After a Europe-wide call for tenders, Germanischer Lloyd WindEnergie (GL-Wind) has issued a contract for a first German offshore research platform. It has gone to a consortium of F+Z (a subsidiary of German companies Bilfinger and Berger) and shipping and salvage company Bugsier with installation set to begin in the autumn. GL-Wind was commissioned a year ago to co-ordinate the construction of three offshore platforms by the federal economics ministry, which is financing the projects. The first platform will be installed in the North Sea, 45 kilometres north of the island of Borkum, close to Prokon Nord's planned offshore wind station. Prokon Nord was given a construction licence to build a 12 turbine, 60 MW pilot project in November 2001. The research platform will be the base for hydrological and meteorological investigations and will be monitored centrally from shore. Raw data will be processed and then made publicly available on a web site. GL anticipates the results will be used for other offshore developments.