture@Fraunhofer is a community of practice for research, consulting and transfer along the value chain of the aquaculture sector. The community has set itself the task of connecting industry and research in the field of aquaculture and initiating cooperations with the expertise of various FRAUNHOFER Institutes. The community has a particular focus on sustainability and the circular economy. Thanks to its members, the community offers unique expertise in a range of topics pertaining to the aquaculture sector. Focus-areas are fish nutrition and feed technology, fish health and animal welfare, innovative aquaculture technology and fish farming, digitization and automation, aquatic resources for the food and health industry as well as water treatment and analytics. The community has various experimental infrastructures and test capacities to drive successful research.



Technology transfer & business development in aquaculture, offshore energy and multi-use sectors


Aquaculture is a growing global market and is seen as a key research and development field reagrding food security of a growing world population. From feed production to food manufacturing to pharmaceuticals and medicine, numerous industries benefit from the findings of basic and applied aquaculture research.

The need for rearing aquatic organisms is constantly increasing - especially for use as food and feed or as nutritional supplements. Due to stagnating yields from fisheries and the increasing demand of a growing world population, a supply gap has arisen, half of which is already covered by aquaculture today. However, the further expansion of aquaculture is encountering various limitations, both regionally and nationally, which require new biological and technological solutions. The innovations must be designed to be socially and environmentally viable for the sector to develop sustainably.

The FRAUNHOFER Society has long been researching innovative, sustainable solutions in the field of aquaculture for an internationally oriented market with increasing growth rates – thus contributing to secure an environmentally-friendly food supply.


Offshore Energy & Multi-Use

Offshore wind farms are a central component of Germany’s energy transition. The expansion targets (30GW by 2030, 70GW by 2045) are ambitious and involve a multitude of technical, logistical and legal challenges for the industry. The High-Performance Centre SUSTAINABLE OCEAN BUSINESS supports the industry with applied know-how, e.g. in the development of technological innovations, materials and production resources or in the development of alternative concepts in logistics and capacity planning as well as new approaches to the inspection and maintenance of offshore assets.

Other key topics are (AI-supported, automated) environmental monitoring, data management, flow simulations or the creation of digital twins.

Another challenge in offshore expansion is maritime spatial planning, or the parallel use of marine areas ("multi-use") by different interest groups. To avoid potential conflicts of different use-cases due to the limited space available in the German EEZ, SUSTAINABLE OCEAN BUSINESS actively supports innovative solutions and partners in this area. The issues of multi-use also cross-over and synergize well with the field of aquaculture, enabling the High-Performance Centre and its partners to develop holistic and integrated solutions for a sustainable use of marine resources.