JPI OCEANS: JPI Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans

JPI Oceans was established in 2011, as a coordinating and integrating strategic platform, open to all EU Member States and Associated Countries, who invest in marine and maritime research. JPI Oceans covers all European sea basins with 21 participating countries and provides a long-term integrated approach to marine and maritime research and technology development in Europe. Seas and oceans namely provide an essential part of our wealth and well-being. The EU’s maritime regions account for around 40% of its GDP and the maritime economy for 3 to 5%.

JPI Oceans focuses on making better and more efficient use of national research budgets and on developing joint research programmes in which countries can be involved on a voluntary basis. Participating countries decide what contribution to make, which may include institutional, project-related or new funding. It also encourages working with non- EU countries on research and policy initiatives in order to achieve its objectives and will actively seek out partnerships with non-EU countries. 

Continue reading JPI OCEANS: JPI Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans

Nature-Based Solutions: From Innovation to Common-use

As part of the Presidency of the Estonian Republic of the Council of the European Union, a flagship conference “Nature-based Solutions: From Innovation to Common-use” will be organized by the Ministry of the Environment of Estonia and the University of Tallinn. The conference will be held in Tallinn from 24 to 26 October 2017.

The conference will address nature-targeted innovation actions involving all societal actors. It will host leading scientists, policymakers and entrepreneurs from around the world who will share their experience on how nature-based innovation and eco-innovative technologies can be implemented in many areas of life.

More info about the conference and for the registration at:

Also the call for abstracts is now opened (deadline 14.07.2017!).

The conference is funded by Horizon 2020 work programme „Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials“

You can download the brochures here and here 


Information Day and brokerage event on the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020, Challenge “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials”

Information Day and brokerage event on the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020, Challenge “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials”, will take place on 8 and 9 November 2017 in Brussels in the European Commission’s Charlemagne building, rue de la Loi 170.

The event targets potential applicants to the 2018-2020 calls for project proposals under the Horizon 2020 Challenge 5 “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials”

Compulsory registration for the event will open in July on the website.

The event will be web-streamed (the link will be available about 48 hours before the event on this page).

What is LIFE?

LIFE is the acronym for LInstrument Financier pour l’Environnement. Therefore the focus of the programme is environment (and not life sciences).

The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with an European added value.

LIFE usually aims at demonstration and pilot projects. No research.

The LIFE programme started in 1992 and is managed by the European Commission, DG Environment and DG Climate Action. However, the Commission has delegated the implementation of many components of the LIFE programme to the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). EASME also implements many parts of the Horizon 2020 SC5 work programme.  The European Investment Bank manages the two new financial instruments (NCFF and PF4EE).  Under the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide loans and investments in funds to support projects which promote the preservation of natural capital, including adaptation to climate change, in the Member States. The main aim of the NCFF is to demonstrate that natural capital projects can generate revenues or save costs, whilst delivering on biodiversity and climate adaptation objectives.  The Private Finance for Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) aims to increase private financing for investments in energy efficiency enhancing projects. Its objective is therefore to support Member States in making progress in view of the EU’s agreed targets on energy efficiency.

Continue reading What is LIFE?

GEOSSS and COPERNICUS – Earth observation systems


The GEO’s Mission aims at  building  the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). GEOSS is a collection of coordinated, independent Earth observation for users in both public and private sectors. GEOSS  facilitates the sharing of environmental data and information collected from an array of observing systems.  The system  ensures the data is  of identified quality, and is interoperable to support the development of tools and the delivery of information services to enhance predictive capabilities for decision-making in line with the open access policy of the EU.

As examples of data available through monitoring, flood risk monitoring can be mentioned as well as  environmental parameters , space and security issues.

The ‘GEOSS Portal’ offers a single Internet access point for users seeking data, imagery and analytical software packages relevant to all parts of the globe. It connects users to existing data bases and portals and provides reliable, up-to-date and user friendly information – vital for the work of decision makers, planners and emergency managers.

Continue reading GEOSSS and COPERNICUS – Earth observation systems

Business Idea Competition in Raw Materials 2017

The Business Idea Competition of EIT RawMaterials seeks innovative ideas from individuals, research teams, entrepreneurs and early stage start-ups for new products, processes and services in 3 categories:

  • Going beyond discoveries and intelligent mine. Technologies and solutions for improved and new mineral exploration, and for more efficient, safer and sustainable modern mining.
  • Optimisation of processes, recycling and circular economy. Technologies and business models for improved material production, materials supply from secondary sources, recycling and for the implementation of a circular economy approach.
  • Substitution of resource critical and toxic materials and for optimized performance. New technologies or services that make it possible to substitute or use less critical or toxic materials in key industries. In addition, solutions for an optimised performance of materials and entire products will be supported. New approaches and solutions can be developed on an elemental, material, process, product, system, and service level.

More details of the themes are provided in the call text.

How it works

To enter the Competition, you submit an idea of innovation that can make an impact in the raw materials sector. If you are selected in the first evaluation stage, EIT RawMaterials will help you develop your idea and turn it into a new business. You will learn how to define a business model for your idea and produce a preliminary Business Plan.

You will then submit a Business Plan to a second evaluation stage. Top 5 teams selected in each category will pitch their idea during the final ceremony to a jury consisting of industry partners.

The winners will receive a prize and will be involved in various events organised by the EIT RawMaterials, and have an opportunity to network with the world’s largest community in the raw materials sector.

Continue reading Business Idea Competition in Raw Materials 2017

Rockathon mining challenge

Are you passionate to develop breakthrough solutions to the mining industry? Are you interested in creating a system that would make possible to “see” into the rock? Do you have in-depth knowledge or ideas of granular material sampling systems in challenging environment? Do you master mineral analysis method that could be used in harsh conditions? These are the different pieces of a puzzle to create on-board analyser to a mining equipment.

Sandvik and EIT RawMaterials invite innovative problem solvers and teams to co-create solutions to mining challenges at Sandvik Rockathon!

The goal

The goal is to find a solution to increase mineralogy and ore quality information of the rock mass in real-time and onboard of a mining equipment. This is an important part of the goal towards more sustainable mining by utilizing earth resources in a more efficient way. The goal for participants it to open business opportunities with Sandvik particularly.

Continue reading Rockathon mining challenge

IPR protection in Horizon 2020 projects

General considerations

Clarification of the four most common IP protection:

Trademarks. Registered property which in fact can last indefinitely. It needs to be renewed every 20 years. If not, it ends automatically after the said period.

Patents.  The most extensive  IP right.  Patent is an exclusive right issued to the applicant in exchange for making  the invention public. It is originally designed for industrial novelties, but has gradually been expanded to cover other fields.  The patent is restricted to 20 years, 25 in the pharmaceutical industry since testing of drugs often takes  many years. The invention is made public 18 months after the date of application.  It takes about 30 months from application date to issue a patent and the application prosess can cost up to 100 thous. euros.

Design.  Design is another registered right. It concentrates on the design on industrial products. Initially it can cover a period of 5 years or longer. This right has to be renewed regularly up to 25 years – the maximum period of design protection.

Copyright. The only IP right which iscreated  as soon as an intellectual property is created.   That means it comes into existense without registration.  It is also the most long-lived of all protection. It is valid for 70 years after the death of the author.

Project proposal

At the proposal stage relevant IP protection issues should be examined.  Background knowledge, that is the knowledge the partners bring to the project, should be defined and opened up for the partners, where relevant. Confidentiality  issues need to be clarifired and managed, a non-disclossure  agreement (NDA) signed if necessary. As in all projects, a plan for dissemination and exploitation including open access issues shoul be considered.

A state of the art investigation is also necessary. In some cases this can be done by the project partners. In others, this is a complicated task best left to experts.

Grant received, project implemented

In funding negotiations 2  agreements,  namely the Grant Agreement (GA) and Consortiun Agreement (CA)  are prepared. The consortiun agreement is entered between the project partners. It clarifies  the management of knowledge in a project, rights to background knowledge, ownership and transfer of results as well as dissemination. This also includes IP management. Dissemination should be discusssed in relation to confidentiality.  It is important to emphasize that IP protection  with necessary confidentiality is not contadictory to dissemination of the results. It all depends on the right order.

Having the CA ready the Commission and the consortium can negotiate the grant agreement. The grant agreement needs to be constantly reviewed and should have provisions to handle  internal conflicts and disputes.

After the end of project

IP issues at the end of project and beyond neeed to be addressed at this stage. That includes the evaluation and valorisation of intellectual peoperty.  Dissemination of resulets, including open access, needs to be clarified.


Some useful sites:

EASME Data hubs in NCPs CaRE project

The NCPs CaRE website has integrated a data hub system developed by EASME. This data hub presents Horizon 2020 projects funded under Societal Challenge “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials”.

With this application it is now possible to simply search and filter projects by topic (earth observation, circular economy, climate services, raw materials etc.), country, project type, year (start or end date) and budget range. You can do this by clicking on the blue arrow on the left side of the map.

Besides this, each project has a summary that includes some information about the project, the participants and a link for their website. This means that in a few clicks you’ll be able to find lots of useful data!

Statistics and figures are also an important feature. You can try the tool by the dedicate page.

Future of the oceans

The Maltese presidency organised an Informal Ministerial Meeting on Blue Growth and Ocean Governance in the EU and the Mediterranean; Innovation, and Nautical Tourism on 20 April 2017 in Valletta. Blue Growth is the long-term strategy to support sustainable growth in the maritime sector and represents the maritime input to attaining the goals of Europe 2020. The Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella gave the opening speech at the conference. He highlighted some achievements like global leadership of Europe in the development of ocean energy technologies (Europe host 52% of all tidal stream developers and 60% of all wave energy developers in the world) or the fact that in the last 10 years, EU research programmes have provided some 150 million euros to fund ocean energy research, development and innovation. He also mentioned that the value of sustainable aquaculture production in the EU is up by more than 40% compared to a decade ago. Vella also flagged three areas where more needs to be done: access to finance, skills and qualifications connected to new jobs and finally the regional cooperation.

Continue reading Future of the oceans