Additional activities for the European Partnership for a climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy (HORIZON-CL6-2024-GOVERNANCE-01-1)


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.



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 countriesdelivering 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.

Specific Topic Conditions:

The total indicative budget for the duration of the partnership is EUR 150 million.

28 February 2024 17:00:00 Brussels Time
Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
EUR 150 million
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Sector of Activity
Blue Economy Blue Growth
Opportunities Status