PLOCAN: a gateway to the ocean

Advanced marine technology laboratory set up on Gran Canaria’s coast

About this project

The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) is a floating laboratory for development of advanced marine technologies. Situated on the east coast of Gran Canaria, it is the hub of numerous research projects. These cover fields ranging from marine biology to vehicle design.

3rd AtlantOS general assembly held at PLOCAN

Marine experts from 3 continents meet in Gran Canaria

The 3rd general assembly of the Atlantic Ocean observation project AtlantOS took place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 21-23 November 2017. Delegates came from 18 countries in Europe, Africa and the Americas, and 62 companies and institutions in the marine and maritime sector.

Las Palmas was chosen as the venue thanks to its position as a centre of European oceanic research. This follows the EU-financed construction of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) 1.5 km off Gran Canaria’s north-east coast.

The floating laboratory creates jobs, while also attracting and retaining scientific talent from various countries.

Offering the latest biogeochemical measuring equipment and vehicles for undersea missions, PLOCAN is an essential partner for AtlantOs in its efforts to improve ocean observation.

A floating marine research laboratory in the Canary Islands

PLOCAN is a scientific research centre to the north of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Around 20 teams of scientists work in fields such as biotechnology, renewable energy and marine vehicle design to drive forward advances in the maritime sector. It is now considered one of the best facilities of its kind in Europe.

The centre has a land-based facility and 2 underwater testing sites near the port of Taliarte. The cost of building these installations and running them until 2021 is estimated at €54 million, 85% of which will be financed by the EU.


Project facts
  • The Canary Islands have established themselves as a leading region for marine research infrastructure
  • 27 teams are currently working at PLOCAN
  • Since 2012, 396 partners from 23 countries and 1,500 researchers have been involved
  • PLOCAN has taken part in more than 30 international projects 
Government of the Canary Islands
EU Funding:
EUR 7 093 976
Spain, Gran Canaria
2017 - 2020
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