Aquatic Pollutants Cofund | JPI OCEANS

Aquatic Pollutants Cofund

Joint Action Facts
Action period: January 2020 - December 2024
Funding: € 25,000,000
Strategic area:
  • Interdisciplinary Research for Good Environmental Status
Type of action:
  • Joint call
  • Interacting with ERA-Nets and other activities
Lead countries:
  • Germany
External partners:
  • JPI Water
More Information
Secretariat Contact:

Willem De Moor (lead)

Tel. +32 (0) 2626 1663

Isabelle Schulz 

Tel. +32 (0) 2626 16 70


The Aquatic Pollutants Cofund aims to strengthen the European Research Area in the field of clean and healthy aquatic ecosystems and to leverage untapped potential in the collaboration between the freshwater, marine and health research areas.

It will pool the resources of 32 participating research programme owners / managers of 26 countries to implement a joint transnational call for proposals, with EU co-funding. Nine organisations from associated and third countries are joining the proposal as well.

In addition, the Aquatic Pollutants Cofund launched a call for proposals on Scientific Networking and Transfer Projects addressing research and development for supporting knowledge transfer, scientific networking, and public engagement based on the AquaticPollutants 2020 Joint Transnational Call projects. 

Additional Activities will also be carried out to further support the implementation, strategy and alignment of the three JPIs as well as to make an impact on the joint transnational calls.


  • to establish integrated and cross-sectoral approaches for risk management combining the research areas of emerging pollutants, pathogens and antimicrobial resistance across all three JPIs under the overall topic “from the source to the mouth“;
  • to analyse the spread of emerging pollutants and pathogens related to antimicrobial resistance from the different sources (e.g. urban areas), that lead to impacts and risks on environment and human health;
  • to describe the transformation of such emerging pollutants and pathogens and their effects when entering the different ecosystems and accumulating in the food chain;
  • to improve strategies and evaluate technologies for reducing the input of such emerging pollutants and pathogens at the sources, on their pathways and end-of-pipe;
  • to address the participation and behaviour of stakeholders and end-users;
  • to integrate innovative methodologies and tools in order to allow policy-makers to develop more effective policies and efficient regulations;
  • to consider dealing with data management, technologies and innovations from all sectors with a One Health perspective;
  • to involve relevant sectors, for example from industry and agriculture;
  • to include communication and education measures to support the research topics, such as risk communication measures for the various target groups; and
  • to foster transfer of knowledge into practice and education as well as strengthen risk awareness and risk communication in society.


The outcomes of the Aquatic Pollutants Cofund are expected to contribute towards:

  • Effective trans-national, pan-European research networking, exchange of good practices, synergy, coordination and coherence among national/regional and EU research programs in the areas addressed;
  • Improved evidence-based policy through the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary science-policy interface and links with international efforts and fora on the areas addressed;
  • Strengthened international leadership of European research in this area making the relevant JPIs, in collaboration with the European Commission, a privileged and attractive partner for global cooperation in research and innovation;
  • The implementation of the objectives of the JPIs on Water, AMR and Oceans;
  • Reduced risks posed by emerging pollutants to waterbodies and related ecosystems and food chain, and reduced risks to human health via these ecosystems;
  • Increased protection of human health through the provision of safe water;
  • Alleviation of water challenges within and beyond Europe, particularly in urban areas.

Next steps


  • Call opening: 17 February 2020 
  • Deadline pre-proposals: 18 May 2020 
  • Invitation to submit full proposals: June 2020 
  • Deadline full proposals: 14 August 2020 
  • Funding decision announced: October 2020
  • Start of projects: December 2020 – March 2021
  • Projects end: 2024 


The occurrence of pathogens and emerging pollutants in water resources is one of the most serious risks in our environment and is considered a major factor particularly in the degradation of water quality. Anti-microbial resistant organisms and genes are now found widespread throughout the environment and pose a serious emerging threat for human health and well-being. Anti-microbial resistant bacteria enter the aquatic ecosystems through effluents from wastewater treatment plants, hospitals, pharmaceutical production and stock farming including aquaculture.

Some of these pollutants and pathogens are known to harm aquatic ecosystems even in very low concentrations and in turn can negatively influence the provision of safe and clean water for drinking water purposes. In aquatic organisms, serving as staple food, pollutants and anti-microbial resistant bacteria can accumulate and hence enter the food chain causing further secondary effects.

To reduce or, even better, avoid the input of pollutants and pathogens into the environment, a holistic catchment approach to better understand the ecological and human health effects is necessary. The whole water cycle, from sources through the river basins and eventually, for some of them, to the estuaries and oceans, has to be considered. This approach has to include soil and groundwater transport as well as potential atmospheric pathways that these pollutants may take. The effects on human health, the transport and transmission of harmful substances, in particular those generating anti-microbial resistance, from the freshwater and marine environment to organisms via the food chain also need to be taken into account.

Therefore, the Water JPI, JPI Oceans and JPI AMR through their members have jointly developed the proposal on AquaticPollutants to support and connect their research communities to address these challenges.


JPI Oceans AISBL  •   Rue du Trône 4, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel. +32 (0)2 626 16 60   •
Website developed and maintained by VLIZ | Privacy and Cookie policy