New global trends in oceanographic research, combined with the tighter financial constraints on industry, have created a rapidly growing demand for more cost-effective marine environmental research. Traditionally, fieldwork associated with marine research is very expensive, with high volumes of labour and large direct costs. The development of autonomous platforms such as gliders and underwater vehicles has enabled monitoring to be performed with significantly reduced costly ship-time. There is a need improve technology and operational competences surrounding the use of new and autonomous platforms for monitoring the marine environment and streamline these observations with modelling tools. Application areas span the entire range of environmental monitoring and forecasting topics, from monitoring of acute releases of pollution to fundamental understanding of marine environmental processes.
The Ocean Labs in Trondheim and Rostock (Germany) offer dynamic field laboratories that encourage collaboration across the national research communities and scientific disciplines in technology development for environmental monitoring from deep fjords to the shallow Sea. The collaboration between SINTEF/NTNU's OceanLab and Fraunhofer's Ocean Technology Campus will strengthen Norway's position within the use of autonomous platforms for environmental research by providing the means for development, testing and scaling of new technology in Europe and internationally.
The research activities around ocean technology will be accompanied by activities along the innovation platform for sustainable subsea solutions, ISSS, to push the European Green Deal and the Blue Growth Strategy forward and contribute to the European strategy on healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters.