Milestone after seven years of research: MSP Challenge 4.0

On December 12, AGM Research, Cradle RD Lab, and MSP achieved a major milestone, unveiling MSP Challenge 4.0 after seven years of devoted research and development.  

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is a public process of analysing and allocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives that have been specified through a political process. 

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The journey began in 2011 when Xander Keijser and Lodewijk Abspoel of the Dutch Government approached Igor Mayer to explore the concept of a simulation game about maritime spatial planning (MSP). 

Fast-forward to 2016, when the Cradle R&D Lab was established at Academy for Games and Media (AGM), embarking on the ambitious task of developing the fourth incarnation of MSP Challenge. During the Connecting Seas conference in Hamburg in 2019, BUas staff hinted at the imminent ‘getting out of beta’ moment for the platform. Despite unforeseen challenges in the last few years, including limited funding and the global Covid-19 pandemic, the platform emerged victorious with a complete graphical user interface redesign, key additional features, and numerous bug fixes.  

Collaboration played a pivotal role in the success of MSP Challenge, with just under 50 people contributing over the past seven years. The platform has been employed in over 60 demos and workshops worldwide, involving more than 2000 participants. Funding, exceeding 3 million euros from various sources including EU research funding, Dutch research funding, and direct government support, was crucial to the platform's development.  

Released for free through, MSP Challenge 4.0 sends a powerful message to the maritime spatial planning community about BUas' dedication to supporting them through simulation game design and technology.  

Curious to know more about the MSP Challenge simulation platform? Head to to read the full article.