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Boost for Dutch research into large-scale floating infrastructure

Jul 12 2023
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Wageningen, 12 July 2023 - The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded €5.3 million to the Floating Future research programme. This programme investigates from governance, technology and ecology how the Netherlands can build floating structures on a large scale and how this can be done in a socially acceptable way. Specifically, it involves floating, climate-adaptive perspectives for inland waterways, port cities and the North Sea.

Olaf Waals, manager Offshore at MARIN and principal investigator of Floating Future, about the relevance of this project: 'The underlying question is how we can keep our densely populated country livable. There is an increasing demand for space for housing, industry, energy transition and food production. About 60% of our country is already vulnerable to flooding, and climate change means rising sea levels and river discharges are an increasing threat. But apart from risks, the water also offers opportunities for new forms of safe use of space: large-scale floating construction. If we want to scale up this floating infrastructure, we must take steps in terms of technology and in terms of social acceptance of living and working on the water. In Floating Future we investigate just that. A new phase in our transition from 'fighting against water' to 'living with water'.'

Rutger de Graaf, co-founder BlueRevolution Foundation and co-initiator: 'In this project, we are working with a unique mix of industry, governments, NGOs and researchers from different scientific disciplines. We bring everyone together, using a unique research method to arrive at the most relevant research questions. This also makes the research results directly usable in floating development projects.'

The implementation of the programme and the various work packages will take place over the next five years and is in the hands of a broad consortium of companies, research institutes, universities and colleges. Various ministries, municipalities, water boards and societal partners are also involved. The consortium expects to present the first research results in 2024.

More information:
Olaf Waals, official secretary Floating Future, +31 6 15 13 95 69
Rutger de Graaf, co-initiator Floating Future, +31 6 16 30 87 90
MARIN Floating Future illustratie