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Partnership launches first call

The Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership, a European partnership under the European Commission’s Research & Innovation Framework Programme Horizon Europe, is pleased to announce its first Joint transnational call entitled « The way forward: a thriving sustainable blue economy for a brighter future ».

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The Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership is a Horizon Europe co-funded partnership. It constitutes a network of 60 Partner institutions from 25 countries and the European Commission that enables an unprecedent effort to pool research and innovation investments and align national programmes at pan-European scale, taking into consideration the sea-basin (Mediterranean, Black Sea, Baltic and North Sea) and Atlantic Ocean dimension.

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To boost the transformation towards a climate-neutral, sustainable, productive and competitive blue economy by 2030, while creating and supporting the conditions for a healthy ocean for the people by 2050. Achieving this vision through cooperation will enable addressing key EU policy objectives of Green transition, digital transformation and recovery and ultimately contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Facts & figures

Planned investments over 7 years
€ 450 Million
Planned investments over 7 years

How can you engage?

With its ambition to make a major step in transforming the blue economy, the Partnership will actively seek engagement by launching, implementing and monitoring six co-funded calls for research and innovation proposals over a seven-year timeframe. The first call is scheduled to be launched in February 2023. The partnership will also implement other actions with EU added value by mobilizing additional sources of contributions, including research infrastructures and thematic programmes as well as streamlining other funding sources.

The Partnership will also engage with relevant initiatives at the level of sea-basins and the Atlantic Ocean, and further promote the EU approach to a sustainable blue economy at global level. Synergies will also be sought with other Partnerships and the Mission Restore our Seas and Oceans. In parallel, a long-term structuring objective will be the creation of a community of practice of different stakeholders to support the co-design of activities.

Intervention Areas

The first call for proposals is scheduled to be launched in February 2023. The five Intervention Areas below will be the basis for the first call. Intervention Areas are set in the Annual Work Programme of the Partnership and are based on the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and the Member States and Associated Countries’ priorities. Intervention Areas for future calls and activities will be developed according to an annual cycle.

Ocean Digital Twins at sub- sea-basin scale

Developing and validating digital twin representations of marine assets, processes or systems to provide users with answers to “what if” questions about ocean developments, including effective marine and maritime spatial planning and technology development at regional to local scales.

Blue generation marine structures

Developing multi-use structures across multiple offshore industries in key sectors such as transport, energy and food to create synergetic benefits and support the diversification strategy of the EU.

Planning and managing sea-uses

Innovating the management of sea-uses by integrating tools and approaches of artificial intelligence-based Maritime Spatial Planning, maritime surveillance, and the seafloor in 4D.

Healthy ‘Blue Food’ under a ’One Health’ approach

Promoting sustainable management of ocean bioresources and food generating capacity through integrated, unifying and nature-based approaches that benefit people, plants, animals and ecosystems.

Enabling the green transition of ‘Blue Food’ production

Exploring technological, digital, smart and circular solutions for the just transition of Blue Food sectors into a sustainable and productive, competitive and climate-neutral future.


The Partnership is coordinated by Italy, with Norway as co-coordinator.

Coordinator: Ministry of University and Research (Italy) -

Co-coordinator: Research Council of Norway

More information coming soon. In the meantime follow us on Twitter.

Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership’s first joint transnational call:

“The way forward: a thriving sustainable blue economy for a brighter future”

Pre-proposal submission deadline: 14/04/2023, 15:00 CET (Brussels Time)
Full proposal submission deadline: 13/09/2023, 15:00 CET (Brussels Time)

The Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership, a European partnership under the European Commission’s Research & Innovation Framework Programme Horizon Europe, is pleased to announce its first Joint transnational call entitled « The way forward: a thriving sustainable blue economy for a brighter future ».

The vision of the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership is to design, steer and support a just and inclusive transition to a regenerative, resilient, and sustainable blue economy. This EU Partnership aims to boost the transformation needed towards a climate-neutral, sustainable, productive, and competitive blue economy by 2030 while creating and supporting the conditions for a sustainable ocean for the people by 2050.

This first co-funded call aims to support transnational research and innovation projects (36 months) addressing one of the five priority areas below:

(1) Planning and managing sea-uses at the regional level

(2) Development of offshore marine multi-use infrastructures to support the blue economy

(3) Climate-neutral, environmentally sustainable, and resource-efficient blue food and feed

(4) Green transition of Blue Food production

(5) Digital Twins of the Ocean (DTOs) test use cases at EU sea-basins and the Atlantic Ocean

These five priority areas were selected to maximise participation while reinforcing the European blue economy through innovative solutions and improved resilience of marine ecosystems. The priority areas embrace actionable routes from science to policy to observe, assess and mitigate the impacts of climate change on vital ecological assets such as biodiversity and other ecosystem services on which our economies depend, thus supporting coastal communities.

Projects in this Co-funded call must be impact-driven contributions to the transformation into a blue economy for a more resilient future and towards carbon neutrality targets, following an impact pathway approach.

Projects must be developed at a pan-European level and in the different European sea basins: the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and establish close cross-sectorial cooperation in the science, innovation, and economic sectors. Projects are expected to consider several European sea basins or, at least, to consider the impact of the projects on several European sea basins.

The first Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership (SBEP) Co-funded call pools national and regional financial resources through the participation of 36 funding organisations from 23 countries (19 Member-States: Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, 4 Associated Countries: Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Türkiye and 1 third country: Brazil) responsible for funding research and innovation actions in the blue economy, with financial support from the European Commission. The total budget is about 50 Million Euros.

To be eligible, research consortia must include partners from a minimum of three independent legal entities from three different countries participating in the call. Self-funded partners including partners from countries (and/or regions) not participating in this Co-funded call are allowed but do not contribute to the minimum eligible consortium size. Stakeholder engagement as partners or self-funded partners is encouraged (according to national/regional regulations) to enhance innovation, policy, and societal relevance and ultimately the impact of the projects.

Looking for a partner or a project to join?
Use the SBEP Partner Search Tool available here

Matchmaking event
To connect and meet with other potential partners, join the matchmaking event starting Monday 13th! Registration starts now. You can create your profile, look at other participant, and start booking meetings. Further details on the matchmaking platform.

Informative Webinar - 2 March, 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM CET
On 2 March the Joint Call Secretariat hosted an online webinar to inform potential applicants. The webinar introduced the priority areas of the call and outline the process, evaluation criteria and selection process. The webinar presentation is available here and a video link here.

Applicants will have up to 14 April 2023 (15h CET) to submit their pre-proposals (provisional date). A first evaluation of pre-proposals will be organised and the deadline to submit full proposals is foreseen for September 2023.


Updates - 03 April 2023: The Annex B below has been updated to update the National Contact Points of Estonia (KEM) and Italy (MIMIT). In addition, the link to the “Statement of Commitment” on the “Additional Information” section of Portugal (FCT) has been modified, and the useful link to reach the dedicated website for the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership Call 2023 within FCT portal has been added in the “Useful links” section.

Call documents:

  1. Call text (Updated 20 March)
  2. Annex A – Theory of Change (Updated 3 March)
  3. Annex B – National and regional funding regulations (Updated 03 April)
  4. Annex C – List of beneficiaries of SBEP allowed to participate in R&I projects consortia (Updated 3 March)
  5. Annex D – Pre-proposal form (Updated 3 March)
  6. Annex E – Full proposal form (Updated 3 March)
  7. Annex F – Open Access and Fair Data (Updated 3 March)

Annex: List of funding organisations per priority area

Download annex