WestMED : Towards a Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform

WestMED organized on the 16 April a Hackathon dedicated to Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform.

picture of container with behing a shore and wind farms

A container ship leaving a harbor. Shutterstock/Bohdan Kovtyk


Technological Innovations for an improved management of the sea

Technological innovations have emerged through time in relation to high-techs and digitalization (e.g. smart devices, robotics, informational computing, big data, marine “internet of things- IoT”, machine learning, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine interaction).

Such innovations could be effectively channeled to ensure smart, interoperable and efficient management of data and information (following the FAIR principles), which may positively impact a number of relevant marine and maritime activities (e.g. maritime spatial planning, maritime observation, surveillance, modelling and monitoring, climate change impacts analysis and scenario building and sectorial decision-making purposes amongst others).

A platform to enhance cooperation on KETS and R&D

In such efforts, the WestMED Initiative organized a series of Hackathon type meetings amongst which Hackathon n4 discussed and assessed the potential for a Mediterranean-wide Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform (Med-MIT) or similar actions and/or projects that could allow for greater cooperation between clusters, research/technological centres, institutions and sectorial actors.

This Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform would aim at fuelling the urgently needed collaborations that could effectively channel Key Enabling Technologies and R&D Topics under one same umbrella towards the achievement of a sustainable Blue Economy in the Mediterranean (WestMED priority) and those related SDGs. The innovation supply chain provided by the platform would serve as an advisory service towards obtaining more risk-informed and data-based decision-making processes.


logo of COST, the European Cooperation in Science and Technology

COST is the European Cooperation in Science and Technology Organisation


First ideas collected and next steps agreed during the digital Hackathon

With this purpose, on 16 April 2020, a group of 30 participants gathered virtually in a first webinar so as to discuss the possibility for creating this Mediterranean-wide Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform as well as to discuss other concrete project ideas and proposals.

The meeting targeted technological and high-tech organisations, clusters, businesses, agencies, data providers, computing facilities and centres, research facilities, investors etc. The final participant list is available below.

In order to move along with the potential creation of this Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform the purpose is to apply to the forthcoming COST Calls (Deadline 29 October 2020). This platform would gather all Maritime Innovation Technologies along the following topics:

  • Digitalization of the Sea: Big Data (Real-time data collection, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, advanced analytics, interoperability)
  • Advanced manufacturing: Digital manufacturing (digital twin, additive manufacturing, 3D printing…) – lower production costs
  • Advanced manufacturing: Automation (Robotics, sensorics, photonics, AI, …) (light, easy to use devices for environment and structure monitoring, as well as innovative services, e.g. remote access to protected sites, crowd science)
  • Advanced and smart materials (high strength, lightweight, cost effective recyclable and reusable materials, intelligent materials with self-healing or self-cleaning properties, with sensing capabilities, with properties that change with locations – New materials reducing their environmental impacts. New concept designs within a circular economy approach
  • Micro and nano electronics: MEMS, INS, labs on chip for marine chemistry and biology (they pave the way to the development of cheap, light, low power consumption devices)
  • Internet of things-IOT, Internet of actions-IOA, Digital Security
  • Spatial planning platforms and DSS –  to maintain the sustainability of the resources
  • Fisheries Management & resources (Technological improvements of boats, energy savings and energy efficiency, discards management, fishing management, catch selectivity and process automation, fishing gear and bait optimization, traceability improvement)
  • Ocean Energy – wave, tidal, otec
  • Industrial Marine Biotechnology (Bio marine – sea foods, seaweeds for food, fuels and drugs – new sources of food, fuels and drugs)
  • Deep Sea Mining
  • Smart and autonomous shipping
  • Marine Litter

The potential role of each partner was also discussed at the Hackathon.

Next Steps for submission were also discussed, such as the creation of the consortia, a more concrete definition of the working groups (topics, tasks, etc.) and a timeline to be fulfilled towards submission. Next meeting of the consortia is envisaged by end of June 2020.

More information

Belgium WestMED Initiative Coordinator & Central Team & National Hubs
United-Kingdom Greenbackers Investment Capital
Italy Italian National Research Council (CNR) / Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Institute of marine engineering
Italy Maritime Technology Cluster FVG
Italy DLTM (Liguria Cluster of Maritime Technologies)
Italy Planetek
Italy University Polytechnic of Turin
Libya General Authority For Marine Wealth
Malta University of Malta
Mauritania STARFISH
Portugal Qualiseg
Portugal EcletikPigment, Lda
Spain Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)
Spain Catalan R+D+I Maritime Network / Xarxa Marítima de Catalunya
Spain Directorate General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs-Gov. of Catalonia
Spain Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena / CORI
Spain Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación
Spain Ministerio de Pesca y Agricultura
Tunisia Tunisian Maritime Cluster


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