Businesses in the blue economy need useful and practical indicators to evaluate their impact and dependence on the marine ecosystem. The MEsP project is aimed at developing a tool that enables companies to assess their performances in connection with marine ecosystems.
Jan 2022 - Mar 2023
DBC project, National project

The 'Marine Ecosystem Performance Framework’ project is aimed at laying the foundations for a business tool (the so-called MEsP tool) to assess the performances of a company in terms of effects and dependence on marine ecosystems. Contrary to onshore activities, such a tool is not available for companies active at sea. The tool will enable these companies to measure their positive contributions as well as address their negative effects through nature-oriented solutions and measures to restore the marine ecosystem.

Within this project, IMDC, Arcadis and FKS jointly develop an MEsP framework in the form of a dashboard that will serve as a proof of concept for a user-friendly interactive software tool. The implementation of the MEsP framework will be primarily limited to the Belgian part of the North Sea and a few important sectors which are active in this area (offshore wind energy, aquaculture, dredging works and infrastructure at sea). Over the course of the project, recommendations will be formulated to widen the applicability of the tool.

The concrete results of the research project will include:

  • A series of indicators to quantify the impact of business activities and their dependence on the marine ecosystem. The number of indicators will match the number of impact categories and interactions, which depends on the type of business activity.
  • An assessment of the available data sources concerning the condition of the marine ecosystem. This assessment will take place on the basis of accessibility for and applicability by the business community.
  • A methodology for performance assessment which companies can use to measure their performances in connection with marine ecosystems. In particular, this methodology will include a scoring system with which businesses can evaluate their contribution to the local objectives for marine ecosystems on a project level.
  • A set of concrete case studies in the Belgian part of the North Sea to validate the above-mentioned 3 components of the MEsP framework and illustrate its implementation to potential end users.

Upon completion of the research project, the partners will develop a software tool with an open-source community version on the one hand and a closed corporate version with more modalities on the other hand. The partners will follow up on the MEsP tool by providing various forms of business support and training for the blue economy.

Partners: International Marine & Dredging Consultants nv (IMDC), Arcadis Belgium N.V. and FKS – Formal and Knowledge Systems

With the support of: VLAIO (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

Contact: Kristien Veys

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