DEME has always been at the forefront of innovation, contributing to sustainable growth and creating new opportunities to expand DEME's global reach.

Research & Development is undertaken in multidisciplinary way, involving close cooperation between sites, vessels and the headquarters but also between calculation desks, project management teams, technical and engineering departments. The innovation process follows a methodical, systematic and structured approach, leading to groundbreaking innovations and developments.


DEME's Central Competence Centre

DEME employees working at DEME's Central Competence Centre


A third initiative is DEME’s ‘Central Competence Centre’ where all knowledge and experience from all over the organisation comes together. The Central Competence Centre is a major tool for the project management teams to develop creative and cost-efficient solutions. Thanks to our recently developed ‘Production Assistance Up-link’ PAUL tool it is possible for the dredging operators on board our vessels to communicate directly with regional or central management and the Central Competence Centre has online access to dredging parameters at ongoing operations at the other end of the globe. This allows immediate intervention, resulting in optimum production.


Applied Development and R&D

DEME wants new technique, service and tools development to be a proactive process and encourages innovations to take place on all levels and locations throughout the company.  A two-yearly contest rewards successful innovations in different categories.

The Research, Methodology, Production and Engineering (RMPE) and the Applied Development Departments assist with the conversion of innovative ideas into practical solutions.

Both departments act as a catalyst by bringing together the necessary structure and specialists from across the company for a successful R&D.








DRIVE is DEME’s own continuous improvement and operational excellence methodology. The DRIVE approach is based on the principles of Lean Six Sigma, but takes into consideration the specific nature of DEME’s business and its existing  management practices and culture. The DEME Management Team defines each year a clear financial target for DRIVE, which is assigned to the Areas and Business Units. Apart from the realization of the financial target, the second strategic target for DRIVE is to reinforce the culture of continuous improvement and accountability within DEME. Since the launch in 2009, DRIVE has realized its financial targets. In addition, DRIVE has extended its scope towards new business units and departments to the extent that, since 2013, more than 95% of all DEME projects in all of DEME’s activities use the DRIVE continuous improvement approach.   

DEME's improvement program DRIVE has resulted in the development of a bottum-up innovation track. Each year around 100 ideas for technical innovations are identified at the daily and weekly DRIVE production meetings that take place on board of the main production units.

The DRIVE steer group, with representatives from Technical and Operations management, selects the most promising ideas and launches implementation projects. Approximately one third of the ideas are selected and realized and result in relevant measurable improvements.



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