Funded by the ROP-ERDF 2014-2020 of the Emilia Romagna Region, the TAO project aims at developing innovative technologies to monitor the coastal belt in the area of the «active» beach, that is between the maximum limit of wave rising and the maximum depth of interaction of the currents with the bottom, in order to investigate the dynamic mechanisms causing the coastal erosion and to evaluate the effectiveness of the defence works.

The project aggregates 5 regional laboratories for technology transfer and 4 private companies in a public-private partnership


The aim of this project is the implementation of a technological platform formed by mobile and fixed monitoring stations, with a low environmental impact and low costs, to investigate the littoral zones and their surroundings.

This will be completed by a tool park specifically developed and will enable to implement 3D models of the sea bottom and sub-bottom based on morpho-bathymetric surveys, surface stratigraphies and distribution of sediments in the area.

Moreover, it will enable to take samples of water, to obtain images of the coast line and to assess the environmental conditions by processing biotic and abiotic data.


The coastal erosion and the human impact (tourism, pollution, climate change) are crucial problems for the coastal belt, both in the area of the Emilia Romagna region, and in many places on the planet. At present, the available studies on this belt, at the border between the lands above and below sea level, have very high costs and cannot guarantee a long-term monitoring. Moreover, there is no reference scheme to connect the observed data to the implementation of predictive models. In order to be effective, the policy of environmental protection and awareness raising of such an under pressure area needs a deeper and more detailed knowledge of factors acting at different times and with different intensity.


In order to preserve the environment around us, a changed collective consciousness is necessary, which only can be originated by a better awareness. The innovations integrated in the TAO Project will precisely have the effect to enhance and improve the knowledge regarding the coastal belt, and therefore guide this change. The multidiscipline working group collaborating with TAO possesses transversal skills to face the problem of coastal erosion with a wide view. In particular, the combination of mobile (autonomous vehicles) and fixed monitoring structures will enable to create a real network of constant observation and monitoring. The main feature of the technologies developed by TAO, in addition to their low cost, is represented by the minimum impact that the measure instruments employed will have on the studied environment.