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.
- 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.
Possible mission proposed by the mission board
At the end of June 2020, the mission board produced an interim report proposing concrete targets and a timeline for a possible mission.
The interim report was the basis for further discussion and engagement with Europeans to make sure that the proposed mission is relevant and will make a real difference.
The final recommendations of the mission board were handed over to the European Commission at the European Research & Innovation Days 22-24 September 2020.
The proposed mission:
Mission Starfish 2030: Restore our Ocean and Waters
Targets by 2030: cleaning marine and fresh waters, restoring degraded ecosystems and habitats, decarbonising the blue economy in order to sustainably harness the essential goods and services they provide.
- mission-oriented policy for Horizon Europe
- Horizon Europe
- co-design session video on oceans mission at Research and Innovation Days
- 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