MarTERA: ERA-NET Cofund on Marine/Maritime Technologies
The overall goal of the MarTERA Cofund is to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in maritime and marine technologies and Blue Growth. The proposing consortium will organise and co-fund together with the EU a joint call for trans-national research projects on different thematic areas of Blue Growth. Furthermore, additional joint activities that go beyond this co-funded call are planned, in order to contribute to the national priorities as well as to the strategic research agenda of JPI Oceans and WATERBORNE. The consortium launched the first cofunded call in December 2016 with a budget of 30 million Euro, where the participating countries contribute with 20 million Euro and the European Commission allocates 10 million Euro. MarTERA will implement the Call 2017 as a two-step procedure (a pre-proposal and a full-proposal step). The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is 31 March 2017.
MarTERA organised a brokerage event on 15 February. The event presented the MarTERA Call on maritime and marine technologies and allowed participants to network and identify partners to apply for the call.
The main objective of MarTERA is to address a number of actual challenges that can be identified as follows:
- National and European research in several marine and maritime sectors is often poorly coordinated. Synergies towards implementing common goals could only be achieved through better coordination and harmonizing the foci of funding programmes;
- While collaborative projects funded by the EC are often quite large and complex to attract participation especially of SMEs, national funding schemes offer limited opportunities to collaborate with foreign partners, especially if cross-border funding is impossible;
- The participation in trans-national projects offers advantages by using respective national funding, to tackle complex projects which cannot be accomplished by one nation alone;
- Transnational projects provide a better chance for innovation to enter into new markets;
- The cross-cutting perspective in technology development can lead to innovations capable of benefiting more than one sector, hence increasing the impact of the funded trans-national projects.
- Bringing industry and research actors across borders together will strengthen Europe’s economic position underpinning Blue Growth.
- Through trans-national cooperation it is feasible to create critical mass and focus excellence on precompetitive breakthroughs, which can benefit marine and maritime industries in general and make them more competitive in the longer term, thereby maintaining Europe’s competitive edge.
- To create critical mass and address the needs for technologies in maritime operations.
- Bring new knowledge-intensive products and services for marine and maritime activities to the market.
- Increase the resource efficiency, security, safety and environmental compliance of maritime activities.
- Help implement the European strategy on Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), in particular with regards to advanced materials and manufacturing.
- Support trans-national, pan European research networks and synergies
- among national/regional and European EU research programmes
- Facilitate economies of scale and research investment efficiency by better alining national/regional research programmes, in particular within the Joint Programming Initiative “Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans”.
- Strengthening the dissemination of maritime and marine research results at the national and European level.
Sectors with a high potential for sustainable blue economy like waterborne transport, shipbuilding & ship repair, offshore and sub-sea activities, monitoring and observations, can support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole and use the potential of Europe’s oceans, seas and coasts for jobs, value and sustainability. Technological breakthroughs are of importance for improving ocean governance, which is by itself a big market for maritime industries recalling that European countries spend approximately 1 billion Euros annually on purchasing and running infrastructure to monitor the seas and oceans.
Research and innovation activities in these fields cannot be tackled either at national levels alone, or by a single sector alone. Coordinated actions are required for the maritime industry to strengthen Europe’s position in this important and complex economic field in a global market. Concentrated and targeted Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) funding on common research priorities will foster maritime and marine technologies in Europe. In this highly competitive sector networking, trans- national collaboration and joint initiatives are the keys to success.