Why JPI Oceans?
The need for more coordination on marine and maritime research activities is clear. Seas and oceans provide an essential part of our wealth and well-being. The EU’s maritime regions account for around 40% of its GDP and the maritime economy for 3 to 5%.
The fast growing global population will increasingly depend from marine food sources (including sustainable aquaculture). Moreover oceans and seas offer a large unexploited potential from underexplored marine biodiversity and marine renewable energy and play a crucial role in developing transport modalities and tourism activities.
But oceans and seas are also under huge pressure from human activities and climate change. The growing vulnerability of coastal areas, increasingly crowded coastal waters, the key role of the oceans in the climate and earth system and the continuous deterioration of the marine environment, call for a stronger focus on our oceans and seas.
This means that there is a strong need for a strong coordination of research and monitoring of our seas and oceans. The field of marine and maritime research is very wide and complex; with inherently high costs; and it relies on research facilities which are not always accessible to all researchers. In addition, a lot of the challenges are cross-cutting in nature, involving different areas of knowledge, disciplines and sectors.
Therefore the seas and oceans challenges cannot be solved by research programmes focused on a particular area of knowledge or theme. On the contrary, an integrated and coherent approach at European level is crucial to deliver solutions and to obtain the objective of productive and healthy seas and oceans. Aligning objectives and pooling available financial resources and capacities allow addressing the challenges in terms of protection, sustainable use and management of marine waters in an effective and coordinated way. Moreover, it stimulates the conversion of scientific information and knowledge into innovation and research applications.