"Acts of piracy and armed robberies pose a serious threat to the lives of seafarers, the security of the shipping industry and the safety and security of coastal states. I call on all the stakeholders to engage actively in fighting this phenomenon and seek lasting solutions to this scourge that is affecting the whole international community."

 Antonio Tajani, Vicepresident of the European Commission

PiraT is a joint research project, which is rising to this challenge.

Our focus is not only on the worldwide increase in pirate attacks; the risk of terror attacks against facilities of the maritime economy will also be studied and analysed.

The German economy is particularly affected by these risks, as Germany imports and exports most of its goods over sea routes. Furthermore German shipowners operate the world’s largest container fleet, and suffer the highest number of attacks by pirates.

In this context, the goal of the project network PiraT is to develop a comprehensive concept for maritime security in which political risk analyses and technological security solutions are linked with legal and economic approaches. The overall goal is to develop inter-agency governmental options for action that will enable the implementation of non-military measures to strengthen maritime trade security.

The project network PiraT wants to provide a forum in which representatives of politics, business and academia can exchange views and share knowledge on maritime trade security. Perceptions of threat as well as the needs and expectations of a wide range of actors affected will be discussed and compared to enable a joint, coordinated and coherent procedure.

The Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) granted just under one million Euros for the project cooperation group within the framework of the German government research program “Securing the Commodity Chain” aimed at creating civil security awareness (http://www.bmbf.de/en/6293.php). The project will run for 33 months, and should end in December 2012. It is prolonged until March 2013.


Senior scientific partners:

  • the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) (Project leader and coordination)
  • the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Berlin
  • the Hamburg-Harburg University of Technology (TUHH)
  • the Bucerius Law School (BLS), Hamburg
  • the Institute for Strategic Future-analysis (ISFA) of the Carl-Friedrich-von-Weizsäcker-Foundation (subcontractor of the IFSH)


Associated partners:

  • the German Shipowners' Association (VDR)
  • the German Insurance Association (GDV)
  • the German Section of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • the JWA Marine Ltd
  • the Criminological Institute 11, Terrorism/Extremism Research Unit  (KI11 FTE)
  • the German Police Federation (GdP)

Piraterie und maritimer Terrorismus als Herausforderungen für die Seehandelssicherheit Deutschlands

Details und buying source (in german) ...

Details und buying source (in englisch) ...

Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik an der Universität Hamburg
DIW Berlin
Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg
Bucerius Law School
Institute for Strategic Future-analysis of the Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker Stiftung UG

Institute for Strategic Future-analysis of the Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker Stiftung UG