On 7 June, the European Research Executive Agency (REA) and the European Commission organised a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions event on how to protect and restore our ocean and waters through Research and Innovation (R&I).
The event convened researchers, experts and EU policymakers, to explore how R&I can help achieve the objectives of the EU Mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters”.
Discussions focused on topics such as protecting and restoring marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity, preventing and eliminating pollution, as well as making the blue economy carbon-neutral and circular.
The event brought together excellent projects and researchers funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), as well as other research and innovation initiatives, such as the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
The event is part of the Commission’s multiple actions aimed at enhancing policy feedback practices and synergies across EU programmes. It showcased outstanding EU-funded projects, that propose solutions to some of the challenges increasingly affecting European rivers, coasts and seas.
The cluster event will also contribute to the implementation and monitoring of EU policy objectives, such as the Zero Pollution Action Plan for Water, Air and Soil or the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
- research staff
What are EU Missions?
EU Missions are a new ambitious initiative launched in the frame of Horizon Europe, the EU’s framework programme for Research and Innovation (2021-2027). They represent a new way of bringing concrete solutions to some of our greatest challenges, by defining ambitious goals and delivering concrete results by 2030. The five Missions are:
- Adaptation to Climate Change;
- Restore our Ocean and Waters;
- Climate-neutral and Smart Cities;
- A Soil Deal for Europe.
EU Missions put research and innovation into a new role, combined with new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as citizens’ engagement (including youth).
More information: EU Missions in Horizon Europe | European Commission (europa.eu)
EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030
This Mission will help achieve the marine and freshwater targets of the European Green Deal, such as protecting 30% of the EU’s sea area and restoring marine eco-systems and 25.000 km of free-flowing rivers.
As one of its objectives, the Mission will prevent and eliminate pollution by, for example, reducing plastic litter at sea, nutrient losses and use of chemical pesticides by 50%. It will also contribute to make the blue economy climate-neutral and circular with net-zero maritime emissions.
Cross-cutting enabling actions will support these objectives, in particular public mobilisation and engagement, as well as a digital ocean and water knowledge system, known as Digital Twin Ocean.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are part of the EU’s framework programmes for research and innovation. They support the training, career development and mobility of researchers in all scientific domains, at all stages of their careers and from all over the world. The MSCA fund the development of excellent doctoral and postdoctoral programmes, as well as international, cross-sectoral and institutional collaboration, contributing to knowledge transfer and scientific breakthroughs.
From 2014 to 2020, the MSCA funded the mobility and career development of around 65.000 researchers, including 25.000 doctoral candidates, through over 1.000 doctoral programmes and almost 10.000 postdoctoral fellowships. The MSCA are the most international part of the Horizon 2020 programme, accounting for more than 50% of all participations of third countries.
In the area of ocean and water research, the MSCA have supported more than 720 projects to date: 610 postdoctoral fellowships, 56 doctoral programmes, 23 collaborative staff exchange projects, and 20 co-funded PhD and postdoctoral training programmes.