3 min read
29 Dec

What are the EU Missions under the new Horizon Europe Programme?In the recent communication of the EU Commission, they all come from the idea that in current times complex societal challenges require a coordinated effort across Europe to deliver impact. Actions funding research and innovation under the Horizon Europe programme have to be combined with a coordinated, all-in approach, and a new relationship with citizens. They are expected to mobilise and engage with public and private actors, such as EU Member States, regional and local authorities, research institutes, entrepreneurs and public and private investors, all to create real and lasting impact.

The "Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030" EU Mission

EU Commission gives evidence on how man-made, climate-driven changes are putting our ocean and waters and consequently our societies at a serious risk. The mission "Restore our Ocean and Waters" is expected to help achieve the EU objectives of:

  • protecting 30% of the EUs sea area;
  • restoring marine eco-systems and 25.000 km of free flowing rivers;
  • prevent and eliminate pollution by reducing plastic litter at sea, nutrient losses and use of chemical pesticides by 50%;
  • make the blue economy climate-neutral and circular with net-zero maritime emissions.

The Horizon Europe programme will provide EUR 344.16 million in the period 2021-23 to support the implementation of the mission, with other funding including from the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture FundInvest EU and other programmes e.g. EU Space Program. Main actions under this Mission will be:

  • Launch ‘lighthouses’ in major sea and river basins to pilot, demonstrate and deploy solutions to achieve the mission objectives;
  • Conclude lighthouse implementation charters to ensure governance and political commitment;
  • Establish EU-wide ‘Blue Parks’ to provide new restoration and conservation opportunities, as well as expand networks of marine protected areas;
  • Put in place a digital ocean and water knowledge system which includes preparation of the Digital Twin Ocean, an action contributing to the activities of the Destination Earth Initiative, and improved environmental monitoring of the ocean health, supporting effective water management;
  • Connect, mobilize and empower European citizens and local communities to take action for the restoration of the ocean and waters in a more inclusive way.
For an introduction of the Restore Oceans and Seas Mission and its framework, we suggest the EU Commission presentation in youtube at this link.

The new Horizon Europe funding calls for Oceans and Seas

Recently 12 new funding calls have been issued by the European Commision under the Horizon Europe Programme. They are all aimed at funding new actions included in the "Restore Oceans and Seas" Mission, with the following titles:

  • European Blue Parks;
  • Atlantic and Arctic basin lighthouse - restoration of marine and coastal ecosystems and increased climate resilience;
  • Atlantic and Arctic basins lighthouse – coordination activities;
  • Danube river basin lighthouse – restoration of fresh and transitional water ecosystems;
  • Danube river basin lighthouse – coordination activities;
  • Underlying models for the European Digital Twin Ocean;
  • Baltic and North Sea basin lighthouse – coordination activities;
  • Lighthouse in the Baltic and the North Sea basins - Low impact marine aquaculture and multi-purpose use of marine space;
  • Piloting citizen science in marine and freshwater domains;
  • Mediterranean sea basin lighthouse - actions to prevent, minimise and remediate litter and plastic pollution;
  • Underlying models for the European Digital Twin Ocean;
  • The relation of young generations with the sea and water: values, expectations, and engagement.

More than 100 millions EUR have been made available for these first funding calls under the "Restore Oceans and Seas" EU Mission.

Final deadline for the funding calls are on the 12th April 2022

Find full Synopses of the "Restore Oceans and Seas" EU Mission funding Calls in our weekly magazine. Get a look on it here or clicking on the cover.

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