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Towards integrated European marine research strategy and programmes

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European marine research strategy

Europe needs a broader and deeper knowledge base and a coordinated action plan to address the economic, environmental, political and societal challenges confronting our seas and oceans. An EU-funded initiative gathered together the most relevant research funders to foster cooperation and develop common research strategies and programmes.

Climate Change and Environment

Teams of EU-funding organisations embarked on a four-year quest to further integrate marine research strategy and programmes across the continent. Focused on four European sea basins with coastlines affecting multiple countries, the project SEAS ERA (Towards integrated European marine research strategy and programmes) understood from the outset the challenges ahead. With a consortium comprising more than 20 organisations from a range of EU countries as well as Georgia, Iceland, Norway, Turkey and Ukraine, the project covered a vast territory and set of skills. Efforts were made to take into account ongoing and previous initiatives, such as AMPERA, MARINERA and MARIFISH, aimed at delivering a stable and durable response to the marine challenges faced. Working on two levels (pan-European and regional), SEAS ERA focused early efforts on a comprehensive scene setting exercise. This included mapping the main components of Europe's marine/maritime research agenda, strategic planning, research calls, infrastructure development and capacity building. To ensure success, the team established suitable structures and developed targeted actions as a benchmark for the project's progress and further activities. The knowledge gained provided a valuable reference tool for outlining and advancing future knowledge-based policies. Project partners also developed a SEAS-Era Knowledge Transfer strategy based on good practice. The objective was to promote the uptake of research results from transnational projects and the exploitation of results by end users. SEAS ERA made a highly significant contribution to marine research and policy for the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean and Black Seas. It also contributed to investment in new research infrastructures and the development of a Europe-wide strategy for human resources in marine sciences. In addition, SEAS ERA will help towards further consolidation of the European Research Area (ERA) and contribute to the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP)-EU Regional Sea Basin Strategies.

Keywords

Marine research, sea basins, infrastructure development, capacity building, knowledge transfer

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