Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Blue Bioeconomy Public-Public Partnership

Topic identifier: BG-02-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: ERA-NET-Cofund ERA-NET Cofund
Opening date:
31 October 2017
Deadline: 13 February 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Updates
  • 08 June 2018 16:00

    Letters informing on the results of the evaluation have been sent to applicants.

    Under the tab 'Topic conditions and documents' the following document is available in the last section "Additional documents": H2020-BG-2018-1-single stage flash call info

  • 05 March 2018 11:40

    An overview of the number of proposals submitted is now available under the ‘Topic conditions & documents’ section on the topic page.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Aquatic biomass from the seas and oceans, rivers and lakes has a large potential to ensure future food and nutrition security and to supply raw materials for other high added value chains and products, such as bioenergy, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics while factoring in environment and climate change risks. These so-called provisioning ecosystem services could ensure private and public benefits, while demonstrating synergies or trade-offs with a broader range of ecosystem services. However, this potential is currently underutilised due to a lack of synergies between sectors and of adequate investments. Consequently, EU intervention is needed to create the conditions to mobilise investments by aligning national and regional innovation research agendas across different blue bioeconomy sectors.


Activities shall pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national and/or regional research programmes with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals with EU co-funding resulting in grants to third parties. Proposers are requested to implement other joint activities, including additional joint calls without EU co-funding. Activities shall address innovative, sustainable and climate-friendly possibilities to produce, harvest and exploit aquatic biomass from different trophic levels for use in food and other value chains. The technical and economic feasibility of these possibilities should be clearly demonstrated by including in the projects industry partners that contribute a concrete and feasible business perspective. The ERA-NET Cofund shall address research and innovation gaps such as achieving zero waste by optimising the use of underutilised and waste material from fisheries and aquaculture and apply biotechnology and ICT in the blue bioeconomy to develop smart, efficient, traceable food systems and other biomaterials and create synergies between aquaculture and fisheries (e.g. through genetic assessment); to unlock the potential of microbiomes in aquaculture, fisheries, food processing and biotechnology; to create predictive tools to improve the identification, targeting and conservation of biodiversity “hot-spots” in the oceans (e.g. through omics-based technologies); explore synergies with land-based production in areas such as food and feed processing, biorefining, bioenergy, biomaterials, chemicals and nutrients, and include waste streams from aquatic to terrestrial value chains; to improve aquaculture and fisheries by using a combination of methods, processes and technologies such as biotechnology to create innovative feeds, improve brood stock, introduce new species, improve biosecurity, define stock baselines, and assess stocks. Activities shall also build on developments derived from relevant Framework Programme projects. Activities shall also aim to implement other joint activities without EU co-funding, on issues related to fisheries, aquaculture, seafood processing and aquatic biotechnology in line with the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the Joint Programming Initiative "Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans"[1], the COFASP Strategic Research Agenda[2], and the Marine Biotech Strategic Research and Innovation Roadmap[3]. Inclusion of societal actors and stakeholders at large during the whole research and innovation process shall allow to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society while facilitating the creation of new value chains in the market. The interdisciplinary and cross-sectorial nature of the project should also apply to training activities improving the professional skills and competencies and supporting the creation of new jobs in the blue economy. Proposers have to demonstrate that the topic for the cofunded call excludes duplication with calls launched or planned under Horizon 2020.

Participation of legal entities from international partner countries will be encouraged in the joint call as well as in other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding. Participants from countries which are not automatically eligible for funding may request a EU contribution (on the basis of the ERA-NET unit cost) for the coordination costs of additional activities.

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

Expected Impact:

Contributing to ongoing implementation at EU and national level of EU policies such as the Bioeconomy Strategy, the Circular Economy Strategy, the Blue Growth Strategy, the Common Fisheries Policy, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, the BLUEMED Initiative and notably common priorities with the WestMED Initiative[4] and the EUSAIR, as well as the priorities defined in the European Commission Staff Working Document FOOD 2030[5] and international initiatives such as the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, this ERA-NET Cofund shall:

In the short term:

  • Create, test, upscale and bring to the market new knowledge-intensive products and services derived from aquatic biomass, fostering job creation and economic growth in Europe.
  • Provide consumers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about safe, healthy and sustainable food and policy makers with robust scientific advice.

In the medium term:

  • Increase the efficient and sustainable use of by-products generated from blue bioeconomy sectors.
  • Contribute to the UN SDG 2 target to ensure sustainable food production systems and the UN SDG 14 target to effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing.
  • Contribute to improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.
  • Contribute to policymaking in research, innovation and technology.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Blue Growth
Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

[1]Joint Programming Initiative "Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans",

[2]COFASP Strategic Research Agenda,


[4]Initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean

[5]European Research and Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security, SWD(2016)319.

Topic conditions and documents

Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
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. See the information in the Online Manual.


Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme. SME instrument: described in the Work Programme part "European Innovation Council (EIC)".


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.



Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): 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 evaluation (two-stage call):
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.

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

ERA-NET Cofund:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
MGA ERA-NET Cofund - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement
Thematic clusters of previous ERA-NET projects
Practical guidance how to organise ERA-NET joint calls

Additional requirements:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

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

Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
9. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

Additional documents

  • H2020-BG-2018-1-single stage flash call info en

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