As a direct result of the nature and role of its founding members as interface institutions, providing links between fundamental research and the academic world and the industrial and service companies, TEC4SEA has been created with three main objectives: To i) support the external scientific community, ii) support the external industrial sector, and iii) advance the envelope of maritime technology.


Operating at sea requires a set of very expensive resources; expensive to acquire, expensive to maintain, and expensive to operate. It also requires very specific equipment, requiring a very specialized set of skills for proper operation. Additionally, it requires expert and experienced teams capable of successfully exploring and deploying those assets. The sea is a very unforgiving environment, and no replacement can be found for proper know-how.

TEC4SEA has precisely that. It has a vast and eclectic set of equipment and resources, from fully equipped laboratories to marine robotic platforms of great diversity in size, shape and capability, autonomous and non-autonomous. It has the hyperbaric chambers, the test tanks, and the sea going vessels. It also has very experienced and knowledgeable people. In short, it has what it takes to successfully operate at sea. More importantly than what TEC4SEA has, however, is the fact the it also has the capability to develop new maritime technology, customized to the job and its specific requirements.

By making this set of assets and skills available to the external scientific and industrial communities, TE4SEA is, in fact, allowing the members of these communities to develop the technology and conditions to operate at sea without having to first acquire an identical set of assets and skills of their own. In short. It is decreasing the barriers and cost of doing either science or business at sea and, thus, fostering and promoting R&D and technology transfer, and helping the intended growth of a sustainable blue economy sector.

Scientific Roadmap

TEC4SEA has also its own scientific agenda and roadmap, which it pursues independently of the (but in synergy with) its external support commitments. The broad lines of this scientific map are a direct consequence of the two main characteristics of the Portuguese sea: dimension and depth. These broad lines, which underly most of TEC4SEA’s particular choices and technological objectives are:

    • DEEPER. We have a strong focus on deep sea technology, even though always keeping in mind the potential use of the developed technology in other aquatic environments, be it at sea or on land.
    • LONGER. We also strive for strive for long endurance platforms, as a direct result of the large dimension of the sea at hand.
    • MASSIFIABLE. We aim for low-cost, massification-prone, swarm-ready, solutions.
    • SAFER. We strive for increased levels of automation and autonomy, as a key option to make operations at sea safer to human operators.