Marine Institute

EU Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn launches €8 billion FP7 research call'

July 11, 2012

EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced an €8 billion package of calls for co-operative research proposals under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). The Irish launch took place on Wednesday 11th July at the EU Research in Action Exhibition, European Union House, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. This is the final and largest ever package of FP7 calls, and is an important part of the Commission’s commitment to work for growth and jobs in Europe. It is anticipated that circa €155 to €160 million will be invested in co-operative marine research projects including €55 million for the Ocean of Tomorrow Programme.  

At the launch, Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO, Marine Institute, noted that Irish marine researchers and SMEs had gained considerably from previous FP7 calls, participating in over 90 co-operative projects and winning competitive grant-aid in excess of €33 million. Dr Heffernan also pointed out that Irish marine researchers and SMEs perform exceptionally well capturing over 8% of the Irish drawdown to-date and with Irish marine SMEs winning over 40% of the marine drawdown (double the national average). This, he said, emphasises the importance and opportunity for Ireland as we go forward in partnering the EU in addressing big societal challenges (sustainability, climate change, etc) and in innovation to drive the Blue Economy as advocated in the Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union and the national Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth initiative.  

The Research in Action Exhibition is open to the public between 9th – 20th July in the European Commission Representation in Ireland, European Union House, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.  

Three Marine Projects were inclued in the exhibition:  

 

Biosensors for real-time monitoring of biohazard and man-made chemical contaminants in the marine environment; 

Specific marine topics in the current call include:  

Ocean of Tomorrow 2013 (€55 million)       

  • Biosensors for real-time monitoring of biohazard and man-made chemical contaminants in the marine environment;        
  • Innovative multifunctional sensors for in-situ monitoring of marine environment and related maritime activities;      
  • Innovative antifouling materials for maritime applications;   
  • Innovative transport and deployment systems for the offshore wind energy sector.  

Co-operative marine and maritime topics will also be addressed through the various thematic priorities of the "Cooperation" Programme, for a total value of around €100 million. Specific marine topics include:      

  • sustainable management of Europe’s deep sea and sub-sea floor resource; 
  • climate-related ocean processes and combined impacts of multiple stressors on the marine environment;  
  • coasts at threat in Europe: tsunamis and climate-related risks;    
  • towards zero emission ships; design tools,
  • enabling technologies and research to facilitate ocean energy converter arrays;        
  • breakthrough solutions for mineral extraction and processing in extreme environments;
  • innovative insights and tools to integrate the ecosystem-based approach into fisheries advice; 
  • diversification of fish species and products in aquaculture;
  • boosting the domestication of established farmed finfish species through selective breeding;       
  • assessment of organic aquaculture for further development of European regulatory framework;        
  • marine biotechnology ERA-NET;         
  • the CO2 algae biorefinery.  

In addition, there are many “generic” opportunities to fund marine/maritime projects under the various FP7 Co-operative, Ideas, People and Capacities Programmes.  

Interested researchers and SMEs should consult the actual 2013 Work Programmes for further information, including rules and regulations and closing dates (Note: these differ from programme to programme) for submission of co-operative proposals.  

For full details see: http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp7/index_en.cfm?pg=press   

Details of Irish participation in the FP7 Programme (2007-2010) are included in the Marine Institute publication “New Connections: Exploring Ireland’s International Marine Research Partnerships” downloadable from: http://oar.marine.ie/handle/10793/747.  

ENDS

Background Information for Editors

  • This is the final and largest ever package of calls from the €52 billion FP7 Programme (2007-2013);
  • The current calls address key concerns faced by Europeans where action at EU level is essential;
  • €4.8 billion (60%) will be invested in thematic areas, with specific priorities to preserve oceans and water, better use of raw materials, efficient energy, promote efficiency in the processing of biological resources, develop smart cities and tackle issues such as public sector reform, brain research and anti-microbial resistance;
  • €2.7 billion will help cement Europe's place as a world class destination for researchers, mainly through individual grants from the European Research Council (€1.75 billion), and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (€963 million) for research training and mobility;
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises, recognised as vital for innovation, are given special incentives to participate with a total package of €1.2 billion;
  • Universities, research organisations and industry will be among more than 15,000 funding recipients in around 1,300 projects.  

EU FP7 WP 2013 FACT SHEETS ON STRATEGIC PRIORITIES – OCEANS OF THE FUTURE  

Facts & figures

Seas and oceans provide the basis for large and essential economic sectors (shipping, coastal tourism, offshore oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture, marine biotechnology, marine renewable energy) but they are under considerable environmental pressure from human activities and climate change. The main maritime economic sectors account for nearly six million jobs in Europe. Coastal/maritime tourism in the EU provides an annual added value of €170 billion (2.7 million jobs); maritime transport €195 billion (2.5 million jobs); energy and raw materials €123 billion (57,000 jobs); seafood production and ecosystem services €12 billion (291,000 jobs); maritime monitoring and surveillance €6.6 billion (19,000 jobs); and coastal protection €3.7 billion (31,000 jobs), of which €200 million is for environmental monitoring.  

How much do we plan to invest in 2013? Approximate budget of €155 to €160 million.

  • The "Ocean of Tomorrow 2013" call: € 55 million to support large cross-cutting actions, for example: on marine sensing technologies, with the aim to improve reliable measurements of key parameters in the sea; new materials that can avoid bio-fouling on mobile and stationary structures and equipment; and new technologies for large offshore wind farms and related logistics. Projects will bring together technology providers and end-users, with a view to maximise applications and innovation.
  • Marine and maritime topics will also be addressed through the various thematic priorities of the "Cooperation" programme, for a total value of around €100 million. Topics include: sustainable management of Europe’s deep sea and sub-sea floor resource; towards zero emission ships; design tools, enabling technologies and research to facilitate ocean energy converter arrays; breakthrough solutions for mineral extraction and processing in extreme environments; diversification and selective breeding of fish species and products in aquaculture; CO2 algae bio refinery. 

Why this priority?

Marine and maritime sectors display a large potential for further growth. In addition to tourism, transport, seafood production, a big potential exists for developing renewable energy at sea (offshore wind energy, ocean energy). Innovative products and components derived from marine organisms through biotechnology are already being used in food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and chemical industries.  

What results do we expect in which area?  

Implementation of relevant EU policies

  • Support the implementation of EU policies, in particular the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, the Integrated Maritime Policy, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the European nCommunity Regulation on chemicals and their safe use, the EU Strategy for Key Enabling Technologies, the Lead Market Initiative on Bio-based products, and Roadmap activity of the European Wind Initiative;

Understanding and monitoring of the sea

  • Development of effective tools for in-situ monitoring of the marine environment; new discoveries that can contribute to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of marine data; climate related processes and combined impact of stressors on marine environments; coasts at threat (Tsunamis).

Sustainable management of aquatic resources

  • Further steps toward the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach into fisheries and aquaculture management; sustainable management of deep-sea and sub-sea floor resources.

Marine sectors competitiveness

  • Increased and more sustainable production from the EU aquaculture sector (diversification of new species, selective breeding) and industrial development of algae; advances in biosensor research; a boost to ocean energy; solutions for mineral extraction and processing in extreme events, intelligent network to supply raw materials.