From 23 to 25 January the network of 60 Partners from 25 countries and the European Commission gathers in Rome to discuss and showcase its planned activities. With the launch of the first joint call for proposals approaching in February 2023, the partnership will start an unprecedent effort to pool research and innovation investments and align national programmes at pan-European scale.
“Italy is proud to coordinate the European Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership and feels the responsibility to represent all partner countries and their ocean and seas communities in this joint endeavour. The results of our co-funded projects and activities will make major impact on the sustainability of the blue economy sector”, says coordinator Raffaele Liberali from the Italian Ministry of University and Research.
With its ambition to make a major step in transforming the blue economy, the Partnership will actively seek engagement by launching, implementing and monitoring six co-funded calls for research and innovation proposals over a seven-year timeframe. The planned investments over 7 years are expected to reach € 450 Million. The partnership will also implement other actions with EU added value by mobilizing additional sources of contributions, including research infrastructures and thematic programmes as well as streamlining other funding sources.
The kick-off meeting in Rome focuses on thematic and structuring activities of the Partnership and its ambition towards delivering impact to meet the EU policy objectives of the Green Deal, the digital transformation and Covid-recovery. Synergies with other Partnerships and the Mission Restore Our Ocean and Waters will be addressed as well as the sea-basins (Mediterranean, Black Sea, Baltic and North Sea) and Atlantic Ocean dimension and best practices to mobilize local communities.
“I am pleased to announce the kick-off of the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership. It will pool research & innovation investments of €450 million over 7 years for a just and inclusive transition to a blue economy in harmony with nature. The EU Partnership will allow shaping the profound economic and social transformation, for the benefit of all EU citizens”.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
With its ambition to make a major step in transforming the blue economy, the Partnership will actively seek engagement by launching, implementing and monitoring six co-funded calls for research and innovation proposals over a seven-year timeframe. The first call is scheduled to be launched in February 2023.
Based on the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and according to the Member States and Associated Countries’ priorities, five Intervention Areas have been identified which will be the basis for the first set of calls for proposals.
1. Ocean Digital Twins at sub- sea-basin scale
Developing and validating digital twin representations of marine assets, processes or systems to provide users with answers to “what if” questions about ocean developments, including effective marine and maritime spatial planning and technology development at regional to local scales.
2. Blue generation marine structures
Developing multi-use structures across multiple offshore industries in key sectors such as transport, energy and food to create synergetic benefits and support the diversification strategy of the EU.
3. Planning and managing sea-uses
Innovating the management of sea-uses by integrating tools and approaches of artificial intelligence-based Maritime Spatial Planning, maritime surveillance, and the seafloor in 4D.]
4. Healthy ‘Blue Food’ under a ’One Health’ approach
Promoting sustainable management of ocean bioresources and food generating capacity through integrated, unifying and nature-based approaches that benefit people, plants, animals and ecosystems.
5. Enabling the green transition of ‘Blue Food’ production
Exploring technological, digital, smart and circular solutions for the just transition of Blue Food sectors into a sustainable and productive, competitive and climate-neutral future.