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Towards a productive, healthy, resilient, sustainable and highly-valued Black Sea

The Black Sea contains the largest body of oxygen-free hydrogen sulphide-rich marine waters on Earth. Any new local, national or transboundary policy measures should consider its special ecosystem characteristics, its biodiversity and its submerged cultural heritage sites.  The European Commission has been supporting the work of researchers from all the Black Sea countries to advance a shared vision for a productive, healthy, resilient, sustainable and highly-valued Black Sea by 2030. The first step was a gap analysis and a Vision Paper: A Blue Growth Initiative for Research and Innovation in the Black Sea (May 2018), leading to the drafting of a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) for the Black Sea basin.

The Vision Paper identifies a series of challenges for the Black Sea basin, which are driven by a range of human-induced and natural drivers, such as pollution, maritime transport, eutrophication, climate change, and coastal hazards. The abundance of gas hydrates is a particular asset of the Black Sea that represents both opportunities and risks. Fish stocks and species diversity are under severe stress, common surveys and monitoring can provide a base for better assessment, management and prevention. The area's marine heritage and its ecosystem services are also at risk. Black Sea societies can be more deeply connected through a bridge of knowledge, technologies, services and innovations. The EU is committed to supporting the development of solutions to solve these issues. This work will support several policies and international agreements such as the EU Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU Neighbourhood Policy, and the Bucharest Convention.  

Proposals shall provide solutions for accurate predictive tools and capabilities to tackle the increasingly complex array of multi-stressors and their poorly understood interactions, including their connection with rivers flowing into the Black Sea.

Proposals shall address the fundamental Black Sea research challenges, that have been identified so far and others that may be defined as the priority-setting work proceeds, taking into account policy documents such as the MSFD reports of Romania and Bulgaria and the Strategic Action Plan of the Bucharest Convention. Proposals shall:

  • Develop innovative multi-disciplinary research, building on past and on-going regional, international, as well national and EU projects/initiatives, including research infrastructures, data sharing mechanisms that will generate the knowledge needed to increase ecosystem resilience (e.g. SEAS-Era ERA-NET, PERSEUS, COCONET, SENTINEL, Marine Copernicus Monitoring Environment Service, European research infrastructures such as EMBRC, Euro-Argo ERIC, ICOS ERIC and EMSO ERIC, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, DANUBIS-RI etc.);
  • Provide new knowledge to assess and mitigate the impacts of global climate change and the multiple natural and human-induced stressors in the Black Sea from land-sea interface to the deep basin.

Furthermore, proposals should provide scientific support to very early development of emerging start-ups in the region.

22 January 2020, 17:00 Brussels time
European Member States, Georgia, Moldova, Türkiye, Ukraine
Horizon 2020
Sector of activity: 
Research & innovation