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Multi-use of the oceans' marine space, offshore and near-shore: compatibility, regulations, environmental and legal issues
Deadline: Feb 17, 2016  

 Renewable Energy
 Maritime transport
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Combining several activities such as renewable energy, aquaculture, maritime transport and related services in the same marine space, as well as the introduction of multi-use platforms, has the possibility to dividing the infrastructure overhead and reducing the costs of offshore operations, and the demand on the space needed for different activities. One barrier to multi use of the oceans is that different environmental, safety and regulatory regimes and practices apply to different sectors and to different national jurisdictions. Furthermore, there is a lack of common understanding of the nature of operations within different sectors and the feasibility of combining these in a way that provides mutual benefits. The challenge is to identify the real and perceived barriers to integration. There is a need for a clear overview of compatibility, regulatory, environmental, safety, societal and legal issues within the context of the maritime spatial planning directive and how they impact on the combining of different marine and maritime activities.


The environmental, spatial, economic and societal benefits of co-location of offshore and near-shore activities can be hindered by potentially inappropriate regulatory, operational, environmental, health and safety, societal and legal barriers. An overview of all barriers both real and perceived is required as well as an action plan to overcome these challenges. It is expected that stakeholders (industry, NGOs, governmental organisations, research organisations and representatives of concerned local communities) are actively engaged in work within this action. Projects funded under this topic will by default participate in the Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020, with the option to opt-out, as described in the introduction.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 2 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In order to reduce costs of offshore and near-shore operations and the marine space needed for different activities, the project will:

  • Enable a full understanding of barriers and possibilities associated with combining marine activities.
  • Reduce risks associated with the commercial development of combined activities offshore as well as near-shore.
  • Concentrate marine activities to enable the more efficient use of the marine space with reduced environmental impact.
  • Enhance social acceptance of these new developments by local communities and society-at-large.
  • Increase development of European offshore activities that support the Blue Growth agenda.
  • Better harmonise regulations.

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