Our Projects

At IMI, in addition to legal advice, our focus is our projects. Whilst working continuously on the coordination of our two leading projects – Paralia and INES – we are also involved in some other European and international initiatives, and are currently working on the development of a number of new project ideas.

IMI currently works within the current spectrum of expertise:

  • Water Innovation
  • Aviation
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental exploration
  • Habitats Directive
  • Water Framework Directive


Key Projects


The network on salinity gradient energy was created with the support of the European DG Environment in 2009. Its main objective is to build consortia and push the salinity gradient energy sector in the development of demonstration projects and commercial upscaling. Originally a European network, INES has developed into a global network with partners from significant public and private demonstration projects worldwide. Since 2010, we have welcomed partners from Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Colombia, Australia, Canada and the USA.

Stemming from the INES project there have been three European and internationally financed salinity gradient upscaling projects.

Our second website is our dedicated INES website.


Dating back to 2000, Paralia is an informal network of stakeholders, with a focus on port activities and nature protection in estuarine areas. Initiated by the Institute for Infrastructure, Environment and Innovation (IMI), the project aims to address common problems related to wildlife protection and port development in areas that are in or within close proximity to Natura 2000 sites. It brings together governments, ports, universities, NGOs and knowledge centres into a thematic network dedicated to the development of practical and applicable solutions and ideas for future improvement. The project has managed to establish itself as a reliable group of pro-active stakeholders that want to make a difference and take the implementation of nature protection in their project planning activities as a serious issue, and provide sustainable and result-oriented actions.

Over the course of Paralia project, substantial results have been achieved. To date, the project has contributed to the organisation of a number of workshops on the subject, and has significantly increased best practice and knowledge sharing among stakeholders.  The project has shown that port activities and nature protection can be successfully combined as long as dialogue and co-operation among stakeholders begins at an early stage and the necessary research is properly carried out. It has contributed to some major publications of the European Commission related to ports and nature protection, such as, inter alia, the European Estuary Guide and the European Commission’s memorandum on the links between the EU Habitats and Water Framework Directives, and has helped partners successfully obtain and invest European funds into tackling concrete problems related to nature protection in estuarine areas.

In its initial phases, Paralia project focused in particular on the conditions of articles 6.3 and 6.4 of the Habitats Directive. Presently it also focuses on related issues, such as species protection, habitat banking, temporary nature, management plans and the links to the Water Framework Directive. In its current phase, Paralia focuses on conservation objectives, as well as on prioritisation of issues in relation to dynamic nature development and cross-boundary issues related to the management of Natura 2000 sites in estuaries. It is set to include a visit to the port of Constanza, the Port of Tallinn and a potential visit to the Port of Gijon. Alongside this, the project also has some active plans for expansion, in the long-term aiming to unite all EU ports facing similar problems related to wildlife and nature preservation into a coherent knowledge sharing network.

Projects in Development

The Institute for Infrastructure, Environment and Innovation is currently working on the initiation and development of a number of new projects.

Metapopulation approach to coastal bird management

IMI is currently preparing an application for the EU-funded Interreg VB programme. The proposed project will aim to address common challenges related to port and estuary planning and the management of Natura 2000 sites with significant coastal bird populations. Through sharing of ideas and research, the project will develop a meta-population methodology in relation to trans-border management of biodiversity (focusing in particular on coastal bird population shifts and fluctuations) and will explore possibilities for joint management of migratory coastal bird habitats. In addition to the exchange of knowledge and expertise and the development of a novel methodology to support key stakeholders, the project will invest in strategic nature restoration measures, thus benefitting coastal bird populations.