Marine and maritime - Research - European Commission

Roadmap Initiatives




Study to identify funding opportunities for marine research infrastructure, in Structural Funds

The study will screen operational programmes of Member States to identify opportunities for financing marine research infrastructure, clarify the applications conditions and criteria and provide basic support to help prepare applications

Start: January 2009
Completion: May 2009

Expert group on maritime research infrastructures

This temporary expert group will help the Commission identify needs for marine research infrastructures, and how they could be financed, particularly by using the financing opportunities identified in the study. Priority will be given to marine related infrastructure in the ESFRI list. However the expert group will also consider other needs for research infrastructure, like those of regional relevance, particularly if it appears that some funding opportunities apply more easily to them than to ESFRI RI.
The expert group will have a life span of 12-18 months and its work should be taken over by the marine and maritime research forum, when this latter becomes operational.

Setting: December 2009

EUROFLEETS – FP 7 Optimisation of EU oceanographic fleet

EUROFLEETS (Towards an alliance of European research fleets) is an EC project that was proposed in February 2008 in the context of the FP7 call. Start of the project at the beginning of 2009. Based on the recommendations of the ESF-Marine Board Position Paper 10 : "European Ocean Research Fleets Towards a Common Strategy and Enhanced Use" (March 2007),and developed in the frame of the Marin ERA ERANET project (Oct. 2007), EUROFLEETS aims to define a common strategic vision for European research fleets and associated heavy equipment (e.g. submersible vehicles such as ROVs and AUVs), use more cost-effectively the existing European ocean/global and regional fleets, facilitate a wider sharing of knowledge and technologies between industry, promote greener and sustainable research vessel operations and responsibility, develop training and education at sea; provide all European researchers with a full access to high performing research fleets to conduct marine research.
EUROFLEETS links with other European projects Sea Data Net (FP6 I3 project), for a standardised data management EMSO, for the servicing of the seabed observatories EURO-ARGO, for the servicing of profilers deployment and recovery research programmes like HERMES 2, EUROCEANS, MARBEF, ESONet, the future ERANet on marine research.

Start: September 2009

Joint call "Ocean of tomorrow"
(Ocean of Tomorrow)

A joint call to promote excellence in marine and maritime research, and in particular, an improved integration between all the relevant scientific disciplines needed to address complex sea-related issues in the framework of the EU maritime policy (total budget: €34 million is available from the 2010). It concerns researchers, research institutions, companies, industry, SMEs, etc. The call will be implemented through three topics:
• Quantification of climate change impacts on economic sectors in the Arctic. (€11 million). Main objective is to assess and quantify climate change impacts on both macro and meso-economic level for key sectors (maritime transport, fisheries, tourism and resource extraction) and on how these sectors could affect the Arctic environment.
• Vectors of changes in marine life, impact on economic sectors (€12.5 million). Main objective is better to understand in an integrated way the interaction between changes in marine life and European marine and maritime economic sectors.
• Sub-seabed carbon storage and the marine environment. (€10.5 million). Main objective is to address the potential impact of sub-seabed CO² storage on marine ecosystems during the deployment of the CO² injection equipment, during the injection of CO² into the storage site, and after the end of the storage operations. Submission can only be done electronically. Deadline for applications: 14th January 2010.

Launch: July 2009, End: 14 Jan 2010

EMODNET Action Plan

This marine data infrastructure will be a network of existing and developing European observation systems, linked by a data management structure covering all European coastal waters, seas and oceans, accessible to everyone. The "proof of concept" of EMODNET is being tested through preparatory actions. Portals for a number of maritime basins are being set up for hydrographic, geological, biological and chemical data as well as functional habitat maps. These portals will provide access to marine data of a standard format and known quality and identify gaps in coverage. An impact assessment to be conducted in 2009 will assess options for moving towards a definitive EMODNET, both in the intermediate period 2011-2013 and in the long term after 2014. The Action Plan, to be presented at the end of 2009, will incorporate the lessons learned and insights gained during this initial period.

1st term 2010




Over-arching ERA-NET(SEASERA)


Start: 4th term 2009

Bonus - Art 169
(BONUS 169)


Start: 4th term 2009




Marine and Maritime research Forum

The Commission will finance a support action aiming at setting-up a Marine and Maritime Research Forum. When it becomes operational, this Forum will develop mechanisms to strengthen knowledge exchange and cooperation within the broad-interdisciplinary marine and maritime research community. It will undertake foresight studies with a view to advise the Commission on cross-cutting strategic research priorities and on marine research infrastructure. It will also seek to integrate and disseminate marine and maritime knowledge among relevant stakeholders.

Start: 1st term 2010


EMAR2RES is a support action financed by the transport research budget to identify commonalities and strengthen cooperation between marine science and maritime industries. Main contractors are CESA (representing the Waterborne Technology Platform) and the European Science Foundation – Marine Board (on the side of the marine scientific community). EMAR2RES will be developed in close coordination with the Marine and Maritime Research Forum and its deliveries will be building blocks for the Forum.

Start: 3rd term 2009

Scientific support to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
(Interface MSFD)

Setting-up a structured interface between marine research and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, in order to support its implementation on the basis of best available scientific knowledge.

4th term 2009




International cooperation
(MED Black Sea)

Development of a strategic framework for international research cooperation in the Mediterranean / Black Sea.

1st term 2010

International cooperation

Development of a strategic framework for international research cooperation in the Arctic.

1st term 2010

– International cooperation – global dimension
(IOC / UN)

Strengthening EU Commission cooperation with International Oceanographic Commission and involvement in UN global marine research initiatives.


External initiatives

Marine and Maritime Mediterranean and Black Sea Technology Platform

The European Commission with the communication on ‘An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union’ (140 KB) while recognising that the seas and coasts are essential for the welfare and prosperity of the Union, underlines the need to rapidly implement an integrated maritime policy to enhance Europe's capability to face the challenges of globalisation and competitiveness, climate change, degradation of the marine environment, maritime safety and security, and energy security and sustainability, which "must be based on excellence in marine research, technology and innovation".

The Mediterranean and Black Sea areas with their coastline, the excellence of their maritime traditions and the dimension of their industrial, tourism, research and training activities are inextricably linked to the sea from which a significant source of national GDP is generated. For these reasons, the Technology Platform has been launched for the purpose of defining and implementing the Blue Book policies on research, technology and innovation, not only within the EU but also with particular attention to the progressive development of a maritime policy involving all Mediterranean and Black Sea countries.

Read more (84 KB)

The Alliance for Marine Science

On 28 and 29 September in Paris a symposium took place at the National Museum of Natural History entitled "The Alliance for Marine Science: National Network to Network World". Organized by Ifremer, as part of its 25th anniversary, the symposium was intended to highlight the main achievements during the past quarter century in ocean research and perspectives that are emerging in this field.

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Wageningen University Research Centre for Marine Policy

Wageningen UR Centre for Marine Policy is a new European research centre that supports the development of integrated maritime and marine policies.

The centre brings together research and knowledge by integrating research disciplines like marine ecology, economics, governance, fishery research, maritime research and marine law.

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