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EU-funded research helps ensure a prosperous future for the Black Sea region

A new CORDIS leaflet shows how coordinated, cross-border research and innovation is charting the course towards a healthy, resilient, and productive Black Sea.

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Spanning two continents, bounded by six riparian countries and connected to countless others via rivers and tributaries, the Black Sea is a truly international body of water. As such, it serves as a case study on the benefits of cross-border and interregional cooperation – among Black Sea countries and with the EU as a whole. In fact, successful partnerships are what set into motion the development of a shared vision for a healthy, resilient, and productive Black Sea – a vision that resulted in the Black Sea Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and its Implementation Plan, which was launched on 4 May 2023 at the European Parliament in Brussels. Spearheaded by the EU-funded Black Sea CONNECT project and co-drafted with all Black Sea partners, the SRIA Implementation Plan serves as the main scientific pillar of the Black Sea Common Maritime Agenda, which aims to enhance sea basin cooperation for a healthy ecosystem and prosperous blue economy.

A new CORDIS leaflet

To mark the official launch of the plan, CORDIS has published The Black Sea: Cross-border research for a healthy and productive region, a new leaflet showing how EU-funded research projects are helping ensure a bright future for the Black Sea. The leaflet showcases a variety of projects that received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, including the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme. It also includes the very first EU Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters projects, along with other Horizon Europe projects working towards a healthy and prosperous Black Sea.

Different disciplines, a shared commitment

Although the projects come from a variety of scientific disciplines and Member States/Associated Countries, they all share a commitment to protecting the Black Sea’s unique habitats, developing vibrant sea-based sectors, and boosting the blue economy. For example, the leaflet shows how the DOORS project is building an Earth Observation based platform to study the impact climate change has on the Black Sea ecosystem. Also highlighted is the BRIDGE-BS project. Here, researchers are developing tools and capabilities to better understand and predict the effects climate-driven and anthropogenic multi-stressors have on Black Sea ecosystem services. Other projects included in the leaflet are: EurofleetsPlus, B-SEENOVA, FORCOAST, KEAC-BSR, PIONEER, SeaChanges, EcoDaLLi, DANUBE4all, REST-COAST, DALIA, EmpowerUs, BIKE, and DarkLife. While cooperation on marine research in the Black Sea contributes to the EU Global Approach to Research and Innovation, it also inspires the next generation of researchers, including the Black Sea Young Ambassadors, who will continue to advance a shared vision for a revitalised Black Sea region.

Keywords

Black Sea CONNECT, DOORS, BRIDGE-BS, EurofleetsPlus, B-SEENOVA, FORCOAST, KEAC-BSR, PIONEER, SeaChanges, BIKE, DARKLIFE, EcoDaLLI, DANUBE4all, DALIA, REST-COAST, EmpowerUs, Black Sea, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Black Sea, research, innovation, ocean, seas, marine, Black Sea Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, Black Sea Common Maritime Agenda, Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, EU Mission, Restore our Oceans and Waters, sustainable blue economy, Earth Observation