Rostock (dpa / mv) - According to computer scientist Uwe von Lukas, Rostock has the chance to become a beacon of international underwater research with the "Ocean Technology Campus" (OTC).

"We aim to set up an innovation center where the various players from different departments can coordinate very closely with one another in a limited space," said von Lukas of the German Press Agency.

He is head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Graphic Data Processing (IGD) in Rostock and responsible for OTC planning and implementation.

The aim of the research will be to find forms of use for civil and sustainable use of the oceans, said von Lukas.

This includes underwater robotics as well as the environmentally friendly mining of natural resources as well as aquaculture and fisheries that protect stocks.

Methods are also to be developed to determine the ecological status of a sea with a kind of fingerprint through a small water sample.

An interdisciplinary research group with 13 employees is currently working on projects on a rented floor in the fishing port.

In the new IGD building, which should be ready for occupancy from 2025, around 50 people will then work continuously.

"We are looking for good researchers nationally and internationally," said von Lukas.

This is the only way to develop research capacities.


The background to the plans is the success of the OTC in the federal government's “Clusters4Future” competition.

Rostock and six other projects were able to prevail out of 140 competitors and later 16 finalists.

Divided into three three-year cycles of 15 million euros each, there is a total of 45 million euros in funding.

"The whole region can benefit when good employees develop exciting new products and services."

The Maritime Systems Department of the University of Rostock is in charge of the OTC.

The task of the Department of Maritime Systems is the sustainable protection of nature and resources in the coastal region, said University Director Wolfgang Schareck.

The synergistic research of all institutes involved in the OTC is recognized with “Cluster4Future”.

The OTC stands for very well networked cooperation and innovations in the future.

There are already collaborations with research clusters in Norway or Canada, said von Lukas.

However, Norwegian research traditionally goes in the direction of the extraction of oil or gas, the Canadians have their focus on cooperation with the navy in the military field.

The Rostock approach is unique in technological marine research.


As Education Minister Bettina Martin (SPD) said, the OTC is part of the state government's digital agenda.

The total institutional funding of over 60 million euros for Fraunhofer and the University of Rostock has so far included a share of 24 million euros from the state and 36 million euros from the federal government.

The money from “Cluster4Future” is now added.

The success of the OTC application proves the excellence of the project and the forward-looking approach.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210301-99-635083 / 2