Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : Blue green innovation for clean coasts and seas

Topic identifier: BG-07-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Planned opening date:
04 October 2016
Deadline: 14 February 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Debris, chemical and microbial pollution and algae jellyfish blooms are huge and increasing problems in the oceans, seas and coasts. For plastics alone, the economic and ecological cost is considerable when including beach clean-ups, tourism losses, and damages to the fishing and aquaculture industries. In spite of strong legislation such as EU directives, sea and coastal pollution remains high, and prevention and innovative coast and sea clean-up schemes remain a challenge. Many solutions are available to tackle these sources of pollution, including recycling, waste water treatment, teams of collectors, and specific equipment such as skimmer boats, beach cleaning machines or algae harvesting devices. However, there is a pressing need to develop powerful innovative methods and processes to clean coasts and oceans and to restore the ecosystems to a healthy and clean state. The foremost challenge is not only to remove litter and pollution, but to transform the collected waste into a resource stream in line with the concept of the circular economy.


The proposals should be for demonstration projects to clean and lay the ground for a healthy ocean or sea and its coasts in any given large geographic area(s), including regional seas or semi-closed sea basins such as the Mediterranean. The demonstration projects should develop and scale-up innovative processes and measures to clean the selected site[1] from visible (for example floating plastics or abandoned fishing gear) and invisible litter (micro-plastics) and pollutants[2], involving local communities and actors. Collected waste materials should be adequately processed so as to enable a subsequent usage/ exploitation/ re-usage. The proposals should apply an ecosystem approach, developing forecasting tools and models to identify areas where the proposed intervention is likely to be most effective in ecological and economic terms. Social acceptance and economic impact of the envisaged measures must also be considered and promoted, for example by disseminating the project results to relevant stakeholders.

In line with the objective of the EU Strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM (2012) 497), proposals addressing the Mediterranean should contribute to implement the Research and Innovation Initiative for Blue Jobs and Growth in the Mediterranean Area (The BLUEMED Initiative).[3]

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 6 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

To contribute to the implementation of EU Policies such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and its aim to achieve a good environment status for Europe’s seas and oceans by 2020, proposals are expected to:

  • Develop innovative technological methods or processes for cleaning coasts and seas and transforming waste into a resource.
  • Reduce cleaning up/restoration costs through cost-effective solutions, in particular through enhanced resource efficiency.
  • Increase awareness and acceptance of civil society about the importance of healthy oceans and seas, devoid of litter and pollutants, in civil society.
  • Progress towards reducing pollution and debris (macro, micro and nano) in regional sea basins and beyond, and towards restoring marine ecosystems.
  • Improve the professional skills and competences for those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.

[1]Each site should be substantial in size and include or be adjacent to different activities.

[2]The exact selection of pollutants and litter will depend on the area selected. However, the choice of the area must be such that several sources of pollution are addressed.

[3]The "Research and Innovation Initiative for Blue Jobs and Growth in the Mediterranean Area (The BLUEMED Initiative)" aims to advance a shared vision of a Mediterranean Sea that is healthy, productive, resilient, understood and valued so as to promote the well-being and prosperity of our citizens and future generations and boost socio economic growth and jobs. It was jointly developed by Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain and presented by the Italian Presidency during the Competitiveness Council of 04-05 December 2014. In March 2015, a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda was developed.

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation:
          For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
          For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement
  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.  

8. Additional documents

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