Coordination of marine and maritime research and innovation in the Black Sea

The Black Sea is going through rapid changes in response to closely interlinked natural and anthropogenic pressures. Climate change is influencing the physical dynamics and hydrological structure of the Black Sea, while nutrient and pollutant loads are flowing from growing urban areas, inland and coastal activities. Increasing maritime traffic is also leading to safety concerns, water and air pollution and the introduction of invasive alien species. Fishing activities in the Black Sea are unsustainable. The area's marine heritage and its ecosystem services are also at risk. The geo-political complexity of the area further complicates the establishment of favourable framework conditions to support the growth of the blue economy (e.g. in trans-border cooperation on sea-related activities, including maritime spatial planning). Coordinated and integrated actions need to be carried out by countries bordering the Black Sea individually and together in order to create synergies and complementarities between sectors and countries. A common marine and maritime R&I strategy needs to be developed in order to achieve knowledge-based, sustainable and long- lasting Blue Growth in the region.


Proposals shall develop a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and Implementation Plan and contribute to the further alignment and convergence of national research and innovation activities and other relevant initiatives and investments by and with the different actors and across different sectors in primis between the countries bordering the Black Sea coasts and the whole EU. Activities shall establish and consolidate an operational network of marine and maritime research funders and other key players. Activities shall support the design and implementation of new transnational joint activities This action shall build on past and on-going regional, international as well national and EU projects/initiatives (e.g. SEAS-Era ERA-NET, PERSEUS, COCONET, European research infrastructures such as EMBRC, Euro-Argo ERIC, ICOS ERIC and EMSO ERIC, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, DANUBIS-RI etc.). It must integrate research, policy, industry (including aquaculture) and society (including the preservation of local coastal cultures). It shall also contribute to pooling different funding streams at national and EU level, and combine them in an effective way. In agreement with the Commission services, projects should ensure appropriate flexibility so as to respond in real time to potentially fast-changing policy scenarios.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 2 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 the implementation of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, the EU Integrated Maritime Policy and its environmental pillar, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, the EU Common Fisheries Policy and the EU Blue Growth Strategy, activities shall

In the short term:

  • Deliver a Strategic and Innovation Research Agenda, structuring and consolidating research and innovation around the Black Sea and in cooperation with the rest of the EU.
  • Boost the knowledge base and contribute to creating the right conditions for the development of new technologies and services and to improve human capacity and infrastructure in the Black Sea region.

In the medium term:

  • Boost the blue economy and contribute to creating more jobs in the Black Sea region by coordinating and aligning EU, national and regional marine and maritime research programmes.
  • Increase the competitiveness of EU researchers, industry and SMEs within the marine and maritime sectors.
  • Maximise the impact of science diplomacy through enhanced marine cooperation in the Black Sea region.
  • Improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.
  • Contribute to making the Black Sea healthier, more productive, resilient, better known and valued.
  • Contribute to policymaking in research, innovation and technology.

Cross-cutting Priorities

  • Socio-economic science and humanities
  • International cooperation
  • Blue Growth
Application date
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology
Social sciences : Economy, Environmental Sciences, Gender studies, Identities, gender and sexuality, Geography, Sociology