Periodic Reporting for period 3 - BLUEMED (BLUEMED)
Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2021-03-31
A Consortium of 11 partners from 9 different European countries led by the National Research Council of Italy has been working since October 2016 to create synergies and complementarities among different stakeholders in order to structure cooperation for advancing the BLUEMED Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) in the Euro-Mediterranean Region. Targeting multiple stakeholders, all relevant players need to be involved in the process of sharing and consolidating the Research and Innovation agenda, including national ministries, regional authorities, research organizations, research infrastructures, academia, private companies, non-governmental and international organizations and civil society.
Among the seas of Europe, the Mediterranean has no match as regards biodiversity and the links between human activities and environmental characteristics. It is changing fast in response to both natural and anthropogenic pressures. Climate change, growing maritime traffic and pollution, overexploitation of fish stocks and invasions of alien species are among the stressors placing the region at risk. At the same time, the Mediterranean’s unique features provide major local opportunities for blue growth and jobs, ranging from fisheries to tourism.
The BLUEMED CSA project implemented necessary tools to:
- support the activities of the Euro-Mediterranean Group of Senior Officials BlueMed Working Group (GSO BlueMed WG) steering the BlueMed Initiaitve, co-chaired by the DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission and the current co-chair of the Union for the Mediterranean, the country of Jordan, and composed by officially appointed delegates from the Mediterranean countries;
- jointly integrate, update, and consolidate the SRIA and develop the Implementation Plan through a working environment based on dialogue to connect communities, contributing to reduce fragmentation and facilitate cooperation among people;
- engage EU and non-EU countries for a global perspective of the Mediterranean Basin;
- connect key players investing in research and innovation at regional, national, European, and Med level;
- address the framework conditions, e.g. infrastructures, data, and human resources, deemed necessary to enable blue growth actions;
- foster innovative multidisciplinary research and innovation activities addressing relevant Mediterranean challenges via piloting Start-up Actions paving the way towards more ambitious blue growth trajectories;
- spread the vision of the Mediterranean Basin as a hotspot for innovation.
- Publication of the updated version of the SRIA;
- Selection of 13 priority goals for joint implementation;
- Publication and endorsement of the BlueMed Implementation Plan;
- Support to the GSO BlueMed WG and the Pilot Action on Healthy Plastic-free Mediterranean Sea and the connection of national hubs;
- Maintenance of the BLUEMED website and the communication kit;
- Running 4 BLUEMED Platforms on Knowledge, Economy, Technology, and Policy joined by officially appointed experts named National Pivots for updating the SRIA and contributing to the Implementation Plan;
- Organization of two research funders’ workshops to build the BLUEMED Operational Network of Research Funders and Key Players for the implementation of the actions as well as national consultations on the strategic actions for joint implementation;
- Lay of the foundations through assessment and mapping of relevant framework conditions enabling joint actions: publication of the metrics and risk assessment plan for monitoring the actions, the Research Infrastructures (RIs) assessment, the data policies and accessibility assessment, and the BLUE careers assessment to feed the Implementation Plan;
- Organization of the e-training course "Understanding and acting for a Healthy Plastic free Mediterranean Sea";
- Organization of the BLUEMED Research Infrastructures’ (RIs) workshop and the RIs Stakeholders' Conference leading to the BLUEMED RIs Roadmap;
- Launch and implementation of four Start-up Actions;
- Organization of two meetings with coordinators’ of relevant projects to promote the sharing of the process under the BLUEMED umbrella and possible uptake of results;
- Engagement of non-EU countries, including a preliminary review and analysis of the strategies, policies and R&I priorities in the marine and maritime sectors, the organisation of a policy dialogue workshop, national events and participation to the Platforms.
- Implementation of the BlueMed Young Communication Ambassadors Programme, targeting five youths from non-EU countries.
Triggering the process of maximising the impact of marine and maritime research via alignment of programmes and strategies, the project actually contributed to build a long-term transnational framework for action at Mediterranean level. The participation of the BlueMed as an established Blue Growth Initiative of reference has been also guaranteed in the framework of key events organized by relevant organizations, including at global level, and through cross-basin dialogue.
The achieved results, representing the legacy of the project, include: 1 consolidated Strategic R&I Agenda; 1 Implementation Plan published, endorsed and promoted via organization of workshops and training courses; 4 Platforms established; 1 Operational Network of R&I funders and key players built; 4 Start-up Actions implemented; over 250 people engaged in the BLUEMED community; over 40 projects and initiatives connected; 5 BLUEMED Young Communication Ambassadors engaged; 1 e-training course developed; 1 Pilot Action on Healthy Plastic-free Mediterranean Sea fully supported, 1 final conference organized. Builidng on this, new and cutting-edge integrated actions can be developed in the next programming phase to successfully react to modern challenges.