The BlueMissionMed project is starting its activities after the kick-off last month. Funded by the European Commission as a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) and coordinated by the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), this three-year project aims at development and deployment of transformative innovative solutions in all forms (technological, social, business, governance) to prevent and eliminate the pollution of Mediterranean waters.
“Mediterranean Sea accounts for about 7,5% of the world marine biodiversity, 15% of the global maritime traffic and 20% of the global Gross Marine Product, however it is one of the most polluted sea in Europe. Mediterranean Sea environmental status represents a high priority in the political agenda of the European Union.” says Fabio Fava (UniBo Professor and Affiliated CNR), BlueMissionMed project coordinator.
As stated by John Bell, the Director of Healthy Planet, DG Research & Innovation, during the first EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters Annual Forum: “If we are to make peace with nature and aspire to a Blue Union we need a new relationship with the water systems. We are no longer observers, but actors. Mission Ocean mobilises all parts of society”.
The Mission Restore our Oceans and Waters by 2030 aims to protect and restore the health of ocean and waters through research and innovation, citizen engagement and blue investments. Its Implementation Plan asks for a systemic approach to the depollution and regeneration of the Mediterranean Sea basin hydrosphere, and in particular for a dedicated basin Lighthouse built on existing governance structures, initiatives and networks, public and private organisations and networks, able to align priorities, policies and initiative of the 22 Countries of the basin.
Fedra Francocci (Researcher at Cnr-Ias), the BlueMissionMed project manager highlights that: “In this framework, BlueMissionMed will inspire, inform, assess, mobilise, connect and empower all the actors that can Take a Role in preventing and eliminating pollution in the Mediterranean sea and waters. The BlueMissionMed CSA will design, structure and support a well-functioning basin scale innovation ecosystem, ensuring fast progress towards the achievement of Mission objectives and important impact on the society”.
The kick off meeting of the BlueMissionMed project was held in Venice on 26 and 27 January 2023 and was attended also by Elisabetta Balzi (DG-RTD Unit Head), policy officer Claudia Pecoraro and project officer Daniele De Bernardi. Partners presented and discussed future activities, with the ambitious goals of the project clearly in mind. The project builds on, connect and structure existing initiatives and activities to disseminate and upscale solutions, mobilise and engage relevant actors and stakeholders from Policy, Business, Research&Innovation and Civil Society, as well as the so-called Ecosystem Enablers to synergize the actions of the Mission Lighthouse in the Mediterranean basin.
The next key meeting for all partners will be the first Lighthouse event, taking place in Palermo and Salina from 30th May to 1st June 2023. This event, co-organized by the EU Commission and BlueMissionMed, represents the main annual milestone appointment bringing together the Lighthouse community in the Mediterranean Sea to discuss, share, co-create, learn and commit with the Mission. This first event will kick-off the Mediterranean Lighthouse and mobilise the stakeholders by providing an intense activity programme targeting various audiences, including the large public, with transformative innovations showcase.
BlueMissionMed was also presented during the first EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters Annual Forum, on February 17th, 2023 at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels. In this context, the project received a symbolic recognition on the important role of the CSAs in supporting the achievement of the Mission Ocean objectives.
More information about the project, its ambitious objectives and collaboration opportunities are available on the website, and the dedicated social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram).