Work Packages

WP1: Project management


 Leader: Erik Damgaard Christensen, DTU


The general aim of WP1 to provide administrative management to the project, which will ensure that the project achieves its objectives.


Task 1.1   Financial and legal aspects
Task 1.2   Review and manage progress
Task 1.3   Coordination and Communication


WP2: Assessment of policy, planning and management strategies


Leader: Marian Stuiver, DLO


WP2 aims to put the simultaneous integration of technical, economic, ecological, spatial and societal objectives at the heart of the development of MUPs, by involving all stakeholders in the entire design process, thus integrating ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ design requirements. The basis of participatory design is the notion of incorporating the users and other relevant stakeholders in the design process. The focus is on collaborating with the intended users throughout the design and development process, rather than designing a system for them. Central to this WP is a cyclical, iterative and participatory process of scoping, envisioning and learning through which a shared interpretation of MUPS is developed and applied in an integrated manner. Two principles underlie this approach:

  • The principle of non-linear knowledge generation, which means that knowledge is developed in a complex, interactive process of co-production with a range of stakeholders involved.
  • The principle of social learning, which means that all one can do in complex and uncertain search processes for sustainable directions with no ready-made solutions at hand, is to experiment and learn from these experiments in a social environment through interaction with other actors
Task 2.0    Technical coordination (Leader: Marian Stuiver, DLO)
Task 2.1    Current policy, planning and management strategies (Leader: Phoebe Koundouri, AUEB)
Task 2.2    Stake holder engagement and participation (Leader: Marian Stuiver, DLO)
Task 2.3    Developing platform solutions (Leader: Marian Stuiver, DLO)
Task 2.4    Lessons learned: Risks and guidelines for successful development of MUPs (Leader: Marian Stuiver, DLO)

WP3: Development of renewable energy conversion from wind and waves


Leader: Iñigo J. Losada, UNICAN


The main aim of WP3 is to contribute to the exploration of conceptual technical designs of innovative integrated offshore platforms to harvest ocean energy and offshore wind together with other utilizations such as aquaculture and transportation (MUPs).
This WP shall mainly review existing and in-progress technologies of the different subsystems required for the structural and functional elements of the MUPs, namely the overall layout, the substructure, energy convertors, grid connection and compatibility between them for the final purpose of integration. Regarding the overall layout, the following concepts will be explored:

  • Multi-purpose farm design, based on the integration of multiple users in a single farm by sharing studies, manpower, tools, infrastructures and transport services aspects, aimed at optimizing the design
  • The design of multi-purpose platforms which can be installed individually or in farms.

WP3 will also estimate the availability of ocean renewable energy resources at a selection of sites where combined sources can be considered. Additionally it aims to identify the relevant impacts which are associated with the development and operation of the concepts at hand. Based on this information a parameter map can be developed which will assist in finding the best suited technical conceptual design for a given location. This information will serve as a basis for a refined design to be carried out in WP7 for the selected study sites. For each of the different tasks within this WP, specific research will be carried out to improve our knowledge on the different subsystems considered.


Task 3.0    Technical coordination (Leader: Iñigo J. Losada, UNICAN)
Task 3.1    Assessment of ocean renewable energy resources  (Leader: Erik Damgaard Christensen, DTU(RISOE))
Task 3.2    Offshore technology (Leader: Iñigo J. Losada, UNICAN)
Task 3.3    Energy converters (Leader: Barbara_Zanuttigh, UNIBO)
Task 3.4    Integration of energy convertors in multi-use offshore platforms (Leader: Roberto Suffredini, ENEL)
Task 3.5    Conceptual environmental impact assessment for multi-use offshore platforms (Leader: Barbara_Zanuttigh, UNIBO)

WP4: Systems for sustainable aquaculture and ecologically based design


Leader: Flemming Møhlenberg, DHI


The general objective of WP4 is to develop, test and document sustainable and environmental-friendly and cost –efficient offshore production systems. Based on present and near-future market demands offshore fish farming (salmon and trout in NE Atlantic/Baltic, seabream and seabass in the Mediterranean) has the strongest potential, followed by shellfish culture (mussels, oysters and carpet shells) while seaweed (e.g. Saccharina) production should been seen as supportive element acting as mitigating nutrient release and a novel wave damping device protecting the other aquaculture production units. Harvested seaweed could be used as high-value products or in biorefinery processes.

Seen from commercial perspective most offshore farms seem over-developed and too costly. Fish farms moored offshore in high-energy environments, experience numerous environmental conditions that differ from near-shore aquaculture farms, including exposure to strong wind and waves from all directions creating severe conditions that can prevent operators from being able to access their farms for longer periods.

Aquaculture developments also at offshore locations raise issues of concern in terms of environmental impacts and ecosystem health. For aquaculture systems to be sustainable, they should not cause damage to natural systems by critically increasing (e.g. nutrients) or decreasing the concentrations of natural substances (e.g. chlorophyll). Other potential impacts relate to increasing concentration of man-made substances, such as persistent chemicals and through physical disturbance leading to habitat changes. Besides, at increasing distance from coast and larger depth, abundance of pelagic larvae from epibenthic organisms generally decrease making nets, rings and anchor ropes less vulnerable to fouling. In effect, offshore aquaculture could also lead reduced needs of antifouling paints thereby reducing environmental impacts.


Task 4.0    Technical coordination (Leader: Flemming Møhlenberg, DHI)
Task 4.1    Design and optimization of aquaculture (Leader: Flemming Møhlenberg, DHI)
Task 4.2    Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) (Leader: Job Schipper, HORT)
Task 4.3    Improving fish health (Leader: Øivind Bergh, IMR)
Task 4.4    Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitat Modification (Leader: Flemming Møhlenberg, DHI)

WP5: Interaction of platform with hydrodynamic conditions and seabed


Leader: Jan-Joost Schouten, Deltares


The main objective of WP5 is to support the design phase of MUPs (multi-use offshore platforms) with advanced and applicable tools based on extensive experience, available data and research.

When designing an offshore multi-use platform the interaction between the platform and the environment should be analysed in detail for reasons of technical and economical feasibility, environmental impact and assessing the potential of incorporating multiple functionalities including logistical aspects. This WP will focus on the interaction between the MUP, the meteorological and hydrodynamic conditions as well as the seabed. These environmental conditions vary significantly along the European seas. In order to make MERMAID’s designs of MUP’s applicable in various locations over Europe, four representative regional seas will be studied, i.e. North Sea, Mediterranean, Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Coast of France and Spain. The interaction between the MUP and the environment depends on the type of support structure. Fixed (i.e. mono-piles, jackets or gravity-based-structures (GBS)) and floating structures will be considered.


Complementing to other WP’s
An important task of WP5 is to support the design of the MUPs (which are developed under WP2, with a wide range of stakeholders) on feasibility and optimization of various different functions. It is essential to have detailed collaboration between WP2 and WP5, resulting in interaction between the technical designers and stakeholders. Therefore time is reserved under WP5 to integrate the outcome of the workshops (during which stakeholders will come up with non-technical design requirements and will comment on the preliminary designs) in the technical designs. In addition, the hydrodynamic numerical models setup under WP5, and the results of various proposed assessments on detailed processes, will be used to support several tasks in the other WP’s


Task 5.0    Technical coordination (Leader: Jan-Joost Schouten, Deltares)
Task 5.1    Atmospheric and met-ocean data modelling (Leader: Erik Damgaard Christensen, DTU (RISOE))
Task 5.2    Hydrodynamic dispersion from construction and operation (Leader: Flemming Møhlenberg, DHI)
Task 5.3    Forces on the MUP - Interaction between seabed, structure, waves and currents (Leader: Erik Damgaard Christensen, DTU)
Task 5.4    Seabed interaction and geotechnical support (Leader: Dong-Sheng Jeng, UoD)

WP6: Transport and optimization of installation, operation, and maintenance


Leader: Wei He, STATOIL


The aim of WP6 is to develop the operator’s decision support tool-box for the MUP installation, operation and maintenance. The numerical tools which will be used include:

  • the database of the crucial wind/wave and site data, and wind farm design from WP3
  • the database of the aquaculture key parameters and the aquaculture farm design from WP4,
  • a quantitative evaluation of MUP specific transport technologies and a forecast of the transport vessels access rate and landing during installation, operation and maintenance
  • the useful tools of the remote sensing technology


A business case will illustrate the MUP design, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning. The MUP case includes an energy extraction facility (200×5 MW wind farm), an aquaculture farm (100 km2), and marine services for MUP and public.
The synergies and the disadvantages of the MUP comparison to the offshore wind farm will be quantitatively assessed with regard to the yield, cost and impacts on the marine environment.


Task 6.0    Technical coordination (Leader: Wei He, STATOIL)
Task 6.1    Set-up a MUP study case (Leader: Wei He, STATOIL)
Task 6.2    MUP transport technologies for installation, operation and maintenance (Leader: Giorgio Bellotti, UR3)
Task 6.3    The synergies and the disadvantages of the MUP (Leader: Wei He, STATOIL)
Task 6.4    Integrating remote sensing technology from fixed and floating devices – aquaculture (Leader: Øivind Bergh, IMR)
Task 6.5    Decision support systems for Multi-use Offshore Platforms – numerical flow and wave models (Leader: Jan-Joost Schouten, Deltares)

WP7: Innovative platform plan and design


Leader: Barbara Zanuttigh, UniBo


The main objective of WP7 is to develop at study sites innovative plans and design for multi-purpose off-shore platforms. This will be achieved by integrating the work within the other WPs and by developing an integrated multidisciplinary approach for the selection of a sustainable platform plan and design.

The MERMAID studies will combine results from all other WPs in real world demonstration. Each pilot study research manager will be located close to the site itself and will have direct links with industrial, legal and societal institutions concerned to marine spatial planning, platform installation and management. A series of possible design options and industrial interaction will be scoped and implemented on a site by site basis. The extent and focus of this interaction will vary from site to site and will depend upon the existence and or flexibility of policies and social, economic and environmental management schemes or constraints.

Two specific tools are envisaged and make up important deliverables of the project:

  • a report to describe the design process at study sites, through application of the methodologies and outcomes derived from all the other WPs.
  • an integrated procedure, detailed into a guideline book, for planning and designing off-shore platforms.


Task 7.0    Technical coordination (Leader: Barbara_Zanuttigh, UniBo)
Task 7.1    Estuarine site, Baltic Sea (Leader: Flemming Møhlenberg, DHI)
Task 7.2    Active morphology site, North Sea and Wadden Sea (Leader: Jan-Joost Schouten, Deltares)
Task 7.3    Open deep water site, Atlantic Ocean (Leader: Iñigo J. Losada, UoC)
Task 7.4    Deep sheltered site, Mediterranean Sea (Leader: Barbara_Zanuttigh, UniBo)
Task 7.5    Data Bases Development: The Information Technology Platform of the Project (Leaders: Evita Mailli, UoA and Yannis Ioannidis, UoA)


WP8: Economical, technical and environmental feasibility of multi-use Platforms


Leader: Phoebe Koundouri, AUEB


The main aim of WP8 is to assess the socio-economic viability of novel designs of multi-use offshore platforms. In the framework of analysis that will be developed, economic viability is achieved when the following conditions are simultaneous satisfied:

  • Dynamic and Spatial Economic Efficiency and Sustainability: Economic efficiency satisfies the condition that the marginal (social) cost of each production activity under consideration equals the respective marginal (social) benefit. In this framework both private and social components of costs and benefits are considered in order to provide a holistic economic assessment in terms of efficiency. Production activities are considered sustainable, when the economic efficiency condition is satisfied over time and over space.
  • Dynamic and Spatial Social Equity and Sustainability: Social equity requires that the social effects of the production activities are acceptable and affordable by the different social groups in the region. These affordability and acceptability conditions should be assesed spatially (intra-generational effects) but also dynamically (inter-generational effects).
  • Dynamic and Spatial Environmental and Ecological Sustainability: Environmental and Ecological Sustainability means that the environmental and ecological effects of the activities under consideration are sustainable over space (in the region under consideration) but also over time.

It is also important to note that this analysis will allow direct comparison of offshore multi-use platforms with non-multi-use solutions. The output of WP7 that identifies innovative platform plans and designs will form a solid base for this analysis.


Task 8.0    Technical coordination (Leader: Phoebe Koundouri, AUEB)
Task 8.1    Development of Methodology for Integrated Socio-Economic Assessment (Leader: Phoebe Koundouri, AUEB)
Task 8.2    Socio-economic Analysis on selected Estuarine Site (Baltic Sea) (Leader: Flemming Møhlenberg, DHI)
Task 8.3    Socio-economic Analysis on selected Active Morphology Site (North Sea and Wadden Sea) (Leader: Lars Rosén, CUT)
Task 8.4    Socio-economic Analysis on selected Open Deep Water Site (Atlantic Coast) (Leader: Barbara_Zanuttigh, UniBo)
Task 8.5    Socio-economic Analysis on selected Sheltered Deep Water site (Mediterranean) (Leader: Manfred Lange, EEWRC)
Task 8.6    Risk Analysis on all 4 case studies (Leader: Phoebe Koundouri, AUEB)

WP9: Project dissemination & outreach activities


Leader: Simon Claus, VLIZ


The main objective of WP9 is to establish an efficacious collaboration and exchange of knowledge, information and experiences between, the scientific community, coastal and marine authorities, the industry and potential end users.
Other objectives include the dissemination of the results of the project to the scientific community, authorities and potential end users, and the information of the public at large and relevant end users and stakeholders about the concept of multi-use offshore platforms.


Task 9.0    Coordination of dissemination and outreach activities (Leader: Simon Claus, VLIZ)
Task 9.1    Website (Leader: Daphnis De Pooter, VLIZ)
Task 9.2    Publications (Leader: Hans Pirlet, VLIZ)
Task 9.3    Production of a dissemination movie (Leader: Evy Copejans, VLIZ)
Task 9.4    Translation project deliverables and outcomes into Coastal and Marine Wiki articles (Leader: Hans Pirlet, VLIZ)
Task 9.5    Networking, and knowledge management (Leader: Simon Claus, VLIZ)
Task 9.6    End user conference (Leader: Evy Copejans, VLIZ)