New EU UNITED project testing multi-use of marine infrastructures

Published: 21 February 2020

European seas are undergoing massive developments of marine infrastructure. Competing activities and spatial claims coming from both traditional exploitation and new sustainable economic activities are increasing. To research and test more sustainable and economical use of the offshore platforms in the EU seas, the UNITED project was launched at Deltares last month. Representatives of the 25 involved research partners were received in Delft to discuss the project scope and set the actions for the first year.

Multi-purpose offshore platforms – artist impression

Multi-use of offshore platforms in five pilots

Multi-use of marine space and facilities is proposed as the more efficient and sustainable approach for business innovation and investment strategies. A range of economic and ecological productive processes can potentially benefit from multi-use of aquative platforms.
The UNITED project tests the viability of the multi-use of offshore platforms. In five pilots combinations of different components such as renewable energy (wind and solar), aquaculture, maritime transport and tourism are tested. The tests include the design, implementation and operational phases of such platforms. As an outcome, the UNITED project will provide solutions to improve operation, planning and management of multiple marine offshore activities in the form of technical reports, guidelines, workshops, roadmaps and tools.

Pilot project approach

In the pilot projects Deltares applies a multi-disciplinary approach with several specialists working in the fields of engineering, environmental modelling, economic analysis, marine spatial planning and decision support. Furthermore, Deltares is responsible for the overall coordination of the pilot projects and is in the lead for the Technology pillar.

The UNITED project builds upon the results of the MERMAID project. Related to UNITED is the current EU project IMPAQT, testing IMTA (Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture). Deltares is developing tools to facilitate the development and implementation of IMTA.

UNITED Kick-off meeting at Deltares, 27-29 January 2020