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European Network on Marine Pollution

The European Commission-funded MAPO initiative aims at fostering and favouring the participation of SMEs, the activity of which is dedicated to the struggle against any kind of marine pollution, in European technological research and development projects.

Nowadays marine environment pollution results in damages to coastal and marine habitats and ecosystems and is therefore a worldwide issue. European seas permanently threatened by pollution, either from accidents or normal traffic and emissions, are particularly concerned. The current means of struggle turned out totally inefficient faced with recent disasters like in the Ievoli Sun case or because of any other source of pollution. It is therefore increasingly urgent to develop new solutions by combining actors’ skills from the maritime field. A wide range of monitoring, control and amelioration services are offered by SMEs but so far they have had few opportunities to share information or take part in research projects. In the context of the 6th Framework Programme and in response to the call for proposals launched by the European Commission relating to Specific Support Actions to SMEs, a 13-partner consortium including National Contact Points, Universities, Research Centres, SMEs and consultancy from ten European or associated (Turkey and Ukraine) countries joined together to propose various free of charge actions for the benefit of European SMEs working on marine pollution issues (prevention, detection, analysis and treatment). The MAPO initiative aims to assist European SMEs in integrating ongoing European RTD projects (Networks of Excellence/ integrated Projects, STREP) oriented towards means of detection, treatment, warning and prevention of all types of marine pollution, and/or in building new technological partnerships. This initiative shall therefore meet precise objectives to allow and improve interaction between researchers and industrialists, such as: - the identification of best practices to facilitate the integration of SMEs into the projects, - the updating of the current state-of-the-art as well as the establishment of a European cartography of skills in the field of marine pollution allowing a networking of the various actors’ competencies, - the identification of technological needs and research priorities for future RTD projects, and the development of future technological partnerships. MAPO’s ultimate goal is to implement a real European network of SMEs and researchers, which would allow the two worlds to get in touch with each other and to cooperate in the struggle against marine pollution. MAPO was launched on the 1st of September 2005 and will run for a total of 24 months. The MAPO consortium is currently listing every European SME liable to be involved in such a research project as well as every research centre or university department likely to prepare a R&D project or having already an ongoing project and searching for SME partners. The MAPO partners arrange meetings for them to exchange on their projects’ ideas. The results achieved so far by the MAPO consortium (number of research centres or SMEs contacted, network setting up, etc) are encouraging but they will be considerably improved in the forthcoming year with the launch of the 7th Framework Program. At the present moment, nearly 350 profile forms of European SMEs are registered on the MAPO website. The MAPO website www.marine-pollutions.org offers an exhaustive presentation of the project as well as news about the EC’s actions in the field, partnership offers, etc. A newsletter is published in order to keep SMEs, research centres and miscellaneous visitors informed about every action, event, conference planned in the field. To benefit from the different MAPO services, please visit the following link and register on: http://www.marine-pollutions.org/mailinglist.php Any SME, Research Centre or University Department intending to participate in a R&D project or simply wishing to get additional information about EC-funded research projects and to be informed on EC funding opportunities may register its company profile on the MAPO website by filling in the Profile Form on www.marine-pollutions.org/subscribe.php or by contacting directly a local Partner (the contact list is available on the MAPO website) or the project coordinator, Mrs Françoise Duprat: francoise.duprat@tech-brest-iroise.fr of Technopôle Brest Iroise (Brest Science & Technology Park)

Keywords

Actions towards European SMEs

Countries

Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom