Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific Challenge: Marine and Maritime scientific and technological cooperation is instrumental in building dialogue, sharing knowledge and mutual understanding between different scientific communities, cultures and societies. It is a key component to tackle major societal challenges, underpin policies, and stimulate innovation. The EU has adopted various initiatives including the 'Blue Growth', the EU Atlantic Strategy and its Action Plan (2014 – 2020) to increase such cooperation. Furthermore the Galway Statement and the recently endorsed Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance[1] provides a unique framework for stimulating strategic cooperation between education, research, technology and industrial communities in order to jointly address challenges related to the sustainable exploitation of the Atlantic resources and thus promote economic growth and jobs for citizens and societies of both sides of the Atlantic.

However, further efforts are needed to create appropriate operational conditions among the relevant marine research and innovation activities and programmes related to the Atlantic ocean with a view to enhance their effectiveness and impact and facilitate synergies and allow for new collaboration initiatives.

Scope: In line with the objectives of the EU strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM (2012) 497), proposals should contribute to implementing the Transatlantic Research Alliance, launched by the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation in May 2013, and should benefit from the inclusion of partners from the US and Canada[2]. Proposals should underpin the establishment and implementation of the Atlantic Ocean Cooperation between the EU, its Member States and partner countries joining transatlantic research alliance as well as building on existing initiatives and programmes to increase coherence and coordination of ocean research cooperation programmes.

Proposals should address the following priority areas in an integrated way, identified in the Galway Statement:

(i) Marine ecosystem-approach, (ii) Observing systems, (ii) Marine biotechnology , (iii) Aquaculture (iv) Ocean literacy – engaging with society, (v) seabed and benthic habitat mapping.

Within these priority areas, proposals should facilitate the mapping and connectivity of relevant on-going research activities and programmes in the Atlantic and the identification of research gaps. Proposals should also consider ongoing work to create a European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet). Proposals should contribute to aligning the planning and programming of research activities, in view of launching joint Research & Innovation initiatives, while building on existing ones (e.g. Joint programming Initiative "Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans", marine ERA-NETs (e.g. Seas-Era) and also national and multilateral initiatives). Proposals should facilitate a shared use of infrastructures, as well as dissemination and knowledge transfer activities leading to an optimal exploitation of projects results, fostering mobility and networking of researchers.

Proposals should also establish a long-term knowledge sharing platform (existing knowledge or to be generated), in the areas mentioned above, to allow for long-term usability of the data, information and knowledge thereby ensuring tangible value creation from invested resources. This platform should comprise a classification system, which allows for an easy, focused, quick and reliable use and analysis of the information collected and stored. The principle of open access would need to govern such a platform. To enhance the exploitability of the platform for policy making and stakeholder consultation purposes, representatives from funding agencies and these communities should be consulted in their design. Options to secure the long-term viability of this platform should be included in the proposal. Cooperation is as well encouraged with partners established in other third countries (e.g. Brazil)[3].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

  • Support the implementation of the Galway Statement on an Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.

  • Improve the international cooperation framework of marine research programmes thus creating the basis for the development of future large-scale joint international marine research programmes.

  • Establish a long term knowledge sharing platform for easy access to available information and data holding significant commercial potential relevant to the EU Blue Growth Agenda

Type of action: Coordination and support actions

[1] Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation Launching a Canada- European Union- United States of America  Research Alliance (Galway, 24th of May 2013)

[2] This is without prejudice to the general rules on the funding of legal entities from third-countries, as set in part A of the annex to the work programme.

[3] This is without prejudice to the general rules on the funding of legal entities from third-countries, as set in part A of the annex to the work programme.

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