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Rationale of the Space@Sea modular floating island concept

Maarten Flikkema

In November 2017 the Space@Sea consortium consisting of 17 partners launched the three-year research project funded by the EU in the Horizon 2020 funding scheme. The objective of the project was to provide sustainable and affordable workspace at sea by developing a standardised and cost-efficient modular island with low ecological impact. It is the philosophy of Space@Sea that people will follow work if the living conditions are more attractive than they are now for offshore workers. A standardised floater is developed in analogy with the shipping container concept that revolutionised transport. The floaters may be of different size, but they should fit together to form one large island. Research focussed on the design of the floater, island connectors and mooring as well as transport and installation approaches and health and safety issues related to working and living on floating islands. Any activity that is possible on land should be possible on the floating island. In order to demonstrate the use of the floating islands, four applications are studied in the project: aquaculture, housing, transport hub and energy hub. This presentation will introduce the Space@Sea rationale and the background behind starting the project which is further elaborated in the subsequent presentations.

KEYWORDS: Modular, Floating, Horizon2020, Space@Sea, Demonstration


Maarten Flikkema graduated from the faculty of Naval Architecture at Delft University of Technology in 2006 with a specialism in ship hydrodynamics and propulsion. After his graduation he started working at the maritime research institute MARIN. The first 7 years of his career he worked at the Trials & Monitoring department where he was responsible for performing ship sea trials and cavitation observations. In 2013 he started a new position at the Research & Development department where Maarten became responsible for all EU funded research within MARIN, in this role he became coordinator of the Space@Sea project. In 2018 he founded his consultancy company Flikkema Business Solutions supporting companies, universities and institutes in funding proposals and project management and coordination of funded research projects. As of 2020 Maarten is full time working for FBS, although continuing his role as acting coordinator for Space@Sea as a consultant on behalf of MARIN


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