Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Improving the preservation and sustainable exploitation of Atlantic marine ecosystems

Topic identifier: BG-01-2015
Publication date: 11 December 2013

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
25 July 2014
2nd stage Deadline:
03 February 2015 17:00:00
11 June 2015 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description

Specific Challenge:The North Atlantic is a key marine region that encompasses ecologically and biologically important and fragile ecosystems (e.g. deep cold-water corals) and provides goods and services essential for our well-being such as regulating climate. Furthermore, a decade long international investment in instrumenting and quantifying the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation provides a robust foundation upon which large process studies can be built to study the biogeochemistry and biodiversity that controls growth at the base of the ocean food web. Such studies can inform a mechanistic understanding of element and energy flow in the system, which are important to modeling, predicting future changes in such things as ocean atmosphere feedback loops and sustainable yields for fisheries. The exploitation of aquatic living resources in the North Atlantic has been a key driver for growth and wealth creation in several coastal areas. However, the biodiversity and functioning of this fragile environment as well as the products and services they provide are currently under threat. Addressing these pressures cost-effectively, requires a strengthened knowledge base, improved innovation and predictive capacity and the development of adaptive management plans for sustainable exploitation and use of the marine resources.

Scope: Proposals should fill in knowledge gaps to deepen the understanding of the biogeographic patterns, biodiversity, biogeochemistry and ecosystem services and goods supported by different marine ecosystems at ocean basin and management relevant scales and the capacity to model, understand and predict shifts in the dynamics of North Atlantic ecosystems, thereby supporting preservation and unlocking the potential for the sustainable production of new products and industrial applications. Decision support tools and methodologies should be developed to support adaptive (ecosystem based) management approaches enabling good governance of the North Atlantic marine ecosystem by the bordering countries so as to secure the sustainable exploitation of the living resources whilst ensuring its preservation. The work may draw upon related research expertise that has been developed within other sea basins. Proposals should also develop genuinely cross-disciplinary, integrated, systemic approaches – including the socio-economic dimension, as well as the engagement of the broader stakeholder communities. In line with the objectives of the EU strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012) 497), proposals should contribute to implementing the Transatlantic Research Alliance, launched by the Galway Statement[1] on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation in May 2013, and should benefit from the inclusion of partners from the United States of America and Canada[2]. Cooperation is also encouraged with other international partners.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 8–12 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

  • Improve resources management (ecosystem approach) and governance to preserve them and unlock their potential for the sustainable production of the new products and industrial applications.
  • Improve cooperation among EU Member States with respect to Atlantic ecosystem based research as well as with International partner countries
  • Contribute to the implementation of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, its environmental pillar the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), The Common Fisheries policy (CFP), the EU 'Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area'[3], and the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation.
  • Contribute to the implementation of international agreements to conserve Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems[4] and Ecologically or Biologically Sensitive Areas[5].

Type of action: Research and innovation actions


[2] This is without prejudice to the general rules on the funding of legal entities from third-countries, as set in part A of the annex to the work programme.

[3] COM(2011) 782 final

[4] UN Resolution 61/105

[5] Convention on Biological Diversity

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

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.
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. 
  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 Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
    Information on the outcome of one-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.
  6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template (administrative forms and structure of technical annex)
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Model Grant Agreement

  7. 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.

  8. 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.


Additional documents

  • Flash Call Info en
  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en
  • WP H2020 - 1. Introduction en
  • WP H2020 - 9. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy en
  • WP H2020 - 17. Communication and Dissemination en
  • WP H2020 - 19. General Annexes en

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

Get support

National Contact Points (NCP) – contact your NCP for further assistance.

Enterprise Europe Network – contact your EEN national contact point for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding.

Research Enquiry Service – ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular.

IT Helpdesk – contact the Participant Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc.

Ethics – to ensure compliance with ethical issues, further information is available on the Participant Portal and on the Science and Society Portal.

European IPR Helpdesk assists you on intellectual property issues.

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment

CEN and CENELEC, the European Standards Organisations, advise you how to tackle standardisation in your project proposal. Contact CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk at

Partner Search Services helps you find a partner organisation for your proposal.

H2020 Online Manual your online guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.