All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Flagship

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Domaine de recherche :
Type de financement :
Type d'instrument :
Recherche & Innovation Action
Deadline :
Mardi 11 Septembre 2018
1ère étape: 13 février 2018
Budget indicatif :
9 millions d'euros par projet
Budget total :
27 millions d'euros
Code de l'appel : BG-08-2018-2019
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Specific Challenge:

The Atlantic Ocean is an invaluable shared resource. The societal value of its blue economy is enormous for countries located on its shores. There are however, still considerable gaps in our knowledge and understanding of processes related to this ocean especially with regard to its chemistry, ecology, biodiversity, impacts of climate and the potential for the sustainable exploitation of its natural resources including aquaculture. The Atlantic Ocean is subject to a range of pressures, such as impacts related to climate change, pollution, fishing above sustainable levels, mining and coastal eutrophication. Both remote and local forces play a role in these changes and it is necessary to consider local, regional and basin-wide drivers and factors to understand, predict and adapt to change. Furthermore, the potential of seafood to reduce food and nutrition insecurity calls for collaboration at international level. Having already demonstrated how successful research cooperation can be in the North Atlantic Ocean[1] in tackling some of these issues, the objective now is to take a systemic approach to tackle the scientific and socio-economic challenges and to move towards a basin-wide cooperation from Antarctica to the Arctic, through enhanced cooperation with countries bordering the South Atlantic, notably Brazil and South Africa[2].


The actions shall aim at understanding and sustainably managing the Atlantic Ocean as a whole, through a large-scale basin effort involving both the northern and the southern parts of this ocean and its interlinks with the adjacent areas. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to bring together and systematically connect scientists, stakeholders, data, knowledge, expertise, capacities, and resources. This is only feasible through the synergistic cooperation among the bordering countries. With the development of a South Atlantic Ocean Science Plan[3] focusing on the challenges and research needs of the South Atlantic Ocean, which are also interconnected with the challenges and research needs of the North Atlantic Ocean, this cooperation can converge towards the implementation of a systemic approach by linking and jointly tackling the climate-food-ocean challenges. Overall, activities shall contribute to upscale cooperation along and across the Atlantic Ocean and the creation of long-term partnerships building on on-going initiatives such as the All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. In order to realise this, proposals shall address one of the following sub-topics:

[B] 2018-2019- Assessing the status of Atlantic marine ecosystems. Activities shall enhance the knowledge on the status and dynamics of Atlantic marine ecosystems, quantifying main drivers of short and long-term change, examine the interactions between different stressors, including climate change, and the role of cumulative impacts on ecosystem functioning and associated ecosystem services. They shall also contribute to improve the sustainability of the exploitation of the marine resources, through extending climate based predictions as well as testing for so-called tipping points, regimes shifts or more advanced assessments of ecosystem stability. Activities may entail 3D–mapping of the water column and high resolution seafloor mapping of selected large areas (including relevant marine ecosystems), considering the feasibility/safety and sustainability of these maritime operations. Mapping shall include variables of a different nature, such as physical, biological, chemical, habitats, seafloor characteristics and integrity (including in relation to climate change) and may require the development of new technologies. Furthermore, demonstration of cost-effective approaches to management and processing of the large quantities of data, better coordinated data sharing and operability, as well as the development of improved forecasting capabilities of stressors, tipping points, recovery and changes in ecosystem state will be important. The participation of industrial and regional stakeholders is encouraged to help define ecosystem-requirements. All data collected by the projects (including in international waters) shall be made open access by the end of the project. The choices of the selected areas need to be justified. Actions shall include capacity building and training with/in countries bordering the South and Tropical Atlantic Ocean. Links with ongoing initiatives such as EMODNet should be considered. The activities will be carried out in close co-operation with relevant Commission services (Directorate-General for Research and Innovation), ensuring coherence with related policy initiatives.

Proposals shall include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this topic and – if possible – with other relevant projects in the field funded by Horizon 2020. Possible links with related research and innovation activities supported by the Belmont Forum[13] on Ocean sustainability shall also be considered.

Expected Impact:

In order to contribute to the implementation of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy and its related Atlantic Strategy and Action Plan, the EU Blue Growth Strategy, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, the EU International Ocean Governance Communication, the EU Communication for a Sustainable European Future, the UN SDGs, the EU Food 2030[14] process for food and nutrition security, as well as the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, activities shall:

In the short term:

  • Contribute to the implementation of the EU-Brazil-South Africa Belém Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation cooperation .
  • Contribute to create the right conditions for the development of better and accurate monitoring, modelling, planning, management and prediction capacities in the whole Atlantic .
  • Develop ecosystem assessments and forecasts as well as a deeper understanding of vulnerabilities and risk including those relating to the global climate system and the impacts of climate change .
  • Increase the competitiveness of the EU’s blue economy by developing new technologies to service societal needs and new value chains.
  • Contribute to the sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans (UN SDG 14) .

In the medium term:

  • Contribute to the development of ecosystem services to ensure the long-term sustainable management of marine resources (UN SDG 14).
  • Increase EU leadership in ocean technology developments (sub-topics A, B & C).
  • Increase consumers' trust and confidence in seafood products.
  • Improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.
  • Contribute to policymaking in research, innovation and technology