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Marine Pollution Scope

EO-powered detection and monitoring of wastewater discharges in coastal cities.

  • 110 Raised
  • 2 Juries


  • Croatia


  • 2. Making the seas more secure



Challenge #2 Making the seas more secure: Develop concepts, products or services to enable maritime intelligence on direct security threats, organised crime and environmental hazards.

The Problem: Pollution and health of seas - lack of water quality data!

Wastewater discharges can cause bring devastating and often irreversible damage to wetland ecology, wildlife, and marine biodiversity. They also directly affect the health and well-being of coastal communities. All of these factors have been accorded legal protections in national and international law and recognized as essential elements of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework developed by the United Nations.

Furthermore, almost €500 billion worth of services is generated within a 10 km coastal zone in the EU annually (source: The EU Blue Economy Report 2022).

Currently, there are obstacles in efficient monitoring, which create pains for end-users:

1) low accuracy of wastewater detection and classification

2) low spatial resolution of hybrid EO/SAR solutions,

3) low monitoring frequency in comparison to the persistence time of certain pollution hazards,

4) the effect of weather and hydrodynamics of the sea with respect to seasonal changes,

5) the necessity of on-site surveys which generates additional costs and carbon emissions for end-users.

The Solution:

MarinePollutionScope - detection and monitoring of wastewater discharges in near-shallow and transparent coastal waters based on environmental benchmarking by mapping spectral signatures using optical data (Sentinel-2)

By establishing time series and deploying routines to analyse optical Setinel-2 data in 10x10 m resolution we can map coastal waters and establish the baseline in terms of spectral signature. This yields the possibility to in long terms detect abrupt changes in the marine environment. 

The workflow includes calibrated coloured dissolved matter concentration derivation, and customized, water-body specific band ratio models based on:

i)    bathymetry profile, 

ii)    seabed composition and classification,

iii)    water column parameters estimate,

iv)    integration with higher-level products (wind and sea current vector maps, etc.).

Unique Value Proposition:

Monitoring on large scale, more frequently, and more affordable with a more than a 10-fold decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Team:

Stipe Lukin, the project leader holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Zagreb. He is an expert in data analysis with 25+ published scientific papers in leading science journals; He was awarded National Science Award from the Croatian Parliament in 2020.

Robert Šulc, obtained his master's degree at the University of Zagreb, Department of Geography. He is a specialist in analysing geospatial data.

Mario Špadina obtained Ph.D. at the Institute for Separation Chemistry, University of Montpellier. He has 13+ published scientific papers in the areas of physics, chemistry and applied mathematics. Named as Emerging Leaders under 40 years by European Forum Alpbach 2022.

Market potential:

We are targeting a Serviceable Available Market of 300 mil. EUR with over 6% annual growth in applications to maritime transport and energy sector, coastal tourism and environmental monitoring (source: Copernicus Market Report, PwC, EU).

We target port authorities, shipyards, local governments, as well as national surveillance agencies. According to the "Ports 2030 Report", the EU trans-European Transport network includes 328 ports (TEN-T). These networks of ports, local and regional authorities, together with a variety of B2B stakeholders who are part of that value chain are our potential client base. The energy sector related to European oil and gas production is set offshore. There are 556 operating installations that are crucial for Europe's supply of energy. Based on the Directive on Safety of Offshore Oil and Gas Operations (2013/30/EU), all those facilities have obligations to inform EU countries (both authorities and citizens) on the status of the environment in all EU marine waters, including exclusive economic zones and continental shelves. This is precisely the problem that our solution will alleviate through systematic data collection, processing, and reporting that is already compliant with all EU legislation. The customer will receive a one-stop-shop product.

The long-term vision is to expand and internationalize in new markets. We will customize and upgrade our product for Caribbean Sea Island states and crude oil transportation in the Gulf of Mexico, where we will rely on strong marketing and a track record of success in the EU. The maritime transport market is growing at a steady 4% rate, making our MarinePollutionScope solution even more important. (Source Review of Maritime Transport, United Nations, 2021.).

Business model:

On top of the SaaS platform, we intend to provide consulting services for those looking for tailor-made solutions. The consulting service includes dedicated reporting and analysis provided on top of the access to the platform. The price of consulting is based on the workload required for analysing a single image (multiple layers of CDOM, dark spots, wind maps, etc.), as well as the area and the frequency of monitoring.

At this moment of the prototyping phase, the first users for testing and based on experience on the market by both consortium partners, we envision the following revenue models: 1) Consulting, 2) SaaS, and 3) hybrid SaaS-consulting. 

We aim to land contracts in all three (3) revenue models on a yearly basis in order to establish a consistent revenue stream. Envisioned pricing strategy is built upon layering from: the cost of data, data analysis workflow, output data interpretation, and additional consulting layer. The basic monitoring package is valued at 1500 EUR per month per 3 km^2 for the end client and includes monitoring, reporting, and consulting (Professional tier). The advanced monitoring package is valued at 2000 EUR per month per 30 km^2 for the end client and includes establishing a historical baseline (environmental benchmarking), monitoring, reporting, and consulting, and commercial data providers (Premium tier).