Our oceans are the largest connected ecosystem in the world and rich in valuable resources. But how can we tap into these resources while protecting the oceans effectively? This challenge is addressed by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and its partner organizations: +Atlantic CoLAB, AZTI, ENEA, IFREMER, RISE, SINTEF Ocean, TECNALIA, TNO and VTT.
The applied research organizations have pooled their expertise in the cross-European “Sustainable Sea and Ocean Solutions ISSS” innovation platform. Its aim is to promote the so-called blue growth in the established and upcoming markets of the maritime economy in accordance with the Green Deal, across national and international levels. With this intention in mind, the participants want to effectively expand the knowledge and innovation base in marine engineering and underwater technology, drive the development of new technologies and materials together with the industry and accelerate their use and transfer to practical application. To this end, the partners are focusing on connected research projects, coordinated investment and political support. The “UN Decade of Ocean Science” from 2021 to 2030 for sustainable development provides an additional platform and options at an international level. In the medium term, the idea is to make the platform the most efficient innovation provider in the world — always working in close collaboration with business and society.
The research organizations will establish four hubs initially, one each in the Atlantic, Western Mediterranean, Baltic and North Seas, which will focus on aquaculture, energy and resource harvesting and ocean cleaning. The removal of old munitions from the Baltic and North Seas, for example, is a task that will take generations to accomplish and will be one of the focus projects.
At the virtual event “A boost for sustainable sea and ocean solutions. Intelligent technologies for the Blue Economy - ISSS platform” on September 23, the research organizations will introduce their innovation platform as part of the “EMD in My Country” series. Specialist teams will explain their solutions to protect the oceans and present the latest research results. In addition, experts from the worlds of science, business and politics will discuss how best to tackle the challenges faced by the vital ocean habitat, for a healthy ecosystem on our blue planet despite commercial use.