‘The ocean of tomorrow’
One of the key initiatives in recent years was the launch of joint calls for proposals on major sea-related challenges requiring a cross-thematic approach.
‘The Ocean of Tomorrow’ (FP7-OCEAN-2010) is the European Commission's first proposal to implement this initiative. A second call for ‘The Ocean of Tomorrow’ was published in July 2010. Sustainable solutions are needed to find ways of making the most of our oceans. To achieve this, wide co-operation and synergies between different scientific disciplines should be encouraged, as mentioned in the ‘European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research’ (COM 2008 (534 final)).
The ‘European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research’
This strategy is an essential part of the EU’s integrated maritime policy. It provides the knowledge base for reconciling the growth of sea-based activities with environmental sustainability, as highlighted in the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/C.
Fostering a cross-cutting approach
The approach of ‘The Ocean of Tomorrow’ joint calls is in itself innovative. Whereas the main part of the FP7 research programme is organised along thematic priorities, ‘The Ocean of Tomorrow’ seeks to foster multi-disciplinary research and promote a cross-sectoral approach between themes such as food, energy, environment, and transport. It is necessary to look beyond traditional sector-oriented research to foster the sustainable growth of maritime activities.