Project title: Search, Identification and Collection of Marine Litter with Autonomous Robots

Acronym: SeaClear

Programme: HORIZON 2020

Lead Partner: Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)

Partners: Regional Agency DUNEA (Croatia), Technical University of Munich (Germany), Cluj-Napoca Technical University (Romania), University of Dubrovnik (Croatia), Fraunhofer CML (Germany), SST - SubSeaTech (France), Hamburg Port Authority (Germany)

Project duration: 01/01/2020 – 31/12/2023

Project budget: 4.946.579,00 EUR

DUNEA's budget: 205.388,00 EUR

About the project:

SeaClear project plans to develop the first system of autonomous aircraft, submarines and surface vessels to find and collect waste from the seabed and water column.

Marine litter poses a global problem, not only through environmental negative impact but as a risk to human health in general with huge economic consequences. Today, there are as much as 26-66 million tons of waste in the oceans. Of this, approximately 94% is on the seabed. So far, collection efforts have focused mainly on surface waste, and bottom waste management efforts are mostly individual local diving actions.

The aim of the project is to control robots autonomously, without remote human intervention, and for this purpose an innovative system for mapping, classification and control of robots will be implemented. These features will be presented in three pilot areas where an autonomous robot system will be installed: one system for the purpose of cleaning the port with the end user of the Port of Hamburg, the other in the tourist area of ​​Dubrovnik, near the island of Lokrum and in the Mali Ston Bay.

Regional agency DUNEA will coordinate the activities at the two mentioned pilot locations in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and will also coordinate the Community of Practice for this area.

The partner consortium includes an expert team of partners, from the world's most famous organization that will deliver proven hardware, the company SST - SubSeaTech (France) and four academic institutions, namely Delft Technical University (Netherlands) which also has the role of lead partner, then two German institutions, Technical University Munich and Fraunhofer CML and Cluj-Napoca Technical University (Romania), all with complementary expertise in underwater and air robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence and classification to automatic control, to system integrators.

In addition to the mentioned universities, the project consortium also includes the expert team of the University of Dubrovnik, which has all the competencies for this demanding role in developing innovative solutions to the problem of waste in the sea. The feasibility of the SeaClear system will be accompanied by an exploitation and dissemination strategy in which scientists and all relevant stakeholders are actively involved.

SeaClear project, fully entitled "Search, Identification and Collection of Marine Litter with Autonomous Robot", is financed in one hundred percent from the European Union from the HORIZON 2020 program, through which more than six million kuna has been provided for the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. It was applied for at the invitation of Information and Communication Technologies 2018-2020, the Science and Innovation Funding Scheme (RIA), and out of a total of fifty-six applicants, it is one of four projects approved for funding.

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Through the County Development Agency over the past three and a half years a number of projects have been realized or initiated for which more than 7 million Euros have been provided by the EU

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