Knowledge Flows in Marine Spatial Planning : Sharing Innovation in Higher Education

Project: Research

Project Details


KnowledgeFlows in Marine Spatial Planning - Sharing Innovation in Higher Education
(KnowledgeFlows) aims at further enforcing the European higher education community to meet the growing demands for knowledge, skills and innovation within the still emerging field of marine or maritime spatial planning (MSP).

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is an emerging governmental approach towards a more effective use of the sea. MSP is of great interest in Europe and can be considered a societal process to balance conflicting interests of maritime stakeholders and the marine environment. Many different activities take place at sea, ranging from shipping, fisheries, to offshore wind energy activities. Simultaneously, new and evolving policies focus on strategies to integrate different marine demands in space and resources. MSP is now legally binding in the EU and is much needed approach to manage and organize the use of the sea, while also protecting the environment.

KnowledgeFlows will contribute to the development of new innovative approaches to higher education and training on MSP by means of problem-based learning schemes, transdisciplinary collaboration, and advanced e-learning concepts. KnowledgeFlows builds on results from former project outputs (Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for Marine Spatial Planning SP-MSP), such as the online learning platform MSP Education Arena (

The strategic partnership consists of a transnational network of experts both in research and in practice based in the north Atlantic, Baltic Sea and North Sea Regions including Aalborg University (DK, lead partner), The University of Oldenburg (D), the University of Liverpool (U.K.), the University of Nantes (F), the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (D), the Breda University of Applied Sciences (NL), University of Ulster (U.K.), and the Finnish Environment Institute (FI). Gothenburg University, also being a higher education organisation, will be associated partner.
Furthermore, three international organisations, the Marine Spatial Planning Research Network, the Baltic inter-governmental VASAB and the pan-Nordic Nordregio will be involved in the partnership as associated organisations deeply rooted in the MSP community of practice.

The further improvement of curricula, exchange of knowledge and experts, and transparency and recognition of learning outcomes to reach higher qualifications in MSP are key components of KnowledgeFlows. A mutual learning environment for MSP higher education will enable problem-driven innovation among students and their educators from research and governance also involving stakeholders. Related activities on intellectual outputs, multiplier events and lecturing will be carried out by all participating organisations.

The intellectual outputs are related to three major contributions to the European higher education landscape:
1) an advanced level international topical MSP course (Step-up MSP)
2) digital learning facilities and tools (MSP Education Arena)
3) designing problem-based learning in MSP (MSP directory)

The advanced level inter-institutional topical MSP course will include different teaching and training activities within a problem-based learning environment. Digital learning facilities enabling communication and training will include a further enrichment of the MSP Education Arena platform for students, practitioners and lecturers for including modules for
collaborate learning activities, documentation and dissemination, mobilisation/recruitment, thesis opportunities, placements/internships. Designing problem-based learning in MSP will include topics as; the design of didactics and methods; guidance for lecturers, supervisors and students; evaluation and quality assurance; assessment.

Five multiplier events back to back or as part of conferences within the MSP community will be organised to mainstream the outputs and innovative MSP didactics among other universities and institutions.

Different teaching and training activities feeds into the intellectual output activities, which will include serious gaming sessions (MSP Challenge ( and others), workshops, excursions, courses/classes as well as a conference with a specific focus on facilitating the exchange of innovative ideas and approaches among students at bachelor´s, master´s and doctoral level and the MSP community of practice.

Project management meetings (twice a year) will assure coherence in project planning and implementation. As the core focus of the strategic partnership is on collaboration, mutual learning, and innovation among educators, students, and practitioners in order to meet actual and future needs regarding knowledge exchange and training within the MSP community, the project will be designed to have long lasting effects.
Effective start/end date1/09/1931/08/22


  • Erasmus+


  • higher education
  • innovation
  • Marine Spatial Planning