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Delivering the sub-sea technologies for new services at sea


Specific challenge:The development of a new maritime economy necessitates tackling a range of technological challenges. One such challenge is the ability to remotely execute unmanned underwater operations ranging from simple observation/data collection and transmission of information to more complex industrial operations. Technologies deployed for maritime research (Remotely Operated Vehicles - ROVs, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles – AUVs) must be further improved, industrialised, i.e. made more robust, cost-effective, reliable and sophisticated (in terms of operating capabilities) and with increased autonomy. Another challenge is the ability to operate at even higher depths (down to 6,000m), and in extreme conditions (e.g. Arctic regions, with corrosive products, heavy/viscous liquids, high pressure - high temperature systems, etc.). The control of the potential impact on the environment of these activities is also important.

Scope: Proposals should address the innovative design of new underwater vehicles and robots and/or their main components required to work undersea. If relevant, proposals could go to the stage of demonstrators or prototypes. The areas of interest are the following:

  • Remotely Operated Vehicles and Subsea Construction systems
  • Specialised 'Robots' and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, deployment, recovery and docking systems
  • Subsea 'factory' machineries.

Where relevant, activities should cover the development of European standards.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 8–10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

  • Enable sustainable and safe offshore operations by European industries in extreme conditions (deep sea areas, Arctic conditions, corrosive products, high pressure and temperature...);
  • Increase cost-effectiveness and competitiveness of the existing and new offshore economy (including marine renewable energy);
  • Improve the scientific capacity to observe and understand the water column, the deep sea environment and their resources.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions