BlueBio Cofund funds nineteen projects for 25 million euros in its first joint call

ERA-NET Cofund on Blue Bioeconomy – Unlocking the potential of aquatic bioresources has selected nineteen projects for funding with a total budged of € 25 million. The joint call was announced for projects to explore innovative, sustainable and climate-friendly utilisation of aquatic biomass at different trophic levels, as well as sustainable harvesting, and novel aquaculture production systems targeting a range of existing or new markets. Proposed projects needed to demonstrate industry involvement.

Four priority areas were addressed in the call:

  •  Priority area 1: Exploring new bio-resources
  •  Priority area 2: Exploring improvements in fisheries and aquaculture
  • Priority area 3: Exploring synergies across sectors
  • Priority area 4: Exploring Biotechnology and ICT

In total 83 pre-proposals were received with 35 proposals invited to submit a full proposal. The proposals were evaluated by an international review panel and upon a decision of the Call Steering Committee 19 proposals are selected for funding. The projects should start in the spring of 2020. Most of the successful proposals where within priority area 1 (12) and priority area 2 (6). The projects will explore a wide range of new bioresources such as macroalgae, waste/process sidestream, bycatch and underutilized species. They will be used for various products, including feed and search for bioactive ingredients. Recirculation of water, water treatment and improvement of brood stocks are other areas that will be investigated.

List of projects selected for funding


Priority area Acronym Coordinator organisation Coordinator Coordinator


1 AquaHeal3D Regenics Henrik Lund Norway
2 AquaHealth TUHH Kerstin Kuchta Germany
2 AquaTech4Feed HAO -DEMETER Giorgos Markou Greece
2 BESTBROOD Nord University Jose Beirao Norway
1 BIOSHELL ICECHIM Anita-Laura Radu Romania
1 BIOZOOSTAIN UI María Gudjónsdóttir Iceland
1 BlueCC Nofima Runar Gjerp Norway
1 CASEAWA UNIBO Giuseppe Falini Italy
2 DIGIRAS Sintef Ocean R Netzer Norway
2 ImprovAFish NMBU Phillip Pope Norway
2 InEVal AWI Matthew Slater Germany
1 MARIKAT MATIS Gudmundur Hreggvidsson Iceland
3 MedSpon AWI  Joachim Henjes Germany
1 MINERVA NUI Galway Dagmar Stengel Ireland
1 PlastiSea SINTEF AS Øystein Arlov Norway
1 RASbiome NTNU Ingrid Bakke Norway
1 SIDESTREAM Sintef Ocean Arne Malzahn Norway
1 SNAP SINTEF AS Håvard  Sletta Norway
1 SuReMetS UiT Jeanette H Andersen Norway
Funding partners

The first joint BlueBio call is supported by European 16 countries as well as the EU. All partner countries contributed to the call: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden. The countries will provide 19 of the € 25 million for the projects, and the European Commission will top up with 6 mill euros.

Selection of pre-proposals

The submission for the pre-proposals was due 18 March 2019. The proposals were reviewed according to the call documents. We received 83 proposals in total.

Following the recommendation of the international review panel and upon a decision of the Call Steering Committee 35 proposals have been invited to submit a full proposal on 17 September 2019.

The following table shows the breakdown of the proposals that were received and that have been invited for the full proposal stage.

Priority area 1: Exploring new bioresources 23
Priority area 2: Exploring improvements in fisheries and aquaculture 10
Priority area 3: Exploring synergies across sectors 2
Priority area 4: Exploring Biotechnology and ICT 0

The submissions are in!

The closing-date for pre-proposals for the first call of the BlueBio Cofund was last Monday, March 18th, and it is safe to say that this first call received a strong response. In total the BlueBio Cofund received 83 project proposals. The table below gives an overview of the priority areas addressed in the project proposals.

Pre-proposals will be selected at the beginning of June and will be invited for full proposal submission afterwards. Deadline for full proposal submission is September 17th, 2019.


Priority Areas Proposals
Priority area 1: Exploring new bioresources 41
Priority area 2: Exploring improvements in fisheries and aquaculture 23
Priority area 3: Exploring synergies across sectors 14
Priority area 4: Exploring Biotechnology and ICT 5



BlueBio aims at achieving a sustainable and competitive Blue Bioeconomy in Europe. The goal is to generate knowledge for Blue Bioeconomy value chains and improve the transfer of bio-based products and services from research, innovation and demonstrations to production scale implementing the multi-actor-approach. BlueBio contributes to the production of safe, nutritious and valuable bio-products and services, while applying the food first principle. BlueBio launches calls to attract projects that work on the use and value-added of aquatic biomass in integrated value chains from primary production to processing, generating innovative products and services within the bioeconomy. The aquatic biomass can be either caught, harvested or produced in marine or freshwater in water or on land. Alternative uses of waste from production as a resource shall be enhanced to promote the concept of a circular economy. Consequences of new methods or products shall be considered from a wider value chain perspective.

Animated Introduction to the BlueBio Cofund

Have a look at the new animated infographic video that explains what the BlueBio Cofund is all about.

BlueBio Cofund Kick-Off Meeting in Oslo

A successful kick-off meeting for the BlueBio Cofund project was held in Oslo yesterday, on the 29th of January. The project coordinator, Kristin Thorud from RCN (Research Council of Norway), led the meeting which was also hosted by the RCN.

The kick-off meeting was a perfect opportunity for all partners to meet and review the project objectives and the work plan, with a short overview on each work package. It is safe to say that the project is off to a good start and all partners are looking forward to the next steps.

The first co-funded call launched 17 December 2018 and the closing date for pre-proposals is on the 18th of March 2019.


Brokerage event | January 2019

A brokerage event for applicants will take place in Lysaker, Norway, 30 January 2019. During this event, participants will be informed about the co-funded call and will have the chance to find potential partners through several matchmaking sessions. A webinar will be held during the brokerage event where participants will be able to ask questions during this session via an online platform.

See more at Brokerage Event

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 28 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, is expected to launch in October 2018. The Cofund partners have committed EUR 24,9 million, which will make up a maximum total budget of EUR 32,9 million including EUR 8 million co-funding from the European Commission.

BlueBio 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, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,  Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Italy,  Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden.