Italy has been awarded the leadership of the European research program on the Blue Economy, financed with 73 million, plus 23 million by the European Commission, and in which 59 partners from 25 countries are involved.
This was announced by the Ministry for University and Research (Mur), who will be the European coordinator of the initiative, called Sbep (Sustainable and productive Blue Economy Partnership). The latter is among the 49 partnerships that the European Commission has decided to establish under the new European research framework program, Horizon Europe.
The Italian configuration foresees that MUE and the Ministry for Economic Development (Mise) participate as beneficiaries, while the National Research Council (Cnr), Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv), National Institute of Oceanography and of Experimental Geophysics (ogs), all public research bodies supervised by the ministry, participate as affiliated partners. “The approval of the partnership proposal by the European Commission demonstrates, once again, how Italy is able to promote cutting-edge initiatives in the field of sustainability and research applied to areas of absolute importance such as the sea and oceans.” said the Minister of University and Research, Maria Cristina Messa. “This result – he added – constitutes a fundamental element for implementing research and innovation policies, especially in the Mediterranean basin, which is always strategic and even more so in this historical moment”. The objective of the partnership, the Mur note reads, is “to design, lead and support a just and inclusive transition towards a regenerative, resilient and sustainable blue economy, to deepen the knowledge of the sciences of the seas and oceans and to provide research solutions and impact-oriented innovation, fostering the transformation necessary for a climate-neutral, sustainable, productive and competitive European Union by 2030“. The project plans to launch 6 calls, the first of which within the first quarter of 2023, co-financed over 7 years to support joint research and development planning on priority thematic areas, including offshore platforms, maritime space and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.