Users bring vision of Rostock Ocean Technology Campus into focus

Over July 1st and 2nd, a total of 27 representatives from maritime research and industry as well as their interest groups met in Northern Germany at the “Open Innovation” workshop to bring into focus the direction of the Ocean Technology Campus Rostock as a driver of innovation for the region.

© Universität Rostock/Sebastian Schröder

The Ocean Technology Campus (OTC) Rostock is intended to give a maritime research and development network centered around an underwater testing ground off the coast of Rostock a new home at the Rostock Fishing Port, which is also intended to link research and application together in innovative ways. In the latest development, the OTC is now one of 16 candidates chosen for a future cluster sponsored by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), bringing the realization of its vision closer than ever before with a funded planning phase lasting six months. The OTC’s consortium of partners is now banking even more on sustainable ocean use with new approaches and technology. The first of a total of three planned workshops was held over July 1st and 2nd with the slogan “Open Innovation” and focused specifically on the development of ideas in different pioneering fields. Representatives of local maritime businesses and national interest groups worked with the project team from the University of Rostock, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD, the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Research Association and Rostock Business to come up with over 80 project ideas. Most of the time was spent on topics such as energy for underwater applications and solutions for sustainable exploitation and conservation concepts.

The results from the first workshop will be analyzed for the structure of the campus as well as its future strategy and fields of technology. The next workshop will focus on planning out a theme-based roadmap and deriving specific projects from it. The goal is to submit an eligible application for the OTC Rostock future cluster to the BMBF by the end of October 2020. If accepted, up to €45 million in funding would be available over nine years to create a driver of innovation in underwater technology and application in Rostock. “Even now, we’re seeing that the application phase is highly beneficial for our site,” Dr. Heike Link, from the University of Rostock and coordinator of the planning project, said of the creative process behind the application. “The intensive exchange between users and researchers in the maritime sector makes it clear how many fields of development are still out there in which we can complement one another to shape the future of the site in Rostock.”

Update (02/03/2021): Ocean Technology Campus Rostock distinguished as future cluster

Rostock’s growth as a location and region for innovative, forward-looking research continues to gain traction. Today in Berlin, Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek announced the winners of the first round of her ministry’s “Clusters4Future” competition. From now on, seven new regional innovation networks may call themselves future clusters, including the Ocean Technology Campus Rostock. Under the coordination of the University of Rostock, the consortium from the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD, the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Research Association, Rostock Business, and 13 other regional businesses and startups won over the jury with the quality of its innovative approach.