Knowledge Based Bio-Economy

New targets for ocean innovation

The European Commission has launched an Action Plan for Innovation in the Blue Economy in a bid to increase knowledge of European seas and seabeds, foster blue innovation, encourage the sustainable use of ocean resources and encourage growth and job creation in the marine and maritime domains.

Knowledge of the sea is still limited. Marine research efforts between Member States are not linked up. Meanwhile maritime innovation has enormous potential for Europe’s economy.

“We probably know more about the surface of the Moon and even Mars than we do about the deep sea floor”, said Research and Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. Maritime innovation “will help us meet challenges like climate change and food security”, she added.

The action plan sets a number of targets:

  • By 2020: a digital map of the seabed of all European waters.
  • By 2015: an on line information platform on marine research projects (Horizon 2020 and national research), and to share results from completed projects.
  • By 2015: a Blue Economy and Science Forum, involving the private sector, scientists and NGOs. 
  • By 2016: encourage those active in research, business and education to map out the skills needed in the maritime sector.
  • Look into the pertinence of bringing together major players from research, business and education within a Knowledge and Innovation Community for the blue economy after 2020.

The Action Plan is a joint initiative between the European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation and DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

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