BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme, was started by the BONUS member states together with the EU and officially launched in September 2010. Its members are the national research funding institutions in the eight EU member states around the Baltic Sea (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden).
The aim of the BONUS programme is to support scientific development and innovation by providing funding for research collaboration between the Baltic Sea countries. The themes of the calls are based on the BONUS strategic research agenda for 2011–2017. Half of the funding – 100 million euros in total – is provided by the EU Commission and the other half by the participating national funding agencies. The funding is coordinated by the Bonus EEIG secretariat.
The programme has launched five funding calls: Viable Ecosystems (2012), Innovation (2012), Sustainable Ecosystem Services (2014), Blue Baltic (2015) and Synthesis (2017). In all, Bonus has provided about 80 million euros in funding for 48 research consortia. The Academy of Finland and the EU have funded 44 Finnish participants in 25 consortia with a total of more than 13 million euros.
Further developments in the BONUS programme are planned in the BANOS support and coordination project (BANOS CSA, the Baltic and North Sea Support and Coordination Action). The BANOS project is financed through the EU Horizon 2020 programme. It continues until spring 2021. The project is coordinated by the BONUS Secretariat. The Academy of Finland participates in the BANOS project as a permanent observer member. This enables Finland and the Finnish people to influence the coming research and innovation strategy for the Baltic Sea and the North Sea which determines the themes of future research and innovation calls.