Technologies and Application Areas


In collaboration with the relevant stakeholders in research, industry and policy, the joint research activities of the Innovation Platform Sustainable Sea and Ocean Solutions ISSS will focus on the development and qualification of new technologies for autonomous operations, such as communication, navigation and information technologies and material and production technologies for extreme environments, including cross-cutting digitalization techniques.
Such technologies include, for example:

  • Sea and ocean robotics and vehicles
  • Sea and ocean communications
  • Sea and ocean sensors and actuators
  • Sea and ocean-robust materials and systems
  • Sea and ocean logistics
  • Sean and ocean signal processing and data analysis

Collaborative research and partnerships across sectors create scale economies and require a long-term approach to cross-sectoral technological cooperation in R&D to implement robust, reliable and sustainable technologies. The Innovation Platform will interlink existing research infrastructures and establish new ones offshore and onshore, as well as establish joint data platforms across Europe for interdisciplinary research to reduce the risk of costly, unplanned and unnecessarily complex rulings being issued to responsible business operations.
With a strong emphasis on digitalization, innovation activities will focus on the development of:

  • New sensors for monitoring physical, chemical and biological parameters
  • Robust and reliable power supply for subsea technologies
  • Autonomous systems for inspection, intervention, monitoring and control, maintenance and decommissioning
  • Technologies for navigation and communication
  • Command and control methodologies for subsea navigation, communication, mission adaptation and cooperation
  • Technologies for removal of marine pollution and detection and removal of unexploded ordnance
  • Technologies for detection and prevention of CO2 and hydrocarbon releases from sediments, e.g., in marine research, and for monitoring technical underwater installations
  • New materials for extreme environmental conditions

It will also focus on creating and developing the following research infrastructures (for research and industry):

  • European network of research and testing facilities
  • European network of multipurpose platforms (e.g., energy harvesting and aquaculture)
  • Maritime Data Space and Ocean Internet of Things
  • European network for modular sea and ocean robotics
  • Satellite network for affordable broadband communication
  • Offshore European power grid
  • Marine observatory for environmental aspects, including Copernicus and Ocean Research Infrastructures
  • Innovative port infrastructure
  • Research vessels for rapid response missions
  • Civil sea and ocean monitoring network
  • Education and training network for sea and ocean technologies

Application Areas

The Innovation Platform Sustainable Sea and Ocean Solutions aim is a fast transfer into industrial applications within the three central application areas Aquaculture, Ocean Cleaning and Energy and Raw Materials Harvesting and its implementation areas of Europe’s sea basins.

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© Pexels/Jeremy Bishop


This application area Aquaculture comprises all value chains related to the extraction of marine living resources, such as sustainable fisheries or seaweed harvesting, with the goal of expanding blue biotechnology. Food supply will have to increase 60 % by 2050 to meet the demands of a projected population of 9 billion. Sustainable food and feed production is key to meeting the Green Deal goals within the Farm-to-Fork strategy. Therefore, new technologies and strategies for food/feed production systems are required  to respond to pressures on food webs resulting from climate change, physical degradation, competing uses and fisheries-induced evolution. Technologies for the circular aquaculture economy include solutions for cage maintenance, e.g., cleaning and repairing, aquaculture monitoring and data analytics to improve cultivation efficiency and effectivity.

New blue biotechnologies may provide a more sustainable way to produce food, feed, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, biomedicals, biopolymers and enzymes by using renewable genetic marine resources. This will also entail an increasing need for tools and knowledge to sustainably develop marine-based products with industrial applications.


Energy and Raw Materials Harvesting

This application area Energy and Raw Materials Harvesting comprises all value chains related to renewable energy, such as offshore wind and ocean energy, as well as the extraction of marine non-living resources. The ocean will play a key role in the transition to a sustainable global energy system, while the established extraction of minerals, oil and gas is mostly in decline due to decreasing production and increasing costs; projections suggest significant growth by 2050. The raw materials policy, reinforced in the context of the EU Industrial Policy Strategy, positions critical raw materials (with high supply risk, high economic importance and lack of substitutes) as key elements for the industrial value chains. Marine minerals could be a future supply source when extracted with environmentally friendly practices


Ocean Cleaning

This application area Ocean Cleaning comprises all value chains related to the removal of marine litter, such as plastic waste (micro- and macroplastics) and removal of unexploded ordnance. Cleaning the oceans of plastic waste is crucial to strengthening the coastal and environmental protection sectors. There are between around 100 and 142 million tons of waste in the oceans. In addition, an estimated 8 million tons of plastic waste and 1.5 million tons of microplastics enter the oceans every year. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), an average of 13,000 plastic waste particles now floats on every square kilometer of sea surface. A further very important aspect for healthy and secure oceans and coastlines is the removal of unexploded ordinance. Approximately 1 million tons of bombs, 1.6 million tons of conventional warfare agents and 0.25 million tons of chemical warfare agents pollute the North and the Baltic Sea alone and they increasingly represent a danger in the sea and on the coastlines.


Joanna Przedrzymirska-Ziółkowska

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Joanna Przedrzymirska-Ziółkowska

Project Lead Sustainable Sea and Ocean Solutions (ISSS)

Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD
Joachim-Jungius-Str. 11
18059 Rostock, Germany

Phone +49 15152026776

Lorena Iden

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Lorena Iden

Project Development Sustainable Sea and Ocean Solutions (ISSS)

Fraunhofer-Institut für Graphische Datenverarbeitung IGD
Joachim-Jungius-Str. 11
18059 Rostock, Germany

Phone +49381 4024 486

Katrin  Mögele

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Katrin Mögele

EU Office Brussels

Mobile +49 151 41486451