The Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership (SBEP) is now accepting applications.
SBEP is starting in 2022 under Horizon Europe. The vision of the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership is to design, steer and support a just and inclusive transition to a regenerative, resilient, and sustainable blue economy. This Partnership aims to boost the transformation needed towards a climate-neutral, sustainable, productive, and competitive blue economy by 2030 while creating and supporting the conditions for a healthy ocean for the people by 2050.
The Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership will deliver solutions to strengthen European Union (EU) and international science-policy interfaces in marine- and maritime-related domains of the EU Green Deal and Digital Europe strategies through aligning national, regional, and EU R&I priorities and bringing together science, industry, policy, and citizens. In addition, it will contribute to accelerating the post-pandemic recovery and resilience of NextGenerationEU.
The 2023 Joint Call is the first Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership call, and it pools national and regional financial resources through participation of ministries and funding organisations from 23 countries responsible for funding research and innovation actions in blue economy, with the financial support from the EC.
The priority areas are described, including key areas for inclusion in project proposals and examples to guide the applicants.
- Planning and managing sea uses at the regional level
- Innovative support for planning and managing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) sea uses, here called ‘MSP initiative’, aims to resolve conflicting uses, and to minimise the respective impacts on marine ecosystems, notably through the removal of unexploded chemical and conventional munitions.
- Development of offshore marine multi-use infrastructures to support the blue economy
- Increasing the development of multi-use structures from the sea surface to the subseabed could deliver synergistic benefits for the different uses including industrial sectors. About the increasing demand for space, for activities and functions at sea, multi-use infrastructures and multi-use spatial concepts are promoted.
- Climate-neutral, environmentally sustainable, and resource efficient blue food and feed
- The ‘Blue Food’, or food and feed from the sea, targets the sustainable management of ocean bioresources to produce environmentally sustainable, high-quality, resilient and climate-neutral seafood, including feed for blue food production15. The projects must be in agreement with the objectives of Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Biodiversity Strategy, Farm to Fork Strategy and Circular economy action plan under the umbrella of the EU Green Deal.
- Green transition of Blue Food production
- The ‘green transition of Blue Food production’ priority area targets the objectives of Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Biodiversity Strategy, Farm to Fork Strategy and Circular economy action plan. It is focused on technological, digital, smart, and just transition of the seafood sector to a sustainable, high quality and climate-neutral one. Key elements are the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, predictive analyses, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence.
- Digital Twins of the Ocean (DTOs) test use cases at EU sea-basin scale and the Atlantic Ocean
- Digital Twins of the Ocean (DTOs) test use cases will be developed at the sub-sea-basin scale to assess the state and health of the marine coastal systems and their ecosystems, the impacts of human activities and interventions, under different scenarios, thereby providing support to decision making processes and policies implementation. They should rely on existing data, assimilate data flows into AI or modelling capacities to produce directly usable information and knowledge.
A total of approx. 50 million Euros have been provisionally allocated for this Joint Transnational Call by the participating FOs with the support of the EU. These funds will be used for R&I activities carried out by researchers, institutions, and companies according to the funding rules and legal frameworks of their respective FOs.
- (Pre-)proposals must address one main priority area.
- It is not compulsory to address all sub-themes within the priority area.
- Consortium composition
- Each consortium must be composed of eligible partners from at least three different countries participating in the call and requesting support from at least three different funding organisations participating in the call.
- Specific requirements regarding self-funded partners, i.e. partners that do not require funding:
- Self-funded partners must demonstrate the willingness to selffund their own activities or show evidence that others partners are willing to fund their activities;
- A letter of intent/commitment must be submitted with the full proposal at stage 2;
- A self-funded partner cannot act as the consortium coordinator;
- Self-funded partners are not counted for the minimum requirement of eligible partners and countries.
- Consortium coordinator
- In each (pre-)proposal, one entity must act as the consortium coordinator;
- The consortium coordinator must be eligible for funding by a funding organisation of this call;
- The consortium coordinator has the responsibility for submitting the (pre-)proposal;
- The principal investigator (PI) of the entity acting as consortium coordinator must be employed by an eligible organisation in one of the countries participating in the call according to the terms and conditions of the participating funding organisation from which he/she applies for support;
- The PI of an entity can act as consortium coordinator only in one proposal.
- Requested funding
- Partners from the same country cannot request more than 60% of the total funding requested by a proposal.
- The international R&I project must be 36 months.
- The start date and end date of the researcher groups within the consortium must be aligned as far as possible.
- National/regional eligibility criteria
- In addition to the general eligibility criteria, each project partner must ensure that his/her contribution to the overall project conforms to:
- Where applicable, relevance of the (pre-)proposal to the priority areas funded by national/regional funding organisations;
- Compliance with national/regional funding eligibility criteria and regulations as reported in the document “National/Regional Regulations” available on the 2023 Joint Transnational Call website and/or on the funding organisations’ websites;
- Compliance with limits to budget requests;
- Where requested by the national funding organisation, submission of additional national documents in accordance with national rules.
For more information, visit SBEP.