EUR 38 million in support for top research to protect the Baltic Sea

12 Nov 2012

A competitive call for proposals targeted to research in support of the management of a viable Baltic Sea ecosystem, totalling EUR 31 million, and to innovative technological solutions, totalling EUR 7 million, was announced today by BONUS, the Joint Baltic Sea Research and Development Programme. 

At the core of BONUS is a long-term collaboration that supports the implementation of HELCOM’s Baltic Sea Action Plan and the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive and other national, regional and European policy developments.

“Today, we're taking a leap forward in realising research and innovation support for developing regulations, policies and management practices specifically tailored for the Baltic Sea region,” said Dr Kaisa Kononen, Executive Director of BONUS. “The novelty is that we, jointly with policy-makers and other end-users, have developed a strategic research agenda that serves as the basis for the projects to be funded. By engaging policy-makers and other end-users from the very beginning of the programme, we can ensure that the knowledge produced is fit-for-purpose and well communicated to those who really need it.”

BONUS was launched back in June 2010 with a co-decision of the European Parliament and the European Council. It secured a total of up to EUR 100 million to fund research and innovation projects running in 2013–2018. Half of the BONUS funding originates from the national funding institutions in the eight EU Member States around the Baltic Sea and half from the EU’s Research Framework Programme.

Up to EUR 4 million for four years

‘Viable ecosystem’ proposals submitted by the deadline of 14 February 2013 can apply for up to EUR 4 million for four years per project. Projects must be interdisciplinary (i.e. natural sciences and socio-economics included) and transnational and involve at least three eligible legal entities independent of each other from EU Member States or associated countries. At least two project partners need to originate from the BONUS member states of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland or Sweden. Russian scientists can participate in the projects through funding made available by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research or other special agreements.

The innovation part of the call will be implemented in collaboration with BSR Stars, a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Individual innovation proposals can apply for a maximum of EUR 0.5 million for three years. Innovation proposals are accepted until 12 March 2013.

“We're inviting small and medium-sized enterprises to play a leading role in this part of the call. It gives them an unprecedented opportunity to actively develop knowledge and products that aim at achieving a good ecological status for the Baltic Sea, improve our capacity to collect information about the sea and deliver it to end-users. Innovation is a new area introduced to a joint regional sea research programme and, hence, it is necessary to allow adequate time to draw consortia with top SME knowledge in the region on board,” Kononen added.

“Through BONUS, research funding agencies play a critical part in ensuring that open science-policy dialogue continues and that progress is made for the good of the Baltic Sea region.”

For more information, contact the BONUS Secretariat: Dr Kaisa Kononen, Executive Director, tel. +358 40 581 1189, or Maija Sirola, Communications Manager, tel. +358 40 352 0076, or go to the BONUS website at


BONUS is a joint Baltic Sea research and development programme producing knowledge to support development and implementation of regulations, policies and management practices specifically tailored for the Baltic Sea region. It issues calls for competitive proposals and funds projects of high excellence and relevance based on its BONUS strategic research agenda 2011–2017. 

Half of the funding of the EUR 100 million to BONUS for the coming five years is covered by the national research funding institutions in the eight EU Member States around the Baltic Sea and the other half by the EU Commission’s Research Framework Programme (FP7). 

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