• The sea is our passion.
  • Rehabilitate and rebuild ports.
  • Innovate for expanding famous ports in France and around the world.
  • « Design & Build » : study, design, build maritime structures in France and around the world.
  • Construct modern technical solutions, from artificial reefs to latest generation marinas.
  • Manage coastal areas, preserve the coast.

Innovative coastal management

Coastal management is ACRI-IN's core business. The company has dedicated the majority of its research and development efforts to this field. 4 subjects are particularly representative of the development we do:

  • Innovative remote anchorage design: Waterlily;
  • OPTIMA-PAC project: seawater heat pumps;;
  • RATCOM project: Tsunami Warning System for the Mediterranean coasts
  • An innovative wave absorbing quay design.



    2008: ACRI-IN, in partnership with the Compagnie d'Exploitation des Port (CEP, subsidiary of Veolia), wanted to develop a new temporary anchorage design, meeting the following objectives:

    • Optimization of handling capacity compared to traditional solutions
    • Environmental protection
    • Ability to offer ancillary services onsite
    • Viability beyond the surf zone

    ACRI-IN then came up with the idea of an "inverted pendulum" and performed feasibility studies on a structure originally called Anchoring Flower, now Waterlily

    The first designs were made in 2008, digital development and structural analysis in 2009, and the first prototype installed in Bandol Bay during the summer of 2010 for an initial test phase on design measurements.

    ACRI-IN's R&D work included coming up with an original structure, removable, with minimal impact on the ocean floor, and especially to withstand wind and wave conditions much stronger than those ordinarily encountered by traditional floating pontoons, while remaining within acceptable limits on production costs and installation.


    Objective: Installation of a tsunami and coastal flooding warning network in the Mediterranean.

    Amount: 6,2 M€

    Financing: Fonds Unifié Interministériel (FUI) [Interministerial Unified Fund], the Region and General Councils, partners

    Research project completed between the end of 2009 and June 2011, divided into:

    • PACA Maritime Competitiveness Cluster
    • Risk Cluster
    • Secured Communicating Solutions Cluster (SCS)

    17 partners coordinated by Thales Alenia Space:

    • Major Companies: Thales Alenia Space (Project Lead), DCNS, SFR, EUTELSAT;
    • PME: ACRI-ST, ACRI-IN, I PROCESS, CEDRALIS, J&PGéo, C2 Innovativ'Systems;
    • Research organizations and laboratories: BRGM, EURECOM;
    • Public organizations: CEA DAM, IFREMER, CNRS GeoAzur, METEO France;

    User groups associated with the project: MEEDDAT (DPPR), DSC (Major Risk Management), SDIS 06, General Counsel 06 (Environmental Management), Martinique General Counsel, Maritime Prefecture, City of Nice, City of Antibes, Sophia Antipolis Area Community.

    ACRI-IN had the responsibility of deploying the detection network (prototype):

    • development of deep water sensors, inspired by a previous research project covering a wave energy recovery device (based on Longuet-Higgins wave pressure) which was the subject of a patent (2006), validation on a physical model in the wave flume (2007), and a presentation given at the SHF AIPCN CETMEF symposium in Paris (December 2007)
    • Adjustment and implementation of shallow water sensors, near the coasts

    The measurements collected and analyzed from the prototype network identified additional scientific and technical interest: the water height measurements in ports ended up being interesting data to evaluate and qualify actual agitation in port bodies of water, to better understand the height of overflow specific to the site, and to determine their own periods for basins shown by seiche phenomena intrinsic to each site.


    Objective: optimize power performance and manage the impact on the marine environment of seawater heat pumps (HP).

    Financing: FUI, territorial governments, Principality of Monaco

    Research project by the PACA Maritime Cluster in 2009 to be performed between 2011 and 2014.

    Suited to high population density coastal areas, the principle of the seawater HP technology using marine energy is quickly catching on in the Mediterranean, driven by high water temperature, the lack of tides, favorable bathymetrics and a constant resource.




    The Principality of Monaco, a partner in the project, has several seawater HPs that draw and discharge their water from the Port Hercules basin or nearby, and is a full scale laboratory for scientific partners responsible for evaluating the impact of existing HPs.

    In this project, ACRI-IN is responsible for two essential tasks:

    • invent innovative devices for a better way to dilute the plume without using more energy, and, when possible, reuse this energy for other applications such as port water renewal;
    • develop and calibrate digital models for near-field and medium-field plume dispersion and dilution.


    When existing ports are saturated, and new or expansion construction is impossible, optimization of existing port bodies of water becomes the only alternative, and proves that innovation is the answer to this problem. The objective is to effectively meet the requirements of the customers and users, compromising between the constraints to optimizing an existing port and the design concepts of a new port:

    • Increase port handling capacity while remaining within the site boundaries;
    • Protect people and ships by limiting wave agitation on the port area;
    • Keep project costs within the customer's budget;
    • Limit their footprint, and more broadly their environmental impact, to improve integration into the marine environment.

    Taking these elements into consideration, the choice of getting involved in research and development of alternative innovative solutions led ACRI-IN to expand on a little used idea of hybrid structures (caissons + rubble mound breakwaters). A research program aimed at sizing and installing this innovative type of buffer quay was started, extending technical progress and understanding in which ACRI-IN has actively participated for the last several years by:

    • Developing and regularly perfecting its digital calculation tool, RANKINE2D (hydrodynamic force, transmission, reflection, dissipation of a 2D structure subjected to wave action).
    • Providing physical modeling, uncontested in this field. ACRI-IN has completed several test programs in its own laboratory equipped with a wave flume.
    • Construction, started in 2007, of Jarlan caissons for the Port Hercules outer harbor in Monaco. ACRI-IN was the Project Manager on this project, designed to protect the extension of the Portier urban area (digitally pre-sizing protection structures, physical tests in the wave flume, computer agitation and currents studies, project management of the hydraulic structures for improving the Port of Monaco).

    This major project was the opportunity for ACRI-IN to apply its knowledge of innovative structures, and use its specifically developed digital sizing tools (RANKINE 2D among others) and its physical modeling methods. Though most wave absorbing quay projects are essentially based on the Jarlan caisson, ACRI-IN decided to direct its R&D towards innovative, alternative, more compact hybrid structures, combining the caisson idea with a porous media constituted by rubble mounds.

    Our R&D work on this topic was based on two major harbor improvement projects completed by ACRI-IN since 2010:

    • Saint Raphaël Old Port renovation
    • Propriano Sailing Harbor renovation

    To meet their requirements, we showed the customers our work on the topic of wave absorbing structures and offered to implement a hybrid structure for their port improvement projects.

Marine Engineering
ACRI-IN's business is to combine R&D with numerical modeling, physical modeling, civil engineering and port engineering, coastal and river management and marine and harbor project management, and project management support. And do this based on the expertise, tools, organization and teams with different backgrounds and experience.
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Variety of skills
ACRI-IN's team has the skills to get involved around the world in areas of marine structure design, civil engineering, port engineering, physical modeling, regulatory filings, marine project management, PM support, technical expertise, implementing prototypes and pilot operations, R&D.
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