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Maritime Research To Get Special Attention At Horizon 2020 Programme Launch

23rd November 2013
Maritime Research To Get Special Attention At Horizon 2020 Programme Launch

#Horizon2020 - The national launch of Horizon 2020, the European Union’s new €80 billion programme for research and innovation to create new growth and jobs in Europe, will take place in the Dublin Convention Centre on Tuesday 10 December

This event is free to attend, and registration is available online at the Enterprise Ireland website.

Horizon 2020 has an increased budget of nearly 30% in real terms compared with its predecessor, the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). 

As a result of a new strategic programming approach, 12 'focus areas' have been identified for special attention. One of these, Blue Growth: Unlocking the potential of the seas and oceans, means that marine/maritime research and innovation will receive special attention in Horizon 2020. 

The areas of research that will be the focus of the first calls (2014/2015) are listed online HERE.

The EU Blue Growth Strategy (2012) recognises that seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy with great potential for innovation, economic growth and job creation. The strategy is the Integrated Maritime Policy's contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. 

Implementation of the Blue Growth Strategy, including sea-basin programmes such as the EU Atlantic Action Plan (2014-2020), can be supported by EU co-funding programmes such as Structural and Cohesion Funds (eg INTERREG, Smart Specialisation), Horizon 2020 and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The Irish marine research community, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), benefitted greatly from FP7 (2007-2013), participating in 127 competitive and collaborative marine research projects drawing down grant-aid of over €48 million, of which 42% was shared between 39 SMEs. 

This level of participation equates to circa 180 new marine science jobs in Ireland, and the figure increases to 270 jobs with the inclusion of both FP7 and INTERREG-IV marine projects over the period from 2007 to 2013.

Irish successes include MARINET (Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network for Energy Technologies), led by University College Cork, and ASIMUTH (Applied simulations and integrated modelling for the understanding of Toxic and Harmful Algal blooms), led by the Bantry-based Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station (DOMMRS) and which won the 2013 COPERNICUS Award for the best earth-monitoring service for European citizens. 

Other projects led by Ireland include: MarineTT (European Marine Research Knowledge Transfer and Up-take of Results), led by AquaTT (Dublin); BAMMBO (Sustainable production of biologically active molecules of marine origin), led by the Limerick Institute of Technology; and CORALFISH (Assessment of interactions between corals, fish and fisheries in the deep waters of Europe and beyond), led by NUI Galway.

The Marine Institute participates in 28 projects including the strategic MyOCEAN (Development of upgraded GMES Marine Core Services) and EuroFLEETS (Towards an alliance of European Marine Research Vessel Fleets) projects.

Horizon 2020 funding is based on competitive calls that are open to everyone, including organisations and individuals from outside the EU. It is up to individual researchers, research organisations, companies or other organisations to get involved.

SMEs are encouraged to participate across the whole Horizon 2020 programme. They can engage in collaborative projects as part of a consortium, or seek support through a new dedicated SME instrument for highly innovative smaller companies.

The integrated approach and simplification efforts should lead to a minimum of 20%, or about €8.65 billion, of the total combined budgets of the specific objective 'Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies' (LEITs) and 'Societal Challenges' going to SMEs.

The SME instrument will be crucial in achieving this target. Over the course of Horizon 2020, at least €3 billion will be allocated to the SME instrument.

Full details on Horizon 2020 are included on the official Horizon 2020 website HERE.

Published in Marine Science
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


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At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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