Do you know that the biggest part of biodiversity on earth is found in the sea? Have you realised that our seas and oceans are the largest unexplored territories on earth? We need to discover more.
A number of important achievements were made towards this direction under the European Research Framework Programme for 2007 to 2013. A very interesting example can be the EU-funded biotechnology project PHARMASEA. This project was launched by a pan-European team of researchers to identify and evaluate the potential of marine organisms as new medicines, and more specifically antibiotics. This could revolutionise infection-fighting treatments and benefit directly to citizens.
Horizon 2020, the new European research program for 2014 to 2020, promises more. More money, 80 billion euros – a 30% increase compared to the last program-, will be dedicated to better-targeted projects in areas with the most growth potential. One of those areas is Blue Growth. For the first time maritime economy is a horizontal priority for Horizon 2020 proposals. A lot of research areas can touch upon sea, such as seabed mapping and knowledge, the impact of climate change on the sea, extraction from sea bottom, ocean energy or biotechnology, aquaculture or fisheries. We estimate that through these opportunities, up to a total of € 275 million could flow in blue economy in 2014 and 2015. Also, very significant additional amounts of funding will be made available specifically for SMEs. This could particularly benefit marine and maritime research where SMEs are actively involved in projects on new emerging technologies.
Let us hope that the European research community is going to take the best advantage of all these new possibilities!
For further details visit: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/bringing-european-research-forward/