What are missions and mission areas?

Partly inspired by the Apollo 11 mission to put a man on the moon, the European research and innovation missions aim to deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world. They are an integral part of the Horizon Europe framework programme beginning in 2021. 

Individual missions will be chosen from the 5 mission areas that were identified during the negotiations of Horizon Europe.

What this mission area deals with

The importance of healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters

Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters are vital for our societies and the future of our planet. They are the lungs of our planet, producing half of the oxygen we breathe. They are a source of healthy food, contributing 16% of the animal protein we eat.

They are the planet’s largest carbon sink and have absorbed 26% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. They are home to the richest biodiversity on our planet.

They are the source of all life on Earth and our planet’s life-support system. They supply freshwater, renewable energy and provide benefits associated with our well-being, cultural values, tourism, trade, and transport.

Aims of missions in this area

A mission in the area of healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters will be a powerful tool to raise awareness of their importance among citizens and help develop solutions on a range of issues.

These include

  • systemic solutions for the prevention, reduction, mitigation and removal of marine pollution including plastics
  • transition to a circular and blue economy
  • adaption to and mitigation of pollution and climate change in the ocean
  • sustainable use and management of ocean resources
  • development of new materials including biodegradable plastic substitutes, new feed and food
  • urban, coastal and maritime spatial planning
  • ocean governance
  • ocean economics applied to maritime activities

How specific missions will be identified

This mission area has a mission board tasked with identifying one or more specific missions for implementation under Horizon Europe.  The mission board consists of 15 experts, including the chair, and is supported by a mission secretariat and an assembly.  

The Mission Boards will each produce a draft report proposing concrete targets and timelines by the end of May 2020. The draft reports will be the base for further discussion and engagement with citizens and stakeholders until September. The final recommendations of the Mission Boards will be handed over to the European Commission at the European Research & Innovation Days (22-24 September 2020).

More information

Contact

RTD-HORIZON-EUROPE-MISSION-OCEANS@ec.europa.eu

Latest

Timeline

  • End of June 2020

    The Mission Board produces a draft report proposing concrete targets and timelines

  • 22-24 September 2020

    The final recommendations of the Mission Board are handed over to the European Commission at the European Research & Innovation Days

Documents