NEW ERA-NET COFUND ON THE BLUE BIOECONOMY

The COFUND is the result of a collaboration between JPI Oceans and the former ERA-NETS COFASP and ERA MBT and consists of 27 partners from 16 countries.

The main objective of the COFUND is to establish a coordinated R&D funding scheme that will strengthen Europe’s position in the blue bioeconomy. The first co-funded call launched 17 December 2018. The COFUND partners have committed EUR 23,5 million, which will make up a maximum total budget of EUR 30 million including EUR 6.5 million co-funding from the European Commission.

BlueBio COFUND will address gaps such as:

  • developing innovative uses of underutilised and waste material from fisheries and aquaculture to achieve zero waste;
  • using biotechnology and ICT to develop smart, efficient, traceable food systems and create synergies between aquaculture and fisheries (genetic assessment and digitalisation);
  • unlock the potential of microbiomes to support growth in aquaculture, fisheries, and food processing and biotechnology; apply the latest developments in ICT (IoT, machine learning, big data) to the Blue Bioeconomy;
  • creating predictive tools to improve the identification and targeting of biodiversity “hot-spots” in the oceans (omics based technologies);
  • exploring synergies with land-based production in areas such as food and feed production and processing, biorefining, bioenergy, biomaterials, chemicals and nutrients and maximise the use of aquatic bioresources in terrestrial value chains;
  • improving aquaculture and wild harvesting of stocks by support for the creation of innovative feeds, improved brood stocks, by introducing new species, defining stock baselines, and assessing stocks and by encouraging the adoption of novel production technologies.

The goal is to identify new and improve existing ways of bringing bio-based products and services to the market and find new ways of creating value from in the blue bioeconomy. Next to the co-funded call, the COFUND plans to contribute to the national priorities as well as to the strategic research agenda of JPI Oceans, and the ERA-NETs COFASP and MBT.

Participating countries in the ERA-NET COFUND are Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden.