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2018 - 2023: European cross-border project to test and deploy biomimetic maritime infrastructures in the Channel area.

The preservation of fisheries resources and marine biodiversity requires rethinking the design of maritime infrastructures - dikes, jetties, quays, groins, moorings.

The MARINEFF project, supported by the European Union via ERDF funds, aims to develop innovative infrastructures that will protect and improve coastal ecosystems on both sides of the Channel. This programme will benefit from the experience and research carried out by ESITC Caen in the field of materials and construction techniques adapted to environmental requirements, but also to the challenges faced by economic stakeholders in the maritime sector.

The balance of sea and coastal ecosystems is greatly weakened by global warming and human activity. Their preservation is now a priority for economic and political players. Selected within the framework of the European cross-border cooperation programme INTERREG V A France (Channel) England, the MARINEFF project aims to design innovative biomimetic maritime infrastructures. ESITC Caen brought together French and English industrial and academic partners with recognised expertise in the construction, biology and maritime sectors. This multidisciplinary approach will lead to a better understanding of the functioning of coastal ecosystems and their biodiversity in order to guide research and development of models and technologies adapted to both new construction and the rehabilitation of existing maritime infrastructures.


The infrastructures designed as part of the MARINEFF project will be tested on six experimental sites in France and Great Britain. 

The facilities will be regularly monitored to measure precisely the improvements made, in accordance with the descriptors and provisions of the Strategic Framework Directive on the Maritime Environment: measurement of biomass, biodiversity,  fishery resources and eutrophication, monitoring of invasive species and analysis of food webs. In order to promote the rapid and widespread adoption of these biomimetic marine infrastructures, the project's stakeholders have decided to work with known materials and construction techniques, which will keep the costs reasonable.

The technologies developed as part of the MARINEFF project will be made available to companies and local authorities involved in coastal development.


ESITC Caen will coordinate and manage the project, with the school's laboratory involved in the development of eco-designed concrete materials adapted to the marine environment. Maritime infrastructures are one of the key themes of the ESITC Caen laboratory. This theme is also integrated into the school's engineering program and the Specialized Post Master's Degree "Expert in Maritime and Port Works"

ESITC Caen also contributes to collaborative research programmes.

From 2011 to 2015, the school managed the Interreg IVA FMA RECIF project and developed an artificial reef in the Cherbourg harbour

The MARINEFF project has a budget of €5.7 million over 5 years, co-financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) with €3.9 million. It brings together French and British partners coordinated by ESITC Caen, project leader: University of Caen Normandy, National Museum of Natural History, Ports of Normandy, Bournemouth University, University of Exeter, Southampton University, Travaux Publics du Cotentin and Vinci Construction Maritime et Fluviale. More information on the project and partners on www.marineff-project.eu




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