European Commission unveils action plan on oceans innovation | JPI OCEANS

European Commission unveils action plan on oceans innovation


European Commission unveils action plan on oceans innovation

The action plan for innovation in the 'blue economy' aims to help use ocean resources sustainably and drive growth and jobs in Europe.

In the plan the European Commission identifies a number of hurdles to be overcome. Among others the limited knowledge of the sea. Around 30% of the seafloor surrounding Europe has not yet been surveyed. It is estimated that making high-quality marine data held by public bodies in the EU widely available would improve productivity by over €1 billion a year. It would stimulate innovation in the blue economy by making information on the behaviour of the sea and the geology of the seabed more readily available. The ultimate goal is therefore to have a multi-resolution seabed map in place by 2020. In addition the European workforce of tomorrow will need more engineers and scientists to apply new technologies in the marine environment.

"Today, we put the building blocks in place so that tomorrow's generation of Europeans will have the knowledge and skills to better manage our oceans and draw the full benefits they can provide us, while respecting the balance of the ecosystem of the sea." said European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki "For example, our initiative to create a digital map of the entire seabed of European waters will increase the predictability for businesses to invest, lowering costs and stimulate further innovation."

Concretely the action plan proposes to:

  • Create an online information platform, to be operational before the end of 2015, on marine research projects across the Horizon 2020 programme as well as nationally funded marine research, and to share results from completed projects.
  • Set up a Blue Economy Business and Science Forum, which will involve the private sector, scientists and NGOs to help shape the blue economy of the future and share ideas and results. A first meeting will take place in the margins of the 2015 Maritime Day event in Piraeus, Greece.
  • Encourage research, business and education actors to map out the needs and skills for tomorrow's workforce in the maritime sector by 2016.
  • Examine the possibility of major players from the research, business and education community to form a Knowledge and Innovation Community (or KIC) for the blue economy after 2020. KICs, part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) can stimulate innovation in multiple ways, for example by running training and education programmes, reinforcing the path from research to the market and setting up innovation projects and business incubators.

Finally the plan outlines that the European Commission will work closely with JPI Oceans to ensure complementarity between the strategic research and innovation agenda of Member States and Horizon 2020.


More information

-Press release European Commission

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