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Specific research and technological development programme (EEC) in the field of marine science and technology, 1990-1994

Part of the third framework programme for Community activities in the field of research and technological development (1990 to 1994) under subactivity II.3: "Environment", the programme is a direct development of the 1989-1992 MAST pilot programme. Its technical content is broadly the same. Alterations have been made as a result of the need for large-scale target research projects and the possible expansion of the geographical coverage.
To help establish a scientific and technological basis for the exploration, exploitation, management and protection of European coastal waters and the seas surrounding the Community Member States, to introduce the necessary Community dimension to various ongoing research activities, and to achieve a balance in the marine scientific potential between the various areas of the European Communities.
Five areas:

- Marine science:
To achieve a better understanding of marine processes, to improve our ability to predict change, and to establish the scientific basis for management, protection and exploitation of the marine environment. Coordination with and concertation of participation in ongoing international programmes (e.g. World Ocean Circulation Experiment, Joint Global Ocean Flux Studies, International Geosphere-Biosphere programme, etc.) will be encouraged. Work in this area will be carried out in cooperation with Community programmes on the marine environment (e.g. STEP, EPOCH and actions of the Joint Research Centre) and, possibly, renewable energy sources (tides, waves, etc.), aquaculture and fishing (FAR);

- Coastal zone science and engineering:
To gain an increased level of understanding of marine processes affecting the coastal zone and the behaviour of coastal structures, and of their interactions; to develop numerical modelling of coastal processes and the integration of process models for purposes of coastal management in Europe; and to harmonize on a European scale design concepts of coastal engineering works. Coordination with the climatology part of the new Environment programme will be assured;

- Marine technology:
To encourage the necessary enabling technologies for the advancement of the marine sciences and related industrial development and to promote the development of existing and new instruments, particularly with a view to speeding up the introduction of automated long-term measuring systems and contributing to the development of operational observation systems. This research will be co-ordinated with the EUREKA initiatives in marine sciences and technology and will supplement work in BRITE/EURAM and ESPRIT in the materials testing, robotics and informatics aspects of instrument development;

- Supporting initiatives:
. Establishment of a European ocean data and information system, including a system on the management of data on remote sensing;
. Preparation of norms and standards for marine science and technology;
. Modelling coordination initiative which includes modelling for management purposes;
. Development of a pilot communication system for exchange of information on research cruises and research facilities;
. Studies on the scientific and design requirements for new large-scale facilities;
. Advanced training;
. New approaches to mapping and bathymetric/hydrographic surveying;

- Large-scale target projects:
To address particular problems which require large- scale multidisciplinary coordinated research effort. These problems could be defined on the basis of scientific and technological requirements or established on the basis of the scientific requirements of a particular geographical area. The need to balance the deficit of scientific capabilities in some countries will also be taken into account when defining the target projects.
The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by a committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

The programme comprises research and technological development (RTD) projects, accompanying measures and concerted action projects.

The projects are the subject of shared-cost contracts, with Community financial participation not normally exceeding 50%. Universities and other research centres have the option of requesting, for each project, either 50% funding of total expenditure or 100% funding of the additional marginal costs. Contracts relating to shared-cost research projects must as a general rule be concluded following a selection procedure based on calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Projects must, as a general rule, provide for the participation of at least two partners, each independent of the other, established in different Member States.

The accompanying measures consist of:
- The organization of seminars, workshops and scientific conferences;
- Internal coordination through the creation of integrating groups;
- Advanced technology training programmes, with emphasis being placed on multidisciplinarity;
- Promotion of the exploitation of results;
- Independent scientific and strategic evaluation of the operation of the research projects and the programme.

Concerted actions consist of action by the Community to coordinate the individual research activities carried out in the Member States. They may benefit from funding of up to 100% of coordinating expenditure.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate, in accordance with Article 130n of the Treaty, international agreements with third countries which are members of COST, in particular the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, with a view to associating them with the whole programme or a part of it. Where framework agreements for scientific and technical cooperation have been concluded between the Community and European non-Member States, bodies and enterprises established in those countries may, on the basis of the criterion of mutual benefit, be allowed to become partners in a project undertaken within the programme.

No contracting body based outside the Community and participating as a partner in a project undertaken within the programme may benefit from Community financing for this programme. The body concerned shall contribute to the general administrative costs.

The Community funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the programme amount to ECU 118 million, of which a sum amounting to 1% of the budget is earmarked as the contribution from the programme to the centralized scheme for the dissemination and exploitation of results. At least 2% of the total will be allocated to training and 3% to risk evaluation.

The knowledge acquired in the course of the projects will be disseminated both within the programme and by means of the centralized scheme. Specific information on projects will be provided in close cooperation with CORDIS (Community R&D Information Service).

The Commission will review the programme during the second year and send a report to the European Parliament and the Council. At the end of the programme an evaluation of the results achieved will be conducted by a group of independent experts and submitted to these same bodies.