Pre-announcement Joint Call for Proposals on Underwater Noise in the Marine Environment | JPI OCEANS

Pre-announcement Joint Call for Proposals on Underwater Noise in the Marine Environment

Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain and JPI Oceans, together with BANOS, BlueMed and NOAA, are pleased to pre-announce a call for proposals, publication of which is expected by December 20, 2021. 
This call provides an excellent opportunity to address a systemic approach to ocean challenges, support policy and governance, and support experimental research activities on the emerging issue of the acoustic pollution of oceans and seas. The call is also endorsed as a contribution to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which means that selected projects will be endorsed as Decade Actions. 


Mankind is noisy by nature, and the impact of noise on human societies seems well known.  With growing awareness, our society – scientific researchers, non-governmental organizations, policy makers, and citizens – recognizes anthropogenic noise as an emerging pollutant and threat for subaquatic environments. Underwater acoustic pollution impacts on the health of marine animal populations and biological productivity. The subject holds paramount scientific value, with large relevance for national regulatory frameworks and potential significant impact through the public perception

Aim of the Call:

The overall aim of the call on Underwater Noise in the Marine Environment is to decrease the existing high levels of uncertainty and to promote specific lines of research that will contribute to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) at regional sub-basin scale, and, therewith, contributing to reach the Good Environmental Status (GES) of the European seas and oceans.
The call will address two main challenges in the field through activities that may focus on: 

Theme 1: Effects of anthropogenic noise pollution on marine ecosystems

All acoustical environment components (source – medium – receiver) need to be understood for measurements and modelling. The most important anthropogenic noise sources are sonar, seismic exploration, offshore wind farms, detonations and shipping. The risk for animal populations from acoustic disturbance is a function of acoustic signal characteristics (including particle motion), biological species identity, and the ambient environmental conditions. To account for the complexity, a coordinated system approach is desirable. The evaluation of impacts should be considered in an ecological framework considering the effects on the full trophic network that connects invertebrates such as zooplankton to top predators (fish and marine mammals) and establish links to fishery activities.

Theme 2: Innovative seismic sources as an option for quieter and effective alternatives to conventional marine geophysical exploration

Industry and researchers should work closely together to address the challenge of developing alternative more quiet acoustic sources for geophysical exploration of comparable efficiency, which, at the same time, cause a lower impact on marine fauna. Experimental scientific research is needed to evaluate the efficiency and impact of alternative acoustic sources, such as industrial scale marine vibrators and other methods for acoustic energy spread-out, in comparison to existing seismic airguns.
We still lack adequate prediction tools (numerical and experimental) to fully reproduce impulsive underwater noise generation and propagation for environmental assessment purposes. Given a generalized lack of standardized methodologies and measurements, there is an urgent need for a shared framework of metrics and methodologies in line with technical guidance on monitoring for the MSFD in general and with the EU Technical Group on Underwater Nose (TG Noise) in particular to establish an integrated measurement network scaled to the specific ecosystems, natural habitats, soundscapes and anthropogenic forcing in each European sub-basin.

Allocated Funding:

A total amount of up to € ~7.5 million has been blocked by the FUNDING PARTNERS from Germany*, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania* and Spain. Since each research partner will be funded by its national funding partner, applicants are advised to consult the national funding guidelines and contact their funding organisation(s) before starting to prepare proposals (to be published together with the call text).
Applicants from countries not funding this call are encouraged to participate with their own resources (cash or in-kind).


The call will be open to proposals that meet the following criteria and rules of participation:

The proposal addresses at least one of the two themes in the call text;

  • Applications must be submitted by the set deadline, complete and following all the requirements set in the call text;
  • The language of the application is English; 
  • Applications must be submitted through a dedicated informatic platform provided by the Italian Ministry of Universities and Research (MUR). Applications submitted through other means will not be considered;
  • Each proposal must involve eligible partners, either research organizations and/or industries, from at least two participating countries (countries of the FUNDING PARTNERS). Each partner shall verify its eligibility for funding consulting the national funding rules (to be published together with the call text);
  • Ineligible partners, either because they are not eligible for funding by the FUNDING PARTNERS or because they are from a country not represented in this call, can also participate in project proposals on the condition that they provide written proof that their part of the project will be covered independently of this call (in-kind), however they cannot coordinate a project and their contribution to the project should not be critical;
  • No maximum number of partners is specified;
The coordinator of a proposal must be eligible for funding by one of the FUNDING PARTNERS;

Tentative Call Timeline:

  • Call Announcement: The call on Underwater Noise will be published on the website of the JPI Oceans and the respective funding agencies on December 20, 2021. The submission tool will open thereafter.
  • Submission Deadline: The deadline for submitting proposals is February 28, 2022, 15:00 CET. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Tentative Start date of projects: Upon approval of funding by their respective national FUNDING PARTNER, project consortia should be starting no later than end of the year 2022.


Participating countries and respective funding partners



National contact point(s)


German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Dr. Benjamin Kürten


Ministry of Universities and Research

Dr. Aldo Covello

Dr. Yasmine Iollo

Dr. Giorgio Carpino


The Research Council of Norway

Hanna Lee Behrens


Ingerid Fossum IFO@RCN.NO ;

Lars Erik Walle LEW@RCN.NO


The National Centre for Research and Development

Maciej Zdanowicz


Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding-UEFISCDI

Domnica Cotet

Cristina Cotet


Agencia Estatal de Investigación

Abraham Trujillo Quintela

Unites States - NOAA/BOEM – Researchers intending to apply may contact: Terry Schaefer from the International Activities Office, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, ),  Laura Strickler from the Office of Strategic Policy and international Affairs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM, ), or other US potential partners to establish a partnership beyond the above-mentioned participating countries.


Co-Branding by: BANOS, BlueMed and UN Ocean Decade 

Co-branding of the call by BANOS, BlueMed and, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade) has the purpose to encourage scientific cooperation and harmonization of guidelines for mitigating the impact of underwater noise pollution, demonstrating the added value of scientific cooperation across European sub-basins. The call is endorsed as a contribution to the Ocean Decade and selected projects, that will be endorsed as Decade Actions, will contribute directly to Ocean Decade Challenge No. 1 – Marine Pollution.
 *The participation of Germany and Romania in this call is subject to national approval.



Call Category

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