Valorisation | CREST project



The five scientific objectives are translated into valorisation objectives

  1.  provide information and practical advice (including guidelines) about new models for the calculation and simulation of physical coastal processes, wind impact on dunes and beaches and wave impact on structures, buildings and people;
  2.  provide advice to stakeholders in the context of coastal zone management, particularly coastal safety, contingency planning and land use planning along the coast;
  3.  provide information to better assess the environmental impact of coastal protection measures, navigation, etc.;
  4.  provide practical information (e.g. policy indicators, maps and test sites on the beach) to communicate the impact of climate change, storms and wind on our coastline to a broad audience.


The project will provide information that is useful to various stakeholders. Some examples:

  • Entities with expertise in coastal protection, contingency planning and socio-economic impacts of floods (government, engineering consultants, dredging companies, etc.): improved mathematical models allow to design cost effective coastal protection measures and to better predict the impact of future interventions in the coastal zone. The new improved climate change scenarios for the Belgian coastline will serve as a guideline for future studies. An improved understanding of the impact of wave overtopping on structures and buildings, including an improved calculation method for flood damage in buildings and along the coastline, will allow to improve contingency plans and to optimise the current safety criterion.
  • Entities with expertise in marine biology (government, consultants, researchers, etc.): in addition to the measurement and study of physical characteristics also variables which determine the ecology of beaches and foreshore will be delivered (including changes in sediment composition, soil friction and tension, sand volume displacements, habitat area changes, stability of the sediment...). Information is also offered to predict and explain changes in the most ecologically valuable beach habitats (dunes and beach tideways).
  • Entities with expertise in spatial planning (government, architects, coastal municipalities, etc.): a better understanding is gained in the effects of wind on sand transport which will be cost effective for coastal municipalities responsible for the removal of excesses of sand on the dike (e.g. hindrance of sand blocking roads, tramways and sewer systems). Guidelines are provided which are useful for new building permits along the coastline.
  • The general public: information (website, brochures, conferences, etc.) is provided to improve the understanding of the impact of climate change on our coast. Through concrete examples (maps and test sites on the beach) citizens will be informed about future challenges for our coast concerning flood protection. This communication is done in consultation with the competent authorities (Flemish government and coastal communities).

Each target group (except the general public) has representatives in the guidance committee which will meet twice a year to provide input and comment on the output of the project.


Link with policy

The research aimed at in the CREST-project is valuable for different governmental agencies, different research groups and different industrial partners. It consists out of strategic research tackling generic problems related to coastal dynamics. Although a lot of research concerning coastal safety is already running and being financed by the government (contract research), this is often aimed at solving concrete ad-hoc problems at a specific location along the coastline. In the CREST-project a more general approach is adopted: different types of zones will be monitored, a.o. a zone without anthropogenic interference (Koksijde), a zone with anthropogenic interference and a combination of buildings/dunes (Mariakerke) and a field experiment where an artificial dike will be built on the beach to simulate wave overtopping (location to be decided).


The valorisation approach of the project includes:

  1.  continuous dissemination of information (project website, newsletters, brochures, etc.);
  2.  regular meetings of the Guidance Committee;
  3.  technical workshops on the development of new computational models including quality assurance by an international scientific advisory board;
  4.  feedback with end users and the general public through conferences;
  5.  innovative models and practical guidelines for policy makers, scientists, engineering consultants, dredging companies;
  6.  products for educators and policy makers (indicators, reports and maps);
  7.  scientific outreach through scientific publications, presentations at scientific conferences, posters and scientific reports;
  8.  dissemination of project information via (social) media.