Periodic Reporting for period 1 - UNITED (Multi-Use offshore platforms demoNstrators for boostIng cost-effecTive and Eco-friendly proDuction in sustainable marine activities)
Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-06-30
In order to support the EU Blue Growth strategy and mitigate competition for space in the marine environment, the UNITED project will center on pilots that either operate multi-use platforms or exhibit the co-location of economic activities within European waters. UNITED will be harmonizing the logistic support, service vehicles, equipment and infrastructures required by the multiple users within the pilots, the streamlined ICT and information systems will be capable of supporting simultaneous activities and addressing risk management, juridical and governance aspects in operational facilities. Under the right circumstances, multi-use of a marine space through the development of multi-use platforms or co-location of complementary activities in a marine environment can result in a more efficient use of ocean space, fostering a range of productive economic and ecological processes that can potentially benefit from each other in terms of spatial efficiency, functional synergies, sharing permitting investment and infrastructures to reduce operational and maintenance costs and create win-win solutions. Demonstrating the success of such pilots will boost the capacity of the blue economy within European waters and increase the efficiency and multi-functionality between the traditionally competing interests in these sectors. Furthermore, improvements to health, safety, efficiency, and associated cost reduction of such co-located activities will be demonstrated through the optimization within the UNITED pilots. The activities in the five pilots supported by UNITED will address bottlenecks and obstacles in co-location and multi-use facilities while demonstrating synergies and benefits of such complementary activities operating in the same space. Resulting lessons learned, knowledge and technological improvement resulting from this work and subsequent assessments related to health, safety, and operational activities will be distilled into a roadmap for future implementation. Specific attention is paid to the scalability of such actions to provide viable business plans ready for implementation. The roadmap will be utilized in the up-scaling of activities and roll-out of additional MUCL operations. This will enable stakeholders and other industry actors to adapt configurations and scales of UNITED in other locations for implementation.
UNITED will contribute to the overall competitiveness of European businesses, adding multiple operational multi-use sites to the portfolio of EU based industrial actors and SMEs while including in the roadmap steps for upscaling and wider implementation to a wide range of stakeholders. Bringing cutting-edge technology at an operational stage in Europe will open up possibilities to export these technologies, monitoring systems, and operational levels while providing first-mover advantages to the EU with long lasting effects. Technology and knowledge transfers will also contribute to the operational and process-related enhancements in other sectors of the EU economy and blue-growth actions, with impacts that can extend to the structural nature and the technological profile of production process in the EU. An additional ambition regards the contribution towards food security, sustainable spatial planning, energy and environmental integrity. Enabling the multi-use concept to gain its momentum in the real-life environment will add to the EU efforts and goals towards the sustainable and efficient management of space and resources at reach, with the effects extending well beyond the life time of the project.