Basic informations

Project period

PRONICARE will start on July 2022 and runs for a period of three years until July, 2025.


The project will be coordinated by SINTEF AS, Norway.

Participating countries

PRONICARE is a collaborative effort by six partners including industries (ANKRON, ABT, Funzionano, Kelvion) and research institutions (SINTEF, AWI) from three different countries (Norway, Germany and Malta).

Project partners



Specific challenge

Marine biofouling and corrosion are two substantial challenges for shipping, offshore infrastructures and maritime technologies exposed to sea water. Expensive corrosion resistant materials are often needed for smaller functional equipment and surfaces like marine heat exchanges. Ships niche areas and offshore fish farms (are typical hot spots for the accumulation of biofouling organisms and corrosion.
It was indicated that sea chests may be of greater importance than ballast water or hull fouling for dispersing certain marine species. Marine growth (barnacles and mussels) in these areas is difficult and expensive to clean, usually requiring divers/ or robots to clean mechanically.

There is a great need for environmentally friendly and at the same time more cost-effective solutions in these niche areas, which can provide a combined anti-fouling and corrosion protection.

At the same time, there is a need for test methods geared to niche areas that provide valid proof of the efficiency of coatings in these areas in particular.

This is where the Pronicare project starts.


Fouling on sea chest
Fouling on sea chest

The project's objective in PRONICARE is to develop a copper-free, eco-friendly, cost-effective, thin hybrid sol-gel coating with functional additives offering a combination of corrosion and biofouling protection for metal surfaces in niches areas relevant to shipping, and offshore aquaculture.

To achieve this goal, an innovative mobile test unit and a new test methodology will be developed to evaluate the effectiveness of Marine Growth Protection Systems (MGPS) and Corrosion Protection Systems (CPS) (such as the novel coating) for niche areas and to validate the new coating’s feasibility, competitiveness and eco-friendliness.


Ankron's contribution

The standard methods used to date for testing MGPS include static plate tests (ASTM D 3623-78a (2020), ASTM D 6990-20) using coated test plates suspended in seawater for several months. Due to the permanent inflow occurring here, they are suitable for testing antifouling paints on ship hulls, but cannot reproduce the dynamic conditions in the narrow niche areas of a ship.

Ankron is designing and building a modular, globally deployable test unit for marine growth prevention systems in niche areas of ships. The floating platform carries scaled-down replicas of ship sea chests as well as prototypes of plate heat exchangers and box coolers, which are completely surrounded by seawater for a period of six months under the water surface. Installed seawater pumps create different flow regimes (full speed, standstill, etc.) to simulate real ship conditions.
This will provide a new, innovative test methodology that, based on the simulation approach, will identify operational limitations of the tested MGPS and allow validation of the effectiveness of the coatings or anti-fouling systems.