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MAST III (1994-1998)







Marine Science and Technology Programme 1994-1998

The seas and oceans represent a new frontier of knowledge and human activity; they also play an essential role in the regulation of the climate. These two aspects were at the heart of the marine science and technology programme, the aim of which was to develop the scientific and technological bases for the sustainable exploitation of marine systems and to determine their precise role in global change. Research came under four main headings:

"MARINE SCIENCE" in order to understand the fundamental processes governing marine systems, including extreme marine environments (deep sea floors, ice-covered seas, etc.) and specific European areas (Baltic, Mediterranean, Eastern North Atlantic);

"STRATEGIC MARINE RESEARCH" to ensure compatibility between the exploitation and protection of marine resources on the continental shelf and in the coastal zone. Hazards and adverse impacts liable to affect the marine environment were examined;

"MARINE TECHNOLOGY" the aim of which was to develop generic technologies for monitoring, using and protecting the marine environment (oceanographic observation, underwater communication and viewing, analysis of natural substances, development of measurement instruments, remote-controlled vehicles and benthic laboratories for deep-sea and Arctic exploration);

"SUPPORTING INITIATIVES" in order to improve coordination and develop European cooperation (training, SMEs, data & information management and exchange access to advanced experimental facilities, etc.).

Programme Outline

Council Decision: Official Journal L 334 of 22.12.94
Duration: 23.11.1994 - 31.12.1998
EU contribution: ECU 243 million
Aims: New phase of the long-term strategic programme of exploration, protection and exploitation of European seas. To understand how marine systems function at basin scales, in order to prepare for sustainable use of the oceans and determine their role in global change.
Previous programmes: MAST (1989-1992), MAST II (1991-1994)


Areas of research Budget breakdown (%)
I. Marine science

1. Marine systems research
2. Extreme marine environments
3. Regional seas research

II. Strategic marine research

1. Coastal and shelf sea research
2. Coastal engineering

III. Marine technology

1. Generic technologies
2. Advanced systems

IV. Supporting initiatives

Type of support:
  • Shared-cost contracts
    • RTD projects
    • SME promotion
  • Concerted actions
  • Accompanying measures (studies, seminars, conferences, training, etc.)

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