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Additional activities for the European Partnership for a climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 7: Innovative Governance, Environmental Oberservations and Digital Solutions in Support of the Green Deal
Estimated EU contribution per project
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The objective of this action is to continue to provide support to the European Partnership for a climate-neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy (SBEP) identified in the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2021-2024 and first implemented under the topic HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-02: European Partnership for a climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy, and in particular to fund additional activities (which may also be undertaken by additional partners) in view of its intended scope and duration, and in accordance with Article 24(2) of the Horizon Europe Regulation.
The consortium which applied to and received funding under HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-02 is uniquely placed to submit a proposal to continue the envisioned partnership. Not only did this consortium submit the proposal leading to the identification of the partnership in the Horizon Europe strategic planning 2021-2024, it has also implemented the partnership through co-funded calls in year 2022 based on this planning and further to topic HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-02. In this context, the current consortium has particular expertise in relation to the objectives of the Partnership, the activities to be implemented, in particular FSTP calls or other calls/scope of calls clearly required/envisioned pursuant to initial proposal/partnership, and other relevant aspects of the action. In practice, another consortium could not continue the activities of the Partnership underway without significant disruption to the ongoing activities, if at all.
The scope of the application for this call on the European partnership for a climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy should focus on duly justified continuation or additional priority areas, additional activities and additional partners, including from additional countries, delivering knowledge and solutions to make the blue economy sustainable and ensure that its benefits are distributed fairly, by aligning national, regional and EU R&I priorities and bringing together science, industry, governance and society.
Responding to national and EU policy goals (e.g., European Green Deal, Marine Strategy and Water Framework Directive, Natura and Maritime Spatial Planning Directives), the partnership's continued and/or additional priority areas should aim to achieve a healthy ocean, a sustainable and productive blue economy and the well-being of citizens, for which the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas and its objectives (in particular contributing to stronger and resilient rural (coastal) areas) should also be considered, with its flagship initiative “Research and innovation for rural (coastal) communities”.
The partnership is expected to continue to organise joint calls as part of the additional activities and therefore it should factor ample time to run the co-funded projects. The partnership should further promote technological, nature-based, social, economic and cultural innovation and experiment with new planning, governance, business and finance models.
The partnership's additional activities are expected to be designed and described in such a way that it is clear how they will increase scientific contributions, applicable in a legal/regulatory context, and how they will facilitate the use of scientific knowledge by regulators and policymakers, contributing to the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, the farm to fork strategy, the mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030”, the circular economy action plan, the zero pollution ambition and the transformation of Europe’s blue economy towards climate-neutral status by 2050, as also reflected in the communication on a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU “Transforming the EU's Blue Economy for a Sustainable Future”.
The partnership is also expected to have a structuring function with regard to European integrated ocean observing systems and data analyses. The partnership is expected to put specific emphasis on how to contribute to the future EU initiative on ocean observation, to have a key role in the implementation of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS), including research infrastructures, in the development of a common European ocean data space connected to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and European Green Deal data spaces, and contribute to the development of Digital Twin Ocean. All quality-controlled data collected through actions funded from this co-fund call should follow FAIR principles and be made available through open access data systems supported by the European Commission (such as Copernicus, GEOSS, EMODnet).
The partnership's additional activities should put the emphasis on the development of basin- or Europe-wide holistic, integrated, systemic and cross-sectoral approaches and foster co-creation processes involving all relevant stakeholders and actors, while remaining operationally manageable and taking into account the reccomendations from additional support offered by the European Commission in 2022. The additional activities are expected to be implemented through the 'multi-actor approach' and ensure adequate involvement of researchers from different disciplines, advisors, local, regional and national authorities, government representatives, industry and businesses, including SMEs, knowledge institutions and citizens, civil society organisations including NGOs, and other relevant actors of the value chain, supported through Open Science and an inclusive governance, policy and decision-making. It should harness the full potential of social sciences and humanities (SSH), social innovation and citizen engagement to deliver portfolios of solutions, measures and tools and facilitate their replication, and upscaling. In particular, the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and expertise is expected to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research and innovation activities.
Additional activities should contribute to improve the health and quality of life and long-term socio-economic prospects of coastal communities, including women, youth and the most vulnerable groups like indigenous people, in the context of major transitions and rising threats to climate, resources and health, including by increasing their resilience to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the European Commission’s political vision of leaving no one behind, the wide diversity and heterogeneity in levels of socio-economic, technological, institutional, innovation and skills potential should be taken into account.
The partnership is expected to include partners from additional countries, including Associated Countries, in its consortium, as it should cover the Atlantic, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea to the maximum extent possible. It is expected to include and be open to all relevant public marine/maritime funding organisations and ministries from EU Member States and Associated Countries as core members, in close cooperation with the private sector, including SMEs and foundations. Appropriate links to other relevant ministries and organisations, including civil society, should be established.
Given the global dimension of ocean policy, membership and other modalities of participation from organisations and institutions in Non-Associated Third Countries is expected, in particular key partners bordering the different EU sea basins. In line with the Europe’s global approach to cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation should contribute to align strategies and research agendas, strengthen data collection, monitoring and sharing, as well as access to research infrastructures, promote good practice for maritime policies, promote the exchange and export of key technologies and gradually open up cooperation with new countries outside of Europe.
Through the additional activities and new partners, the partnership should support the EU’s strong commitment to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative, the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance, the BLUEMED Initiative, the Black Sea Synergy and other international initiatives.
Partners are expected to continue to provide contributions for the governance structure, the joint calls and other dedicated implementation actions and efforts for national coordination. The partnership is expected to mobilise EU, national and regional capacities to leverage investments, including from the private sector, increase up-scalability and market accessibility for the developed solutions and thus increase the return to investments.
To ensure the coherence and complementarity of activities, and to leverage knowledge investment possibilities, the partnership is expected to foster close cooperation and ensure synergies with other relevant European Partnerships, in place and proposed, notably “Rescuing biodiversity to safeguard life on Earth”, “Sustainable food systems for people, planet and climate”, “Water security for the planet (Water4All)”, and related actions for coordinating and supporting the combined activities of Member States and Associated Countries towards the objectives of the “Zero-emission waterborne transport” (ZEWT) Partnership, “Clean Energy Transition”, “Artificial intelligence, Data and Robotics”, the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and others where relevant, as well as the EIT Climate KIC, the EIT FOOD and the “European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)”. The partnership will also be linked to the relevant objectives of the mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030”. Proposers are expected to describe in details the way to plan and implement such collaborations through dedicated tasks and appropriate resources.
Engaging with managing authorities of European Structural and Investment Funds, as well as others like LIFE, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III) and Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), during partnership implementation would help increase the implementation of the project outcomes and support and facilitate further uptake.
While the award of a grant to continue the Partnership in accordance with this call should be based on a proposal submitted by the coordinator of the consortium funded under HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-02: European Partnership for a climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy and the additional activities (which may include additional partners) to be funded by the grant should be subject to an evaluation, this evaluation should take into account the existing context and the scope of the initial evaluation as relevant, and related obligations enshrined in the grant agreement.
Taking into account that the present action is a continuation of topic HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-02 and foresees an amendment to an existing grant agreement, the proposal should also present in a separate document the additional activities and additional partners, if any, to be covered by the award in terms of how they would be reflected in the grant agreement. The proposal should also describe the specific activities foreseen in order to strengthen the synergies with other related Missions and Partnerships.
The Commission envisages to include new actions in future work programme(s) to continue providing support to the partnership for the duration of Horizon Europe.
Expected effects and impacts
Topics under this destination will have impacts in the following areas:
- “Climate change mitigation and adaptation”;
- “Clean and healthy air, water and soil”;
- “Enhancing ecosystems and biodiversity on land and in water”;
- “Sustainable food systems from farm to fork on land and sea”;
- “High quality digital services for all”;
- “A Competitive and secure data-economy”.
This topic is for the continuation of the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership (SBEP), i.e. EU contribution in WP 2023-2024.
The second instalment of the partnership is expected to contribute to all expected outcomes specified in topic HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-02: European Partnership for a climate-neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy, for continuation and new development of activities.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Applications may be submitted by one or more legal entities, provided that one of those legal entities is established in a Member Sate or an Associated Country.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
- The proposal must be submitted by the coordinator of the consortium funded under HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-02: European Partnership for a climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy. This eligibility condition is without prejudice to the possibility to include additional partners.
- If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
- The proposals must use the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach in the introduction to the Work Programme.
- Proposals focusing on one type of activity or sector are out of scope.
- Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties (FSTP). The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants.
- Financial support provided by the participants to third parties is one of the primary activities of this action in order to be able to achieve its objectives. The 60 000 EUR threshold provided for in Article 204 (a) of the Financial Regulation No 2018/1046 does not apply.
- The maximum amount of FSTP to be granted to each third party is EUR 10 000 000. This amount is justified since the provision of FSTP is one of the primary activities of this action and it is based on extensive experience under predecessors of this partnership.
The starting date of grants awarded under this topic may be as of the submission date of the application. Applicants must justify the need for a retroactive starting date in their application. Costs incurred from the starting date of the action may be considered eligible (and will be reflected in the entry into force date of the amendment to the grant agreement.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 70 pages.
The evaluation committee will be composed partially by representatives of EU institutions. If the proposal is successful, the next stage of the procedure will be grant agreement amendment preparations. If the outcome of amendment preparations is an award decision, the coordinator of the consortium funded under HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-02: European Partnership for a climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy will be invited to submit an amendment to the grant agreement, on behalf of the beneficiaries.