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Project Number: 18110-2

Project Acronym: SIMTAP

Project title: Self-sufficient Integrated Multi-Trophic AquaPonic systems for improving food production sustainability and brackish water use and recycling.

Periodic Technical Report Part B

1.1   Objectives

Table A. Work performed and results achieved for the projects objectives as described in section 1.1 of the proposal



Key performance indicator (KP1)

Work performed and results

SO1 - Designing a SIMTAP system with integrated smart monitoring and control system (ISMaCS)

The project aims at designing SIMTAP systems to be implemented in different contexts in Mediterranean areas. The technological specifications of every component of the systems will be identified and reported in a



Executive project documents and technical specifications

The designs of the four SIMTAP systems set up in France, Italy, Malta and Turkey the smart monitoring were completed in due time.

SO2 – Development of four SIMTAP prototypes in different geographic contexts Four prototypes will be built in different Mediterranean countries (Italy, Turkey, France, and Malta) with diversified environmental and salinity conditions. Various combinations of inputs will be considered in order to optimize biomass production based on local specific features, opportunities and constraints


Set-up of the prototypes

Three SIMTAP systems were set up in France (INRAE, LML), Turkey (MEDFRI)

and Italy (UNIPI, UNIBO) and were used for experiments in 2020.

The construction of the system in Malta (MAFA) is still in progress.

SO3 - Evaluation of effectiveness, efficiency and performance of SIMTAP systems.

The prototypes will be evaluated in terms of biomass, food and feed production, and waste production in comparison with conventional aquaculture and hydroponic systems


Food and feed productivity of the prototypes in comparison with currently available aquaculture and hydroponic systems

Results on fish growth performance at early and fattening stage in SIMTAP system are already or will be soon available (INRAE, LML, MEDFRI, UNIPI).

Results on growth performance at fish early stage together with halophyte plant, microalgae, polychaetes as well as nutrient mass balance estimation in the SIMPTA systems installed in several countries will be carried out in 2021.

SO4 - Development of Decision Support System (DSS) for SIMTAP implementation DSS aimed at defining the optimal locations of SIMTAP systems in the different contexts will be developed in GIS environment with a multi- criteria approach. Moreover, in order to conduct a sustainability assessment, aggregating the different indicators proposed by the different methods (LCA, LCC, Emergy), a qualitative approach based on decision trees will be carried out, applying a decision support system software stemmed from DEX methodology


GIS tool to assess SIMTAP location. DEXi tool

INRAE developed the Dexi methodology adapted to SIMTAP systems and built the tools for data collection and calculation of indicators, and the structure of the decision trees.



Key performance indicator (KP1)

Work performed and results

SO5 – Quality assessment of food products The objective is to assess the physical and chemical quality of food produced within the SIMTAP systems.


Chemical parameters of food products

Quality of crop plants grown in the SIMTAP prototype installed in Italy was assessed in a series of experiment conducted in 2020 by UNIPI.

MEDFRI’s studies on quality of fish and crop produced in SIMTAP system will be completed following the production in next period of the project.


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) will be carried out in order to assess environmental impacts from each SIMTAP system. Different parameters will be determined per unit of food produced to describe the use of resources and the environmental impacts.


LCA parameters

A data collection tool was developed by INRAE to collect the useful data for life cycle inventory.

SO7 - Economic assessment of SIMTAP. Life Cycle Cost (LCC) will be carried out in order to assess the economic performances of each SIMTAP system under investigation. LCC analysis will provide a detailed account of the total costs of a SIMTAP system over its

expected life. European subsidy framework will be also investigated.


Cost and investment analysis


developed a form to collect economic data about production factors and the capital goods and revenues SIMTAP systems.

An Excel-based tool for the calculation of the economic performances of the different SIMTAP systems was developed by UNIMI.

SO8 - Emergy accounting of SIMTAP. Emergy accounting (EA) will be carried out in order to complete the environmental assessment

of each studied SIMTAP system.


Emergy parameters and indicators.

A tool was developed by INRAE to collect the useful data for Emergy accounting adapted to SIMTAP systems.

SO 9 - Social assessment of SIMTAP. Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) will be carried out in order to assess the social

performances from each SIMTAP system under investigation. Social indicators will be determined such as working hours, creation of new jobs and working opportunities, involvement of local population, improved

working conditions.


Social indicators


developed a form to collect data to assess social sustainability of SIMTAP systems.

SO10 - Context of circular economy.

The project output will be disseminated among the scientific community, economic operators and other stakeholders. Specific recommendations, guidelines, best practices, and training activities will be designed and developed in order to boost the exploitation of SIMTAP systems in the Mediterranean areas with the aim to create technical skills and job

opportunities, and update trading system.


Dissemination events, technical documents (recommendations, guidelines, handbooks), training platforms and activities

Main results: project website; YouTube video of SIMTAP system in France; scientific publications.


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