Ocean Multi-Use Policy, Planning and Regulation Knowledge Transfer Session: Outcomes and Findings 

On January 24th, 2023, a virtual workshop was held to discuss the results of the UNITED Ocean Multi-Use Pilots and engage in interactive discussions with 45 fellow planners, regulators, and decision-makers. The session aimed to share knowledge and experiences and provide advice on renewable energy planning processes and guidelines. Key outcomes and findings were presented by the leaders of the UNITED Ocean Multi-Use Pilots. Whereas EU Member States in majority are in favor of stimulating multi-use of the ocean, there are some (institutional) hinderances to the development of multi-use such as the lack of access to proper insurance, cumbersome licensing procedures, uncertainty of the decommissioning phase and lack of clear rules for multi-use.

Download the event summary report and presentations to learn more about what was discussed and what are the findings of this event:

Online session Policy Summary Report
Agenda Multi-Use Policy Session
Session Intro Presentation
Belgian Pilot Presentation
Danish Pilot Presentation
German Pilot Presentation
Dutch Pilot Presentation



UNITED WORKSHOP 5 | Politics and regulations affecting multi-use 

The international UNITED workshop in Ghent brought together all pilot leaders and respective stakeholders to discuss the legal and insurance issues for multiple use (MU) of marine space. A draft report of D6.2 (Case specific report on legal aspects and insurance issues of MU) was distributed before the workshop, and participants were asked to provide comments if necessary. The central question of the workshop was why the implementation of MU at sea is so difficult, with a focus on (1) legal frameworks needed to develop MU projects and on (2) hurdles in insurance systems. For each pilot country, we focused on the MSP process and further discussed the (lack of) legal or regulatory framework for MU projects. Furthermore, the variables determining the necessity or absence of additional insurance to cover MU risk were discussed, as well as insurance policy clauses of utmost importance in the MU context. Finally, it was proposed which measures could be taken at different levels to restrain expenditure for insurance.

Discussion points:

  • Legal and policy context of MU governance in pilots (MSP)
  • Concessions, permits and access: pilot practice and law
  • Insurance issues in a MU context
  • Natura2000 and nature restoration via MU

During the workshop at Ghent University (Belgium), all pilot studies were discussed: is MU possible? Is it stimulated? What are the main insurance issues? We learned that all countries are open to MU (as a principle), but it is difficult to bring in practice as different activities are regulated by different authorities within the pilot countries. The lack of tradition to integrate procedures and the sometimes very different timeframes and spatial impact of activities is an important reason why MU is so difficult to realise. During the workshop, a governance analysis framework was discussed in which two governance groups were distinguished; the more top-down oriented pilot countries and the more bottom-up oriented pilot countries. Both models can lead to mu, however, a certain flexibility seems a prerequisite for successful MU. Furthermore, it seems that cultural differences and historical use play an important role in regulatory frameworks. The latter was also found to be true for insurance. Specifically, the level of trust between MU partners differed per pilot and resulted in different insurance needs between the partners.
There are different models  to integrate activities  in an offshore MU context with legal and insurance perspectives. Some integration on the level of permitting and tendering will greatly benefit the development of MU projects both from a legal and insurance point of view This can be done in both top down and bottom up governance systems, as long as there is enough room for flexibility. We see important steps forward with integrating food production in wind farms.
During the workshop there were several suggestions to adapt the governance analyses framework. This and the finalization of D6.2 will be done over the coming months.


UNITED WORKSHOP 3 | Training Workshop - Aquaculture Multi-use offshore: Technology Transfer

The third UNITED public training workshop “Aquaculture-Multi-use offshore: Technology Transfer was the perfect combination between Research and Technology innovations!

The first part of the event provided some background information on the UNITED project and was followed by presentations of three pilot projects (Greece, Belgium and Germany) that each face biofouling issues. Each presenter provided an update on the current status of their pilot and the approaches in place to tackle these issues. 

The second part was an opportunity for three companies to share their innovative solutions to prevent fouling on marine structures. The solutions introduced can provide long-term sustainable remediation systems that do not harm the environment.

In between and after both sessions, there was great engagement with the attendees, whose questions allowed for an active conversation among the panelists, particularly on the extent of biofouling on the pilots’ structures and the transferability, scalability and impacts of the solutions implemented.

Many thanks to all the participants for their contributions and making this event yet another success of UNITED!


CoP ENERGY eMSP project

 On the 14 of November the German Pilot case gathered members of the offshore wind energy sector, scientists, members of planning offices, and decision makers (regional and EU level) in a two-hour online workshop to discuss the following aspects of Multi-Use of marine space:

  • What could commercialisation of offshore research projects look like? Which findings from the German EU pilot plant can be transferred to other regions?
  • What are possible socio-economic impacts that could result from a multiple use of aquaculture and offshore wind power, e.g. securing existing and creating new jobs, attracting industry?
  • To what extent does multiple use of offshore areas influence the acceptance of maritime activities? 

The participatory format of the workshop allowed participants to identify relevant impacts concerning economic, social and roll-out issues. Different possible impacts of a hypothetical multi-use project were discussed and weighted. This weighting process will be analyzed and be a important part for further work in UNITED.  Discussions also picked up issues of the technical readiness of the German pilot and how feasible this attempt of offshore wind energy in combination with aquaculture can be. 

“If this project shows that multi-use is possible, we can create more easily the conditions for legislations to be more active in this field”

Results of this workshop will be further used in the UNITED workshop in various work packages.



UNITED WORKSHOP 4 | Multi-Use Business Cases and Economics in Germany

On 30th November 2022 Julia F. Chozas from the Danish Pilot participated in a community event in Den Haag (Netherlands) as part of the Communities of Practices (CoPs) within the eMSP NBSR project. We actively discussed about the multi-use of wind energy and alternative forms of energy in the North and Baltic Sea.

The activities, challenges and learnings of the Danish Pilot were described; and very interesting discussions emerged from the fantastic opportunity of combining offshore wind and tourism; and the cooperative approach behind wind farms. Being the second presentation of the day, it was referred to during the whole seminar.


UNITED WORKSHOP 2 | Training Workshop - Aquaculture Multi-use offshore: Environment and Biology

This highly interactive online training workshop raised the awareness and increased the knowledge on multi-use, for private or public stakeholders involved in the maritime sector. For 2.5 hours, pilots of the UNITED project shared their two years of experience dealing with issues related to the measurement of the environmental parameters and the integration of these parameters within the UNITED assessment framework. 

After the general presentation of the UNITED project, the assessment framework was introduced and followed by the lesson learnt in three Pilots (Greece, Germany, Belgium). The workshop was concluded by active discussions with the participants, on environmental impact views and ways to measure these impacts. 

Many thanks to all the participants for their contributions. We had very fruitful discussions with stakeholders from different UNITED pilot sites. One resulting statement of the workshop: The impact assessment of multi-use development should be done in comparison to the development of two single uses!


UNITED WORKSHOP 1 | Offshore Platform Operation, Safety and Logistics within the context of Multi-Use

The first UNITED public training workshop “Offshore Platform Operation, Safety and Logistics within the context of multi-use” was successfull. In the first part sixty attendees from France, Sweden, Tanzania and 15 other countries joined the workshop and round about thirty discussed about the topic the second session. The workshop  contributes to the capacity building of professionals working in offshore operations and logistics and reduces risks for the ongoing and future development of ocean multi-use solutions. The key takeaway from the first part of the workshop - multi-use may result in new risks - while new standards and procedures may also be needed, it is important not to create the red table. Ensuring understanding between users, and having some sort of flexibility will play an important role! Thanks to everyone who participated and for all the interesting questions we received via SLIDO!



Did you miss our event on the 27th October? Check out the recording of the 2nd UNITED webinar and enjoy listening to our exciting line-up of speakers!

Our webinar showcased advances in the EU-co financed project UNITED. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the webinar discussed several aspects of multi-use and co-location, with focus on the multi-use implementation in the five UNITED pilots. We heard about a number of challenges encountered along the way, lessons learned for future endeavours, and the key next steps in the coming period.
Thanks again to everyone who participated and for all the interesting questions we received via SLIDO!


Recording webinar 2

Full report


Challenges, risks and barriers for the large-scale commercial roll-out of ocean multi-use

The first UNITED webinar took place on 3 June 2020. The webinar, which lasted 3 hours, introduced the project to the wider audience and it initiated a broader discussion about the topic of multi-use. Over 90 attendees had an opportunity to learn about the ongoing project activities, its pilots, and involved partners. Some of the initial project results were verified via an interactive live poll session. The initial review of barriers to multi-use conducted in UNITED highlighted that not only Technological Readiness Level is important as an indicator for multi-use development progress, but also Social, Commercial & Legal Readiness Level. The live poll showed that local jobs and local seafood sources are some of the main expected benefits of the multi-use. The Q&A with speakers took place via the GoToWebinar chat and the results can be seen here. The UNITED sister project MUSICA: Multiple-use-of Space for Island Clean Autonomy was also be presented, and the presentation has been published here.

The UNITED Project and Multi-Use (by Ghada El Serafy)



First UNITED press release: Real-life Demonstration of Ocean Multi-Use Systems accross Europe

Ocean multi-use can contribute to a more sustainable and efficient use of ocean resources, providing tangible economic and environmental benefits. Thanks to its five demonstration pilots across European seas, the UNITED project will provide evidence that multi-use can be a viable approach to contribute to the EU Blue Growth Strategy and address spatial competition for both the European maritime industry and marine ecosystems. Running until 2023, UNITED will address current bottlenecks relating to the large-scale installation of ocean multi-use infrastructure, focusing on combinations of renewable energy, aquaculture and tourism... Read more.


Toolbox for data analysis, visualization, and planning for decision makers (December 2021)

Design and construction plans for the pre-operational phases of the pilots (June 2021)

Automation and scheduling tools (December 2021)

Report on Optimization of Scheduling, Operations, and Maintenance (June 2022)

Decision Support System (DSS) specifications and design for MUCLs (June 2022)

Technical report on design procedure limitations and improvements (December 2023)

Review of the State-of-the-Art


Current economic assessment and status of Pilots (April 2020)

UNITED Assessment Framework to Determine Economic Feasibility of Multi-Use Platforms (December 2020)

Assessment on the added value of MUCLs within pilots (December 2022)

The Business Case for Multi-UsePlatforms: Costs, Benefits and Lessons from Practice (December 2022)


Current environmental assessment and status of Pilots (July 2020)

Assessment Framework to Determine Ecological Feasibility of Multi-Use Platforms. (June 2021)

Report on Environmental impact assessment (June 2022)

Environmental impact assessment models for the commercial rollout of Multi-Use Platforms (December 2022)

Contribute to Generic Roadmap (June 2023)


Framework and practical guidelines for stakeholder engagement (July 2020)

Report on stakeholder interactions and engagement in pilots (October 2022)

Report on training workshops for stakeholder engagement (June 2023)

Report on stakeholder interactions and engagement in pilots (June 2023)

Recommendations for successful stakeholder involvement  in multi-use platforms  (June 2023)

Legal, policy & governance

Inventory of legal and insurance aspects, risks and risk management options and the wider governance context of risk management. (October 2020)

Case specific report on legal aspects and insurance issues (June 2023)

Case specific report on risk management aspects within the confines of legal and insurance aspects. (September 2022)

Manuscript of Synthesis of Risk Governance (June 2023)

Implementation phase

Review of pilot TRL, legal aspects, technical solutions and risks (August 2020)

Developing a blueprint for the offshore site operation (April 2021)

Curriculum for offshore course, guideline and learning manual (April 2021)

Joint monitoring, operation and maintenance protocol (July 2022)

Report on harmonized findings from pre-operational and operational phase (September 2022)

Development and implementation of a decommissioning procedure (March 2023)

Synthesis report for pilots (June 2023)

Assessment and validation

Report on technical assessment and validation (December 2022)

Report on socio-economic assessment and validation (July 2022)

Report on environmental assessment and validation (September 2022)

UNITED auditing procedures and TRL assessment manual (November 2022)

Implementation Plan for the operation and maintenance (December 2022)

Communication and dissemination

Final dissemination report (June 2023)

Initial Communication plan (July 2020)

Final report on ecosystem building and stakeholders empowerment (June 2023)

Knowledge Transfer Plan (December 2021)

Report on training sessions for knowledge transfer (June 2023)

Report on training sessions for technology transfer (June 2023)

Commercialisation roadmap (June 2023)

A final communication report (June 2023)