Project Overview




June 2023 - June 2026





Type of Action

Innovation Action

The concept

Funded by the European Union's Horizion Europe program, is a 5.8 million euros, three-year project that will be a responsive hub for deploying long-term governance centered on the mission to destress the Mediterranean Sea from chemical pollution, including peak concentrations in known HOT SPOTs.

In particular, the project will test and validate a chemical pollution remediation technology based on micro-algae solutions that will be integrated within existing water/wastewater treatment systems that will enhance the removal of heavy metals, pesticides, and PFAS and forever chemicals. Moreover, it will be complemented with mobile and fixed sensing systems to identify and measure the presence of chemical substances in both land and marine waters, being measured data delivered to the EC EMODnet platform to contribute to the Digital Twin of the Ocean.

Three sites (Italy, Greece and Turkey) have been chosen for demonstration and once realized, five replication sites will be added to the list for further investigation. To this end, local stakeholders will be empowered to manage this transformation.


Scientific and Technological Objectives

Development of adaptive, easily reproducible microalgae-based technology plants to abate heavy metals, PFAS, pharmaceuticals and pesticides in polluted water, sediments, and wastewater to cope with the target of 50% reduction as well as with Zero Pollution Action Plan, the Convention for protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution and the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability objectives
Development and validation of advanced systems to monitor chemical pollution by on site direct measurement through micro-sensing devices, including wireless communication to remote station, capable to withstand harsh environment
Deployment of a system design approach to integrate replicable microalgae packages in existing cleaning systems and plants to prevent the polluted waters being discharged through river catchments from urban households and industrial facilities
Data flow customisation to enable systematic import to Digital Ocean platform and Water Knowledge system for knowledge sharing
Conceptualisation and establishment of an evolutionary holistic model to combine technology, business capacity associated to the chemical pollution destress action, social acceptability & accountability, and governance processing based on regulatory innovation paradigm
Definition and validation of chemical characterisation protocols for contaminants yet out of regulatory control for both sea and land-based water treatment

Non-Technological Objectives

Consolidation of guidelines and best practises to contribute to the progress of Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive to assess and measure GES (Good Environmental status) and GCS (Good Chemical Status) based on experience on real scenarios and contaminants
Development of novel approach to citizens empowerment on chemical pollution remediation based on marine deliberative opportunities, participatory budgeting, constructive dialogs and citizens science principles scaled-up from local validation to national and EU
Definition and establishment of sharing modalities to export data from real remediation site results for exploitation in other Mission Lighthouses and Blue Parks
Foster the development of common model / processes to reporting, monitoring and coordination of implementation activities under control of the Mission Implementation Support Platform
To deploy a sound strategy towards the replication of RHE-MEDiation demo results
To deliver an early, open and transparent promotion of RHE-MEDiation results through a comprehensive Dissemination and Communication plan

Expected Results

Development of Adaptive and easily reproducible microalgae based plants for reducing heavy metals, PFAS, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides in polluted waters

Development of smart integrated measurement points for monitoring real chemical pollution cases

Integrate replicable microalgae-based technologies to existing wastewater treatment plants

Integration with Ocean and Water digital twins

Evolutionary holistic model to combine technology, business, social acceptability and accountability, and innovative governance based on regulatory paradigm.

Unregulated chemicals Characterization protocols for replication purposes

Input to Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive based on experience on real scenarios and contaminants

Tailored citizens empowerment models upscaled from local to national and EU level

Contribution to shared processes among Lighthouses as well as Blue Park Initiatives

Links with EC Mission Implementation Support Platform

RHE-MEDiation replication process

Communicate and disseminate the RHE-MEDiation achievements in open and transparent ways.

Project Partners