Location of the study areas in the North Sea and Baltic Sea

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Real World Labs

Definition of reallabs

A real world laboratory (RWL) is a method of transdisciplinary research corresponding to the basic democratic understanding of social inclusion for social change for the joint development and testing of governance innovations in a participatory approach (Renn 2018). RWLs consists of three phases: (i) a co-design phase, in which problems and potential solutions are discussed and selected; (ii) an (experimental) co-production phase, in which selected innovations are developed and tested in the context of real circumstances; and (iii) a co-evaluation and adaptation phase, in which the innovations are consolidated.

Three locations in the North Sea and Baltic Sea

CREATE's work is taking place in three study areas. Two study areas are located in the North Sea (Sylt Outer Reef, SAR; Borkum Riffgrund, BRG), another in the Baltic Sea (Eckernförder Bucht, EB). We explicitly use the term study areas because the RLe located in them can only be developed jointly by science and stakeholders, within the framework of the project. CREATE cooperates closely with the project "Reallabor Eckernförder Bucht 2030" under the direction of Chr. Wagner-Ahlfs (CeOS) in the design of the real world lab in the Eckernförder Bucht. Here, existing networks and structures can be drawn on through the project work there; at the same time, CREATE contributes to the further expansion and stabilisation of the already existing reallaboratory. Each study area includes one or more long-term observatories, which make it possible to follow the temporal development over the past decades using established monitoring programmes. Work package 1 forms the basis of the project and includes stakeholder mapping, co-design of the real world labslabs and the development of operational management objectives and concepts to reduce cumulative impacts of multiple uses and climate change. Work packages 2 and 3 form the content pillars for generating recommendations for action in work package 1. WP2 closes necessary gaps in the analysis of biodiversity and the physical environment of the RWLs and their connectivity, while WP3 analyses existing governance structures in a multi-level approach and identifies reform needs.

The project CREATE (Concepts for Reducing the Effects of Anthropogenic pressures and uses on marine Ecosystems and on Biodiversity) is part of the mission sustainMare within the German Alliance for Marine Research (DAM). CREATE is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, 03F0836A).

(Changed: 05 Oct 2022)