ACTeon is a French consulting and research company specialised in environmental strategies and  policies. The main objective of the team is to foster emerging solutions and innovations aiming at ensuring aneffective integration of environmental dimensions in decisions and behaviors. ACTeon actively participates in projects funded by the EC, both framework Contracts and research projects funded by the Horizon 2020 on marine policy and economics. ACTeon engages with a wide range of stakeholders (public institutions, companies, associations, NGOs...). 

In order to provide adapted answers to specific contexts and stakeholders, the team mobilizes skills  in environmental sciences, economics, sociology, political sciences, environmental law and spatial planning. In addition ACTeon has a long term expertise in organizing, preparing background materials and carrying out stakeholder workshops. Our experts use innovative methods for engaging stakeholders and moderating  the workshops using technology, visual aids, and participatory methods. 

In UNITED, ACTeon leads the Societal Pillar (WP5). It also contributes to the Economic Pillar (WP3), to the Legal and Governance Pillar (WP6) and to social acceptance and dissemination (WP8).

Wageningen University and Research (The Netherlands)

Wageningen Research is part of Wageningen University and consists of a number of specialised research institutes. Institutes participating in UNITED are the Wageningen Economic Research (WEcR) and the Wageningen Marine Research (WMR).

The expertise they bring to the project ranges from marine biology and ecology, marine plant production and marine shellfish production, marine  economics,  governance, stakeholder processes, environmental impact assessments and modelling  to  multi-use development and risk assessment of multi-usein terms of food and feed production, safety of operations and ecological impacts. 

In UNITED, Wageningen Research is leading in the pilot specific analyses, and contributes to all work packages.

Submariner Network for Blue Growth (Germany)

The SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth promotes sustainable and innovative uses of  marine resources. The network is a hub for projects, initiatives and activities at all levels.

SUBMARINER offers a cooperation platform to related actors and initiatives in the Baltic Sea Region with the aim to turn the Baltic Sea Region into a model region for sustainable blue bio-based innovations and smart combinations. The Submariner Network acts as an umbrella organisation and initiates partnerships and the project development; it brings together a unique variety of institutions representing national and regional authorities, research institutions, business associations and consulting companies from all Baltic Sea Region countries all involved in promoting combined and sustainable blue economy solutions. 

In UNITED, SUBMARINER coordinates dissemination, exploitation and training activities, and contributes to all other work packages. SUBMARINER is also responsible for the development of the UNITED Commercialisation Roadmap.

WINGS (Greece)

WINGS is a dynamic SME which focuses on the development of products/platforms for various vertical sectors (namely, water, energy, smart cities, food safety, health, transportation, finance) through advanced wireless, cloud/IoT, big data and security technologies.

WINGS is staffed by members who have been active in research and development for more than twenty years.

WINGS ICT Solutions core competences include:

  • Embedded intelligence, edge/fog computing and analytics, cloud computing for smart connected water management, intelligence for food security and safety
  • Data and predictive analytics for water infrastructures
  • Smart actuation and control
  • Semanticdatamodels for abstraction of heterogeneous devices and interoperability
  • Optimized communication and large scale networking solutions
  • Large experience in experiments and proofs of concept; carrier-grade pilots/demonstrations.

WINGS in UNITED will design the UNITED’s framework and support the Greek pilot’s functionalities in orchestrating combined aquaculture, touristic maritime and underwater diving activities.

Stichting Noordzeeboerderij (The Netherlands)

Stichting Noordzeeboerderij is a non-profit organization that aims to establish, promote and accelerate the seaweed sector in and from the Netherlands.

Stichting Noordzeeboerderij aims to achieve this through the following two main tasks:

  • Seaweed Platform: Noordzeeboerderij manages a community platform with over 90 members which are relevant stakeholders within the seaweed sector. The aim of the Seaweed Platform is to actively connect all parties that are or want  to  become involved  in seaweed. Through the Seaweed Platform the community informs eachother, shares information, collaborates on various projects and thus accelerates innovation. The Seaweed Platform  follows a horizontal approach: it includes the complete value chain for sustainable seaweed cultivation.
  • Offshore test facility & demonstration projects: Noordzeeboerderij initiated the North Sea Innovation Lab (NSIL). This is an offshore lab of 6 square kilometres, with 6 research plots, 12 kilometres from the coast of The Hague. NSIL is accessible for everybody who wants to pilot new technologies or test blue innovations for upscaling, such as co-use of wind farms without having to apply for permits. Currently 4 research projects are in operation at test farm The Hague. In UNITED, Noordzeeboerderij leads activities at this pilot site in the Netherlands.
Ecologic institute (Germany)

Ecologic Institute is an independent, international think-tank for environmental research and policy analysis based in Berlin, Germany. Founded in 1995, Ecologic Institute specialises in policy and governance analysis, as well as stakeholder engagement and scientific communication. Ecologic Institute has a long history of participating and leading European research projects covering a range of environmental topics, including ocean governance, climate change, energy systems, and water governance, among others. The multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary skills of Ecologic Institute can be seen in the collaborative efforts of its over 100 employees. Its staff have extensive experience working with coastal and marine issues and related governance issues, including maritime spatial planning and land-sea interactions.
Ecologic Institute is responsible for the Economic Pillar (WP3) and will support on the Environmental pillar (WP4).


The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is a world-class research institute covering a wide range of disciplines from biology to geology, oceanography to taxonomy and palaeontology to ecology. The institute owns a vast collection containing almost 38 million specimens. They support national and international decision-makers with their scientific expertise and regularly publish scientific articles and reports. 

RBINS participate through UNITED through its MARine and marine ECOlogy team (MARECO), part of Operational Directorate Natural Environment. OD Nature is specialized in the study of biotic and abiotic components of the natural environment, in environmental monitoring and modelling, and in the creation of databases. MARECO, in particular, as a broad expertise in the assessment of the impacts on wildlife of offshore wind farms impact research. 

In UNITED, RBINS coordinates assessment and validation activities (work package 8), and it provides its oyster restoration expertise in the Belgian pilot site.

OCEANS OF ENERGY (The Netherlands)

Oceans of Energy is a young company (10-20 people) which focuses on the development of floating systems at sea for renewable energy generation. OOE has the fundaments that are need for disruptive innovation: the right skills, with its offshore knowledge and experience internally and in the offshore network; a clear focus on clean energy; and internal procedures fit for development and innovation; low overhead costs. We are 100% focused on making the floating innovation a success without being impeded by a traditional core-business and that places us in the best seat for leading this development. At the same time we believe in cooperation with top institutes like Deltares, TNO, universities and with traditional (offshore) companies where many qualified people are keen to use their expertise and experience for a cleaner world.

Oceans of Energy leads the demonstration of floating solar energy in the Dutch pilot site.

SPOK Consultants (Denmark)

SPOK ApS is a Danish consultant company with expertise in consultant assistance bringing RTD projects towards commercialisation and project management within the renewable energy sector. SPOK is working close with co-owner of Middelgrunden Wind Farm HOFOR. SPOK has specialised in social, planning and environmental impact of offshore wind and ocean energy including job creation and communication with stakeholders.

Un UNITED, SPOK leads the Middelgrunden wind farm pilot in Denmark.

BREVISCO (Belgium)

Brevisco BVBA is a private company established in 1981 by Ing. Willy Versluys as a company for different maritime activities onshore, nearshore and offshore. Since its establisment Brevisco has been, up to now, very active in research and development in the fishing business with strong focus on ecologie .Since 2008  Brevisco has also been specialized in nearshore aquaculture, specially  rope culture  of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) Brevisco has contributed and been involved in many different scientific and socio-economical projects through which a lot of knowledge has been gained and sheared.

In UNITED, BREVISCO will carry out field work in the Belgian pilot site.

Parkwind (Belgium)

Parkwind NV is composed of several companies engaged in the development of renewable energy: the Colruyt Group, Korys Investments NV and the Flemish Public Investment Company PMV.

As a 360° player in the offshore wind industry, Parkwind is one of Europe’s leading companies in the fields of developing, financing, constructing and operating offshore wind farms since 2009. Today, Parkwind operates 552 MW in the Belgian territorial waters (Belwind, Northwind and Nobelwind) and has a pipeline of approximately 800 MW offshore in Belgium (Northwester  2), Ireland (Oriel) and Germany (Arcadis Ost I). 

Parkwind has a  growing  team of approximately 90 highly skilled professionals with complementary competences located in Leuven, Ostend (Belgium) and Dublin (Ireland). Seasoned package managers are covering the entire development,construction and operational phases. They have gained relevant experience by working together on the development of many offshore wind projects and they have built an extensive network with (key) contractors active in the European offshore market.  

In UNITED, Parkwind has a major role in the implementation of the Belgian pilot site.

Colruyt Group (Belgium)

Colruyt, a family company from Lembeek in Flemish Brabant, first appeared about 80 years ago. Today we’ve grown into a whole family of companies, active in several different sectors: distribution of food and non-food products, food services, fuel distribution, digital printing and document management and green energy production. All companies and supporting activities of Colruyt Group have one common identity and culture, summarised in its mission statement: creating sustainable added value together, through value-driven craftsmanship in retail.

Colruyt Group is a pioneer in renewable energy and alternative fuels as well: substantial investments in CNG infrastructure via DATS24, on-shore and offshore wind energy (Eoly & Parkwind), pioneer in research into the usability of hydrogen as an alternative fuel and as an energy buffer within a smart-grid environment. Colruyt Group continues to believe in offshorewind energy and is investing in wind farms off the Belgian coast. The group has a 60.13% stake in Parkwind holding.

In UNITED, Colruyt Group is involved in the Economic Pillar (WP3), the Environmental Pillar (WP4) and the Societal Pillar (WP5), and in particular in the Belgian pilot – of which is a major shareholder.

4H-JENA engineering GmbH (Germany)

The 4H-JENA engineering GmbH, founded in 1991, has been an independent, competent partner in the development and production of customized metrological solutions for more than 25 years. It currently has 40 permanent employees working on the development, manufacture and sale of optical, mechanical, and electronic components, devices and systems in 3 product areas: 

  • Marine Technologies and metrology 
  • Optical inspection and measuring technology 
  • Industrial Services 

4H-JENA engineering GmbH with its Contros sensors is a market leader in the development and production of in-situ underwater sensors, analyzers as well as applications focused on sensor systems for the determination of e.g. pCO2, pCH4, pH, and total alkalinity in aquatic environments. 4H-JENA furthermore develops and markets integrated monitoring solutions (FerryBoxes, sensors, platforms, data handling) for a range of industrial and scientific applications (e.g. environmental water monitoring, ocean acidification/greenhouse gas monitoring, limnology and inland waters, aquaculture/ fish farming). 

In UNITED, 4H-JENA leads Task 2.1 on monitoring parameters and technologies in the context of multi-use applications. As part of WP7 4H-JENA will elaborate a comprehensive monitoring solution targeted for multi-use aquaculture applications and test and deploy it exemplarily in the context of the German pilot.  

Stichting Deltares (The Netherlands)

Deltares is the coordinator of the UNITED project. It also coordinates the Technological Pillar, and contributes to activities in demonstration sites. Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure. With experience all over the world, Deltares’ experts combine knowledge with state-of-the-art numerical modelling techniques to provide insight into marine and coastal processes ranging from near-bed to global scale. Deltares’ consultancy work and simulation models are rooted in a clear understanding of how water systems work. Modelsmade by Deltareshelp public authorities make vital predictions concerning matters like river levels or the flow patterns and quality of groundwater and surface water. Since the quality and quantity of groundwater and surface water are inextricably linked, we produce linked models in this area and use integrated water management techniques to support policy-making and management in the area of fresh water reserves.

Forschungs und Entwicklungszentrum Fachhochschule Kiel GmbH (Germany)

The FuE-Zentrum FH Kiel GmbH is a research and technology organisation founded in 1995 as a gateway between industry and science. Based on the knowledge and competences of University of  Applied Sciences Kiel, the company has a wide range of project experience in the field of offshore projects. 

In 2005 the company has started a project from planning to commissioning of the offshore research platform FINO3 in the North Sea which is now operated by FuE-Zentrum.The foundation has been constructed for the offshore wind farm  turbines  in the  area.  Research at the platform has helped the wind farm operators and wind turbine manufacturers in the planning, building, and future operation of offshore wind farms.

In UNITED, the FuE-Zentrum FH Kiel GmbH is leading the German pilot and contributes with its knowledge to all work packages.

Universiteit Gent (Belgium)

Universiteit Gent enjoys national and international recognition for its fundamental and applied research in the field of marine/maritime sciences and technologies. Universiteit Gent, in a partnership with the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), are a founding member of the European Marine Biological Resource Center – EMBRC, a pan-European Research Infrastructure for marine  biology and ecology research, whose activities include the development of new technologies enabling the growth of a sustainable Blue Economy.

Universiteit Gent aims for sustainable blue growth through a multidisciplinary approach to socially relevant themes in a collaborative and inclusive manner.

Four departments are participating in UNITED:

In UNITED, Universiteit Gent is leading the Belgian pilot, and coordinates the Environmental Pillar (WP4 – Ecological gains of multi-use of marine space and infrastructure).

TNO (The Netherlands)

TNO is the largest independent applied research organization in the Netherlands, and is active across multiple domains to create innovations that boost the competitive strength of industry and the well-being of society in a sustainable way. TNO is active in 620 European projects, often as coordinator, and is working with leading research partners and industry throughout the value chain. 

ECN is a unit within TNO comprised of the former ‘Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland (ECN)’ and the other energy focused research groups from TNO. ECN strives for a significant increase in solar power, large-scale generation of wind power, a broadly supported energy transition, an energy-producing built environment, CO2-neutral fuels and raw materials, CO2-neutral industry and a sustainable and reliable energy system. In wind energy, ECN is focusing on further cost reductions through improved design of farms, turbines, and components, on more efficient maintenance and integration of wind power in the energy system. In recent years, studies on the combined infrastructure on the North Sea, including new applications such as hydrogen generation or energy hub islands, have led to increased collaborations between the various stakeholders. 

In UNITED, TNO will be active in the Dutch pilot site.

Syddansk Universitet (Denmark)

SDU (University of Southern Denmark) was founded in 1966 as a research and educational institution with strong contacts with regional industries and the international scientific community.  Blue SDU is an interdisciplinary research and innovation cluster at SDU gathering all research related to Blue  Growth at SDU. Its unique setup, consisting of researchers from social sciences, maritime law and maritime health sciences enables us to act as interdisciplinary partner in UNITED and address current social and health priorities. 

In UNITED Blue SDU will cover the legal, safety and security-related aspects of multi-use platforms in the Danish pilot. The study will be carried out by researchers from the Department of Law as well as researchers at the Centre of Maritime Health and Society (CMSS). 

The Seaweed Company (The Netherlands)

The Seaweed Company aims to capture the value of seaweed. We combine unique biological and technological expertise to integrate the seeding, growing, harvesting and processing of seaweed. As a result we are able to cultivate certified seaweed on a commercial scale at open sea, and produce seaweed in the quantities needed to fully benefit from large-scale CO2-reducing applications.

In the UNITED project, The Seaweed Company will be responsible for the development and the demonstration of a safe aquaculture operation that can be commercially deployed in wind parks. 

Kieler Meeresfarm GmbH (Germany)

The Kieler Meeresfarmis the leading producer of organic certified blue mussels and sugar kelp in the German Baltic Sea, utilising a long line surface aquaculture in the Kiel fjord. Starting as a  DBU (Deutsch BundestiftingUmwelt)project in 2009, the farm has since established itself among the finest producers of regional, organic seafood in the local market. Furthermore various cooperations have been established with leading research institutes on national and EU level.

In UNITED, Kieler Meeresfarm provides knowledge about mussel and algae aquaculture and testing grounds in a sheltered near shore running aquaculture facility.

Hidromod (Portugal)

IDROMOD is an SME established in 1992 as a high tech consultancy in the field of Computational Modelling of Aquatic Environments. HIDROMOD has highly skilled professionals with an extensive experience in Information Technologies, Data Management, Operational Systems, Modelling, User-Driven Tools, and focus on user’s needs. 

HIDROMOD is working for 25 years almost exclusively in modelling and information technologies, and has participated in more than 450 projects for clients all around the world in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America; projects include INSEA, EcoManage, AQUASTRESS, INSEA,SCHEMA in EU FP6,  LENVIS, MYWATER and FIGARO in EU FP7, ODYSSEA in H2020. In these projects, HIDROMOD carried out studies and implemented services related with different issues such as wave propagation, sediment transport by combined wave and current action, effluents dispersion, oil spills, floodplains delimitation, watersheds management, water quality and urban hydraulics. 

In UNITED, HIDROMOD will contribute to developing synergies and optimization in scheduling and use of transport and port facilities. Furthermore, HIDROMOD will contribute to  ICT solutions, data network, and support system implementation.

Planet Blue Diving Center (Greece)

PLANET BLUE DIVE CENTER is certified as a provider of diving services by the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine, providing scuba diving training of all levels, guided scuba diving excursions and rental of scuba diving equipment. Planet Blue is also certified by Bureau Veritas according to European  standard EN14467.  

In association with the training agencies SSI and PADI we offerall  kinds of services in the fields of recreational and technical scuba diving. Courses are run in Greek or English language, in groups of one to six trainees per instructor. The diving field includes the reefs and wrecks of Macronisos island, Cape Sounio and the surrounding islets. For the experienced and technical divers, weorganize daily excursions to more remote diving sites all of them chosen from the immense personal archive of Kostas Thoctarides.

In UNITED, Planet Blue offers its expertise in the implementation of the Greek pilot site.

Kastelorizo Aquaculture (Greece)

KASTELORIZO AQUACULTURE SA is a company that operates in the field of production marketing and exploitation of fish farms with all kinds of fish, shellfish in fresh or frozen form as well as distribution of product at Greek premises and abroad. The company owns aquaculture units in the island of Crete and in Palaia Fokaia, Attica. Other areas of business expand to ownership of a seven restaurants that serve fish from the aquaculture units.

In UNITED, KASTELORIZO AQUACULTURE SA provides the aquaculture unit in the area of the Greek pilot site for the purposes of the implementation and testing that the project involves.

Ventolines (The Netherlands)

Ventolines is a Dutch company and a service provider that realises renewable energy projects. With a team of dedicated enewable energy specialists, Ventolines develops, buildsand  maintains robust and reliable projects with optimal results for our project owners.The work consists of development, contracting and financing, construction, asset management and legal advice and structuring solutions. 

In UNITED, Ventolines will work on the legal and contractual framework for the integration of floating solar and wind energy in the Dutch pilot site.

Jan De Nul Group (Belgium)

People and global expertise: these are the corner stones of Jan De Nul Group’s success. Thanks to its skilled employees and the world’s most modern fleet, Jan De Nul Group is a leading expert in dredging and marine construction activities, as well as in specialized services for the offshore industry of oil, gas and renewable energy. These core marine activities are further enhanced by Jan De Nul Group's in-house civil and environmental capabilities, offering clients a complete package solution. Jan De Nul Group has dedicated project management and design personnel, with vast expertise and experience in maritime and offshore works and all their related maritime transports and mobilizations of heavy equipment. 

Our professional and innovative solutions are trusted across the industry. Whether it concerns the construction of the new locks in the Panam Canal or a new port complex in Western Australia, together with our customers, we build for further economic development.

In UNITED, Jan De Nul Group participates in the Belgian pilot.


Prof. Dr. Gerald Schernewski

Dr. Schernewski is Head of the Coastal and Marine Management Group at IOW in Germany. He holds a professorship at the University of Klaipeda, Lithuania, and is former President of the Coastal & Marine Union International (EUCC), The Netherlands. His interests lay in the further development of a systems approach framework (SAF) and supporting tools, for example to improve stakeholder participation or to measure the success of management measures using an indicator system. He aims to support marine spatial planning and coastal management practices. Furthermore he has a rooted interest in ecosystem services, particularly the development and application of methods and tools to assess changes in ecosystem goods and service provision of coastal and marine systems. Dovetailing upon this, he is involved with the assessment and implementation of measures that improve the ecological status of coastal waters and support environmental policies, like the Water Framework Directive (WFD), for example the cultivation of different mussel species to improve water quality.

Dr. Nico Buytendijk

Dr. Buytendijk is a program manager at RVO, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency with a focus on the North Sea. In this context, RVO organizes together with LNV (The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality) the Community of Practice Multi Use, aimed at multi-use of the North Sea. This is also done on behalf of TKIs and Top Sectors Energy, Agriculture & Food and Nature, together with NGOs, research institutions and entrepreneurs, in and on the North Sea.

Prof. Dr. Bela H. Buck

Dr. Buck is the chair of the ICES Working Group on Open Ocean Aquaculture (WGOOA) as well as the Head of the AWI-Working Group "Marine Aquaculture, Maritime Technologies and ICZM." He holds a professorship for "Applied Marine Biology" at the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven and also sits as the honorary president of the German Aquaculture Association. His particular research interests focuses predominantly on the multi-use of offshore wind farms, offshore aquaculture, shellfish and seaweed cultivation, culture techniques and system design, bioremediation and ecological engineering.

Dr. Marijn Rabaut

Marijn Rabaut is active as an independent international expert in marine developments. Moreover, he is the international marine policy manager of the Blue Cluster of Flanders (Belgium), and he contributes to several projects with a science-business-policy nexus. He takes also the role as MSP-expert and he has been working as a researcher and as policy expert for various institutions and high level representatives. Trained as marine scientist (PhD – Ghent University Belgium), Marijn Rabaut is now creative in providing high-level added value in innovation projects, negotiation processes and policy advice. His work range is broad (from multi-use over coastal defence, ecosystem approach, aquaculture, renewable energy and MSP) which allows him to link issues as climate change, sustainable development, blue technologies and blue growth.

Nathalie Scheidegger

Project Leader Innovation and Knowledge North Sea at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food

Nathalie has a background in biology and environmental science with degrees from Universität Zurich and Leiden University. She is currently working on the integrated marine and maritime policy for the North Sea and in EU waters. Together with different stakeholders - entrepreneurs, NGOs, researchers, and government -, she is working on an integral approach to realize the societal challenges: e.g. energy- and food production and natural restoration. Therefore she – together with the Dutch Enterprise Agency – set up the community of practice the North Sea. Areas of expertise are project management, interim/change management, facilitating meetings, strategic and communication analysis, law, and natural sciences.