Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Blue Labs

Topic identifier: EMFF-01-2018
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Types of action: EMFF-AG EMFF Action Grant
Opening date:
23 October 2018
Deadline: 31 January 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
EMFF EMFF website
Pillar: EMFF-1-1
Work Programme Year: EMFF-2018
Work Programme Part: EMFF-2018
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

This action aims at promoting innovative "laboratories" (hereinafter called Blue Labs*) to pilot new and economically viable solutions addressing selected maritime and marine challenges and opportunities. The focus of this action is to support young scientists supported by experienced researchers, industry and local stakeholders, to team up and develop innovative technologies, products and services in support of a sustainable blue economy, preserving marine resources and ecosystems.

The Blue Labs concept works at the interface between research and commercial exploitation, testing and piloting innovative products and services so that results from research are taken forward closer to the market.

In order to ensure the EU added value of supported activities, the development of solutions has to be tailored to the specific problems or needs of one or more sea basins or sub-sea basin surrounding the EU coasts (e.g. Mediterranean, Western-Mediterranean, Adriatic-Ionian Seas, Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea).

The proposals submitted under this topic must develop the following specific elements:

  • solid partnerships between maritime stakeholders and fostering multidisciplinary approaches and combination of competences from businesses, the public sector and research bodies;

  • enhanced cooperation and coordination amongst maritime stakeholders at local, regional or even sea basin levels.

*Blue Lab definition:

For the purpose of this call, a "Blue Lab" is the collective endeavour to develop a new idea and to apply it in the maritime domain and/or marine environment. It provides the organizational space for collaborative and multidisciplinary work. A Blue Lab shall be:

- Result-oriented: resulting in a tangible deliverable, such as a pre-marketable service, product or prototype;

- Multidisciplinary: developed by involving businesses, researchers, young scientists (e.g. post-graduate students, recent post-graduates, other students) and, if relevant, other entities such as local authorities, NGOs etc.; and bringing different disciplines together into a common project idea development.

- Stakeholder driven: being designed and implemented in cooperation with at least one private partner and in consultation with a group of relevant partners (e.g. research bodies, businesses and local authorities).


For this topic, we seek to fund projects that will develop innovative solutions relating to one of the following themes. Applicants must select only one of the following specific themes per proposal:

1. Blue bio-remediation: e.g. exploiting metabolites, biomolecules, enzymes and genes from micro-organisms living in extreme marine environments in order to develop new technologies, products or services which can solve problems such as pollution, disposal of hazardous materials, etc.;

2. Unexploded ordnances at sea: e.g. development of innovative solutions and tools (algorithm, artificial intelligence systems, methods and standards) to identify and recognize different types of unexploded ordnances, to detect their deterioration (e.g. corrosion state, release of toxins, movement) and their impact on the environment, to disarm, safely remove and demolish ammunition from the sea, including to sense and neutralise chemical agents.

3. Innovative marina and leisure boat design: e.g. development of technological solutions/products and services for marinas to adapt to changing demand from customers (e.g. access to marinas and boats for an ageing population; ICT-oriented requirements from young people) and/or address environmental challenges (e.g. safe dismantling and recycling of leisure boats);

4. Marine biomass and blue-bioeconomy: e.g. development of new technological solutions/products and approaches to add value to otherwise low value marine biomass, including jellyfish, algae, mollusc shells, and fish (also fish products for non-direct human consumption);

5. Ecofriendly aquaculture[1] : e.g. establishment of new markets, product support, and adaptation of existing production towards the most eco-friendly and sustainable practices such as multi-species, multi-product production (e.g. Integrated MultiTrophic Aquaculture and aquaponics).

EASME intends to fund at least one project for each of the above themes.

As part of the evaluation process, priority will be given to proposals that build on the outcome of prior research or applied research projects, whether EU-funded or supported from other sources. In this context, proposals shall describe how they build on, complement and differ from finalised or ongoing research and innovation projects, including from EU programmes, if relevant. Where a proposal will operate in a particular sea basin in which a sea basin strategy or similar initiative exists[2], priority will be given to proposals that explain how they contribute to the objectives of the relevant sea basin strategy or initiative.

Expected Impact:

Applicants have to list the main results[3] expected from the project. The expected results to be achieved by the end of the project must be concrete, realistic and quantified as far as possible.

Proposals must clearly describe the specific results of the project for each of the following elements:

  • New services/products/tools relating to selected marine/maritime challenges/opportunities developed at pilot or pre-commercial stage;

Partnerships combining multidisciplinary competences from businesses, the public sector and research bodies, and integrating local knowledge, resulting in an increased capacity to drive innovation forward;

[1]freshwater/inland aquaculture is included.

[2]Sea basins strategies and other relevant sea basin information for the Atlantic, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean or North Sea:

[3]Results: capture more direct, short to medium term changes in a situation, which are achieved by the end of the project. E.g. If four FTE jobs are expected to be created by the end of the project, this will be an expected project result.

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in section 5 of the call document.

General eligibility conditions for participants (applicable to all 3 topics):

1. In order to be eligible for a grant, the applicants must:

·         be legal persons

·         belong to one of the following categories: private entities, public entities, or international organisations

·         be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the project with the other applicants, i.e. not acting as an intermediary

·         be established in an EU Member State  (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))


for projects with activities extending to neighbouring waters outside the territory of the EU:

o    be established in one of the following eligible non-EU countries:

        for activities related to the EU Atlantic Sea Strategy: Canada and United States of America;

        for activities related to the EU Baltic Sea Strategy: Belarus, Iceland, Norway and Russia;

        for activities related to the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-regional Strategy: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia;

        for activities related to the Union for the Mediterranean (including the Western Mediterranean Framework for Action): Algeria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey;

        for activities related to the Black Sea Synergy: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine;

        for activities related to the waters of an EU Outermost Region: the countries with neighbouring waters.


o    be necessary for the implementation of the project (in view of its nature and its objectives).

Natural persons are NOT eligible.

EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.

Special rules may apply for entities from certain countries (e.g. countries covered by Council sanctions, entities covered by Commission Guidelines No 2013/C 205/05 

To prove eligibility, all applicants must register in the Participant Register before the call deadline and upload the necessary documents showing legal status and origin.

Linked third parties (i.e. affiliated entities that participate in the project with funding, but do not become beneficiaries) are allowed.

For UK applicants: Please note that until the United Kingdom leaves the EU, nothing changes with regard to the participation in EU programmes. Please be aware however that the eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of our framework partnerships/grants. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during that period (without an agreement ensuring eligibility for UK beneficiaries), you will cease to receive EU funding or be required to leave the project on the basis of the contractual provisions on termination.

2. The consortium coordinator (or, for Topic 3, the single applicant submitting the application 3) has to be established in an EU Member State.

Specific eligibility conditions for participants (per topic):

For Topic 1 Blue Labs:

3. The applications must be submitted by a consortium complying with the following conditions:

-         Minimum two legal entities from two different countries. One of these must act as the consortium coordinator, while the others will act as partners. 

Applications by single applicants are NOT allowed.

-         The consortium must comprise at least: 

a)  one scientific/research  body/institution (such    as    a    higher    education   institution, research centre, technology institute) and

b) one business entity (such as companies, business associations).

Other entities such as local authorities, NGOs, public and financial institutions etc. can also be included based on the scope and the expected results of the project proposal.

International organisations are eligible as additional partners.

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in section 4 and 5 of the call document.

3. Proposal page limits and layout:

  • page limit: 45 pages
  • page size: A4
  • minimum font size ; Arial 8 points
  • margins (top, bottom, left and right): at least 15 mm (not including headers; footers)

4. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in section 6 of the call document
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in section 8 and 10 of the call document 

5. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreement: described in section 3 of the call document.

6. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):



Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents

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To access the Electronic Sumission Service, please click on the submission-button next to the type of action that corresponds to your proposal. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation, you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action EMFF Action Grant [EMFF-AG]
Topic Blue Labs - EMFF-01-2018
Guidance on proposal submission: H2020 online manual
IT Guidance: IT help

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