The European Commission (EC) is offering grant program to increase the development of ocean science, research, technological developments and innovation, both to protect the ocean and to increase the resilience of its ecosystems and to ensure a strong sustainable blue economy and science-based design of marine spatial planning, involving all stakeholders.
Many of the identified research priorities and activities of the EU and individual countries are similar and, therefore, require alignment over all European seas and ocean. Existing and new funding streams from national, public and private sources will need to be pooled, together with EU funding, in order to maximise efforts and achieve efficiency gains. To address these issues, sea basin-specific Research and Innovation Agendas (RIAs) have been developed for the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, and the Black Sea.
An impact-driven and coherent approach needs to be designed to combine all of these research and innovation agendas, in order to structure the European landscape, so that common issues can be addressed jointly, and national marine strategies are developed in a consistent way.
The partnership should catalyse the transformation of Europe’s blue economy towards climate neutral status by 2050. By aligning national, regional and EU R&I priorities and bringing together science, industry, governance and society, it should deliver knowledge and solutions to make the blue economy sustainable.
Responding to national and EU policy goals (e.g. European Green Deal, Marine Strategy Framework Directive), the partnership should aim to achieve a healthy ocean, a sustainable and productive blue economy and the well-being of citizens.
The partnership should increase scientific contributions, applicable in a legal/regulatory context, related to biodiversity, ecosystem conservation and restoration, climate mitigation and adaptation, and pollution, including eutrophication, noise, marine litter and hazardous substances, and should facilitate the use of scientific knowledge by regulators and policy-makers, contributing to the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, the farm to fork strategy, the mission in the area “Ocean, seas and waters”, the circular economy action plan and the zero pollution ambition.
The partnership should promote technological, nature-based, social, economic and cultural innovation and experiment with new planning, governance, business and finance models. It should also contribute to the future EU initiative on ocean observation, to the development of a common European ocean data space, to the Ocean Digital Twin and to the implementation of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS).
The check will normally be done for the coordinator if the requested grant amount is equal to or greater than EUR 500 000, except for:
- public bodies (entities established as a public body under national law, including local, regional or national authorities) or international organisations; and
- cases where the individual requested grant amount is not more than EUR 60 000 (lowvalue grant).
These activities should be structured along the following main building blocks of activities:
- Development of work programmes as implementation steps of the high-level Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). This SRIA should be included in the proposal, outlining implementation modalities and building on existing SRIAs or equivalent in the EU sea basins. It should include the demonstration of the achievability of policy targets at sea-basin scale.
- Joint calls for challenge-driven R&I to address critical issues for a sustainable climate-neutral blue economy with integrated and multi-stakeholder approaches.
- Setting-up a multi-stakeholder community of practice to facilitate science-policy-business-society dialogues, share experiences and disseminate results and innovations on key issues for social transition and sustainable development.
- Undertaking communication and dissemination measures to make R&I results accessible for all stakeholder groups and users and prepare guidelines, references, tools and trainings for replication and mainstreaming; communicating to citizens and civil society at large, and involving them to achieve policy goals.
- Synthesising R&I results and achievements from clusters of projects.
- Setting-up (a) knowledge hub(s) to support capacity-building on integrated approaches.
- Setting-up rigorous monitoring to follow progress of projects and taking stock of diverse solutions, good practice cases and the contribution to the achievement of the objectives of the partnership and the related policy targets.
- Exploring interfaces with public procurement and investment programmes by developing links with other programmes, private funds, etc. to support take-up and larger-scale implementation of tested approaches and solutions.
The partnership is expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- EU and national multi-level cooperation and alignment across and within regional seas of research and innovation programmes, priorities and investments are enhanced, based on established strategic research and innovation agendas and related cooperation activities, including international agreements and outreach; as well as cooperation with other Horizon Europe initiatives, European partnerships and missions.
- Europe’s role in ocean science, research, social and technological developments, innovation and productivity in the marine domain is clearly strengthened by 2030 and transformative governance enables the advances of the role of Europe in business, finance and social developments in the marine/maritime domain.
- By 2030, Europe has contributed significantly and in a measurable way to the climate neutrality of the blue economy, the European Green Deal objectives and its different strategies.
- The science-based implementation of EU marine-related legislation, regulations and objectives is supported, as well as the advanced sustainability of activities, practices and existing and new products and services of the blue economy value chains throughout European regional seas and the Atlantic.
- Transformative change is promoted and enabled through actionable science and sustainable, fair and just solutions for the blue economy and for communities, involving a participatory and multi-stakeholder approach.
- The deployment of digital, nature-based and social innovations as well as community-led and purpose-driven technology for the blue economy is supported.
- Ocean literacy in the EU and beyond is increased.
- Sustained ocean and coastal observations and availability of FAIR data for environmental, climate and blue economy purposes are substantially increased.
- Global cooperation with key partners bordering the different EU sea basins is strengthened.
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions;
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States;
- eligible non-EU countries:
- countries associated to Horizon Europe
- low- and middle-income countries.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/31ai1oq