MARLESS Project: Scientists Develop Autonomous Mobile Network for Waste Collection

Lauren Simmonds

August the 31st, 2020 – This small country is abound with talent. From the sporting world to the arts, medicine, science and beyond – Croatia excels in its ”production” of great minds and impressive skills. Croatian scientists are absolutely no exception and a group from Dubrovnik are developing something that will help to reduce the worrying amount of waste that ends up in the Adriatic sea. Meet the MARLESS project.

As Morski writes on the 30th of August, 2020, the University of Dubrovnik is one of the partners in the praiseworthy MARLESS project – “MARine Litter cross-border awarenESS and innovation actions”, which began back on June the 1st, 2020.

The MARLESS project will address the problem of waste in the Adriatic sea from various aspects, which includes monitoring the amount of waste in the sea, raising citizens’ awareness of this problem, pilot activities aimed at testing experimental processes of removing waste from the sea, as well as transboundary management to reduce waste which reaches the Adriatic sea, according to a report from the local Dubrovnik Portal.

As many as thirteen partners from several regions of the northern and southern Adriatic are participating in the project worth a massive 4,244,726.00 euros. The main partner is the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection and Prevention of Veneto, and the project involves the regions of Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Apulia and Emilia-Romagna, the University of Bologna and the Cetacea Foundation from Italy, while the Croatian team consists of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Centre for Marine Research of the Ruđer Boskovic Institute, the University of Dubrovnik, the Regional Development Agency of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the Istrian Regional Energy Agency and Istria County.

The scientific team from the University of Dubrovnik consists of teachers from the Department of Aquaculture and members of the Laboratory for Intelligent Autonomous Systems from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing. With a budget of 399,860.00 euros, they will develop an autonomous mobile network for floating waste collection and contribute to activities which will work to properly monitor the amount of waste in the Adriatic sea and raise citizens’ awareness of this growing problem.

This strategic MARLESS project lasts from the 1st of June 2020 to the 31st of December 2022, and is implemented within the INTERREG cross-border cooperation program Italy – Croatia 2014-2020.

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