Smart Ocean Technologies: Pioneering technologies for sustainable use of the oceans

© Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Fraunhofer Underwater Navigator
Gelber Container mit Funkmast auf drei Pfeilern mitten in der Ostsee
© Fraunhofer IGD
Plattform über dem Unterwasser-Testfeld Digital Ocean Lab


Covering approximately 70 percent of the earth’s surface, the oceans are a vital element in the global climate system. Although our understanding of the oceans is still incomplete, we are increasing our use of them, not only as a source of food, energy and raw materials but also for the transport of goods and people, all of which is steadily impacting their ecosystems. Human society needs to ensure that the future use of marine resources is responsible and more in harmony with the protection of the marine environment. We can only succeed in this if we consolidate the basic technologies we have at our disposal and develop them further. The cross-disciplinary approach of the Fraunhofer Institute is aimed at integrating different topics of research to reflect the diversity and complexity of the areas in which their results will be applied.

Interdisciplinary research

Based at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft campus in Rostock, the Smart Ocean Technologies (SOT) interdisciplinary research group constitutes a unique European network for the development, testing and application of underwater technologies. The broad scientific expertise of the participating Fraunhofer institutes enables the research group to respond professionally and promptly to future demands from society and industry as these affect the protection and sustainable use of the oceans. Extensive test equipment and appropriate test beds are integrated into the practice-oriented research and development conducted in the Fraunhofer Digital Ocean Lab underwater test field.

Our contribution

The new technologies developed by Fraunhofer Smart Ocean Technologies (SOT) contribute to creating a balance between economic use and marine protection. This benefits not only public authorities and institutions, but also commercial enterprises in the planning of their current or future business fields, such as environmental monitoring, energy generation, disposal of munitions and hazardous materials as well as the prevention / reduction of marine pollution.

What can we do for you?

  • Initiation, coordination and management of projects within the framework of industrial application and industrial contract research
  • Prototype development and testing of technologies and systems in laboratory and field trials
  • Provision of suitable infrastructure for testing and commissioning technologies and systems in the Digital Ocean Lab
  • Testing and certification of technologies and systems
  • Delivery of training courses for users