At the end of 2022, an international consortium led by Technopolis Group was awarded a 4-year contract for the implementation of the European “Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters” support platform for The European Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Executive Agency (CINEA), and in close collaboration with the European Commission (EC) Directorate-Generals MARE and RTD.
The European missions are an integral part of Horizon Europe and aims to bring research and innovation (R&I) closer to tackling key challenges facing Europe, working together with regional and national authorities across the continent, and mobilising citizen action. Mission Ocean, along with four other missions was designed according to EC priorities, which include preparing adaptation to climate change; restoring our ocean and waters; climate-neutral and smart cities; a soil deal for Europe, and beating cancer.
The objective of the “Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters” is therefore to provide a systemic approach for the restoration of European oceans, seas and waters by 2030.
The specific objectives of the Mission are:
- Protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity (in line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030)
- Prevent and eliminate pollution of our ocean, seas and waters (in line with the EU Action Plan Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil)
- Make the sustainable blue economy carbon-neutral and circular (in line with the European Climate Law and the holistic vision supported by the Sustainable Blue Economy Strategy)
The objectives of The Platform are to:
- Assist the contracting authority (CINEA) and the EC with the implementation of the Mission including, knowledge, science to policy advice, financial advice and technical assistance, assist in capacity building, support to outreach, scale up and dissemination of information about knowledge and innovations at all levels; and provide access to knowledge to all citizens, as well as support and technical assistance to Mission partners that implement the Mission;
- Provide technical and scientific assistance for initiatives implementing the European Blue Parks for the expansion of networks of marine protected areas.
It will be comprised of a single information portal, hosting mission monitoring and progress tracking system, and providing a platform to integrate actions by Mission partners, access to finance and investment, information on innovative solutions for restoration of ocean and waters, as well as an European Blue Parks community support service. As from 2024, the Platform will also organise the Annual Mission Forum.
The Platform kick-off meeting was held on 15 February 2023. The meeting was opened by Mission Manager Kestutis Sadauskas and Deputy Mission manager John Bell, who provided a picture of what Mission Ocean aims to achieve, along with their vision about ways of cooperation. This was followed by the brief presentations by coordinators of several closely related projects (Mission Coordination and Support Actions). Furthermore, the key project team members presented their approach to all project tasks and had first working discussions with representatives of CINEA, DG RTD, and DG MARE about the scope and approach to project tasks.
This productive exchange set the stage for further implementation of The Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters Platform.
More information about EC Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters here.