IMAR Instituto do Mar

Coimbra, Portugal

IMAR Instituto do Mar

Coimbra, Portugal
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: SSH.2012.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 1.33M | Year: 2013

DESAFIO means challenge in both Portuguese and Spanish. The guiding concept of our proposal is to make a contribution towards tackling what is arguably one of the major challenges facing Brazil and Latin American countries in the 21st century: eradicating structural social inequality in the access to essential water and sanitation services. The overarching objective of our proposal is assessing existing experiences and developing new strategies that bring about sustainable, appropriate, and innovative socio-technical solutions to foster economic and social development through social transformation in vulnerable communities, particularly with reference to access to safe water supply and sanitation in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas of South America, with a particular emphasis on Brazil. These strategies will be developed through research and networking that actively engages beneficiary communities, practitioners, local authorities, and other relevant actors in their planning, design, assessment, implementation, monitoring, validation, and diffusion. Our transdisciplinary approach is predicated on a close interaction with non-academic actors in the production and validation of knowledge, among other things to underpin policy and behavioural transformations. We have selected a number of case studies that will cover a range of situations and characteristics, from informal settlements in the urban periphery of world megacities (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and in peri-urban areas of provincial capitals (Cali, Colombia), favelas located in the heart of booming mid-range urban centres (Recife, Brazil), to small rural villages (Mondomo, Colombia) and communities in semi-arid areas (Cear and Minas Gerais, Brazil and Santa Fe, Argentina). We will endeavour to draw lessons and develop recommendations that are applicable to other socio-cultural and economic contexts across the developing world.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-8 | Award Amount: 12.42M | Year: 2013

The MIDAS project addresses fundamental environmental issues relating to the exploitation of deep-sea mineral and energy resources; specifically polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements. These new industries will have significant impacts on deep-sea ecosystems, in some cases extending over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. Scientific knowledge is needed urgently to develop guidelines for industry ensuring wealth creation and Best Environmental Practice. MIDAS will assess the nature and scales of the potential impacts including 1) physical destruction of the seabed by mining, the creation of mine tailings and the potential for catastrophic slope failures from methane hydrate exploitation, 2) the potential effects of particle-laden plumes in the water column, and 3) the possible toxic chemicals that might be released by the mining process. Knowledge of the impacts will be used to address the key biological unknowns, such as connectivity between populations, impacts of the loss of biological diversity on ecosystem functioning, and how quickly the ecosystems will recover. The information derived will be used to guide recommendations for best practice, iterating with MIDAS industry partners and the wider stakeholder community to ensure that solutions are practical and cost-effective. We will engage with European and international regulatory organisations to take these recommendations forward into legislation in a timely fashion. A major element of MIDAS will be to develop methods and technologies for 1) preparing baseline assessments of biodiversity, and 2) monitoring activities remotely in the deep sea during and after exploitation (including ecosystem recovery). The MIDAS partnership represents a unique combination of scientists, industry, social scientists, legal experts, NGOs and SMEs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-07-2015 | Award Amount: 6.65M | Year: 2016

The project MERCES is focused on the restoration of different degraded marine habitats, with the aim of: 1) assessing the potential of different technologies and approaches; 2) quantifying the returns in terms of ecosystems services and their socio-economic impacts; 3) defining the legal-policy and governance frameworks needed to optimize the effectiveness of the different restoration approaches. Specific aims include: a) improving existing, and developing new, restoration actions of degraded marine habitats; b) increasing the adaptation of EU degraded marine habitats to global change; c) enhancing marine ecosystem resilience and services; d) conducting cost-benefit analyses for marine restoration measures; e) creating new industrial targets and opportunities. To achieve these objectives MERCES created a multi-disciplinary consortium with skills in marine ecology, restoration, law, policy and governance, socio-economics, knowledge transfer, dissemination and communication. MERCES will start from the inventory of EU degraded marine habitats (WP1), conduct pilot restoration experiments (WP2, WP3, WP4), assess the effects of restoration on ecosystem services (WP5). The legal, policy and governance outputs will make effective the potential of marine restoration (WP6) and one dedicated WP will assess the socio-economic returns of marine ecosystems restoration (WP7). The transfer of knowledge and the links with the industrial stakeholders will be the focus of WP8. The results of MERCES will be disseminated to the widest audience (WP9). The project will be managed through a dedicated management office (WP10). MERCES will contribute to the Blue Growth by: i) improving the EU scientific knowledge on marine restoration, ii) contributing to EU Marine Directives; iii) implementing the Restoration Agenda, iv) enhancing the industrial capacity in this field, v) increasing the competitiveness of EU in the world market of restoration, and vi) offering new employment opportunities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-2-2015 | Award Amount: 975.52K | Year: 2015

EMBRC is a distributed infrastructure of marine biology and ecology, encompassing aquaculture and biotechnology, exploiting the latest omics, analytical and imaging technologies, and providing on site and remote scientific and technical services to the scientific community of the public and private sector. EMBRC successfully completed a preparatory phase in early in 2014 with the production of a business plan and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by 9 countries. A host for its headquarters has been chosen and and an ERIC application is in preparation. Since only institutions from 5 MoU signatory countries went through the preparatory phase, the present proposal has as objectives: 1) to harmonize the access mechanism to the operational EMBRC-ERIC across all the partners, putting all the practical tools in place, including host contracts and single point online access platform, to enable EMBRC-ERIC to commence its access program; 2) to put in place practical guidelines towards the full implementation of the new European and international legislation and commitments on access and fair benefit sharing of the use of marine biological resources, thus providing clarity to future users of EMBRC-ERIC about their legal rights over obtained biological resources, and positioning itself globally as a broker between users and the supplying countries ; 3) to focus the smart specialization of the regions onto the opportunities marine biological resources offer for blue-biotech development and innovation, thus demonstrating the member states that EMBRC is a tool towards economic development of their maritime regions, and enticing them to sign the EMBRC-ERIC, and prioritize its sustained support, particularly from regions which are now underrepresented in EMBRC (Black and Baltic Seas). These activities will ensure that the beneficiary research communities can exploit the results obtained at EMBRC-ERIC facility from the start with the highest efficiency.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-01-2015 | Award Amount: 10.23M | Year: 2016

The objective of SponGES is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach to preserve and sustainably use vulnerable sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic. The SponGES consortium, an international and interdisciplinary collaboration of research institutions, environmental non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, will focus on one of the most diverse, ecologically and biologically important and vulnerable marine ecosystems of the deep-sea - sponge grounds that to date have received very little research and conservation attention. Our approach will address the scope and challenges of ECs Blue Growth Call by strengthening the knowledge base, improving innovation, predicting changes, and providing decision support tools for management and sustainable use of marine resources. SponGES will fill knowledge gaps on vulnerable sponge ecosystems and provide guidelines for their preservation and sustainable exploitation. North Atlantic deep-sea sponge grounds will be mapped and characterized, and a geographical information system on sponge grounds will be developed to determine drivers of past and present distribution. Diversity, biogeographic and connectivity patterns will be investigated through a genomic approach. Function of sponge ecosystems and the goods and services they provide, e.g. in habitat provision, bentho-pelagic coupling and biogeochemical cycling will be identified and quantified. This project will further unlock the potential of sponge grounds for innovative blue biotechnology namely towards drug discovery and tissue engineering. It will improve predictive capacities by quantifying threats related to fishing, climate change, and local disturbances. SpongeGES outputs will form the basis for modeling and predicting future ecosystem dynamics under environmental changes. SponGES will develop an adaptive ecosystem-based management plan that enables conservation and good governance of these marine resources on regional and international levels.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-01-2015 | Award Amount: 9.21M | Year: 2016

ATLAS creates a dynamic new partnership between multinational industries, SMEs, governments and academia to assess the Atlantics deep-sea ecosystems and Marine Genetic Resources to create the integrated and adaptive planning products needed for sustainable Blue Growth. ATLAS will gather diverse new information on sensitive Atlantic ecosystems (incl. VMEs and EBSAs) to produce a step-change in our understanding of their connectivity, functioning and responses to future changes in human use and ocean climate. This is possible because ATLAS takes innovative approaches to its work and interweaves its objectives by placing business, policy and socioeconomic development at the forefront with science. ATLAS not only uses trans-Atlantic oceanographic arrays to understand and predict future change in living marine resources, but enhances their capacity with new sensors to make measurements directly relevant to ecosystem function. The ATLAS team has the track record needed to meet the projects ambitions and has already developed a programme of 25 deep-sea cruises, with more pending final decision. These cruises will study a network of 12 Case Studies spanning the Atlantic including sponge, cold-water coral, seamount and mid-ocean ridge ecosystems. The team has an unprecedented track record in policy development at national, European and international levels. An annual ATLAS Science-Policy Panel in Brussels will take the latest results and Blue Growth opportunities identified from the project directly to policy makers. Finally, ATLAS has a strong trans-Atlantic partnership in Canada and the USA where both government and academic partners will interact closely with ATLAS through shared cruises, staff secondments, scientific collaboration and work to inform Atlantic policy development. ATLAS has been created and designed with our N American partners to foster trans-Atlantic collaboration and the wider objectives of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-08-2014 | Award Amount: 20.65M | Year: 2015

The overarching objective of AtlantOS is to achieve a transition from a loosely-coordinated set of existing ocean observing activities to a sustainable, efficient, and fit-for-purpose Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System (IAOOS), by defining requirements and systems design, improving the readiness of observing networks and data systems, and engaging stakeholders around the Atlantic; and leaving a legacy and strengthened contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). AtlantOS will fill existing in-situ observing system gaps and will ensure that data are readily accessible and useable. AtlantOS will demonstrate the utility of integrating in-situ and Earth observing satellite based observations towards informing a wide range of sectors using the Copernicus Marine Monitoring Services and the European Marine Observation and Data Network and connect them with similar activities around the Atlantic. AtlantOS will support activities to share, integrate and standardize in-situ observations, reduce the cost by network optimization and deployment of new technologies, and increase the competitiveness of European industries, and particularly of the small and medium enterprises of the marine sector. AtlantOS will promote innovation, documentation and exploitation of innovative observing systems. All AtlantOS work packages will strengthen the trans-Atlantic collaboration, through close interaction with partner institutions from Canada, United States, and the South Atlantic region. AtlantOS will develop a results-oriented dialogue with key stakeholders communities to enable a meaningful exchange between the products and services that IAOOS can deliver and the demands and needs of the stakeholder communities. Finally, AtlantOS will establish a structured dialogue with funding bodies, including the European Commission, USA, Canada and other countries to ensure sustainability and adequate growth of IAOOS.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.2-3 | Award Amount: 12.05M | Year: 2012

The objectives are to: (i) improve our understanding of human activities impacts (cumulative, synergistic, antagonistic) and variations due to climate change on marine biodiversity, using long-term series (pelagic and benthic). This objective will identify the barriers and bottlenecks (socio-economic and legislative) that prevent the GES being achieved (ii) test the indicators proposed by the EC, and develop new ones for assessment at species, habitats and ecosystems level, for the status classification of marine waters, integrating the indicators into a unified assessment of the biodiversity and the cost-effective implementation of the indicators (i.e. by defining monitoring and assessment strategies). This objective will allow for the adaptive management including (a) strategies & measures, (b) the role of industry and relevant stakeholders (including non-EU countries), and (c) provide an economic assessment of the consequences of the management practices proposed. It will build on the extensive work carried out by the Regional Seas Conventions (RSC) and Water Framework Directive, in which most of the partners have been involved (iii) develop/test/validate innovative integrative modelling tools to further strengthen our understanding of ecosystem and biodiversity changes (space & time); such tools can be used by statutory bodies, SMEs and marine research institutes to monitor biodiversity, applying both empirical and automatic data acquisition. This objective will demonstrate the utility of innovative monitoring systems capable of efficiently providing data on a range of parameters (including those from non-EU countries), used as indicators of GES, and for the integration of the information into a unique assessment The consortium has 23 partners, including 4 SMEs (close to 17% of the requested budget) and 2 non-EU partners (Ukraine & Saudi Arabia). Moreover, an Advisory Board (RSC & scientific international scientists) has been designed,to ensure a good relationship with stakeholders


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.11. | Award Amount: 8.61M | Year: 2013

The Fixed point Open Ocean Observatory network (FixO3) seeks to integrate European open ocean fixed point observatories and to improve access to these key installations for the broader community. These will provide multidisciplinary observations in all parts of the oceans from the air-sea interface to the deep seafloor. Coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, UK, FixO3 will build on the significant advances achieved through the FP7 programmes EuroSITES, ESONET and CARBOOCEAN. With a budget of 7.00 Million Euros over 4 years (starting September 2013) the proposal has 29 partners drawn from academia, research institutions and SMEs. In addition 14 international experts from a wide range of disciplines comprise an Advisory Board. The programme will be achieved through: 1. Coordination activities to integrate and harmonise the current procedures and processes. Strong links will be fostered with the wider community across academia, industry, policy and the general public through outreach, knowledge exchange and training. 2. Support actions to offer a) access to observatory infrastructures to those who do not have such access, and b) free and open data services and products. 3. Joint research activities to innovate and enhance the current capability for multidisciplinary in situ ocean observation. Open ocean observation is currently a high priority for European marine and maritime activities. FixO3 will provide important data on environmental products and services to address the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and in support of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy. The FixO3 network will provide free and open access to in situ fixed point data of the highest quality. It will provide a strong integrated framework of open ocean facilities in the Atlantic from the Arctic to the Antarctic and throughout the Mediterranean, enabling an integrated, regional and multidisciplinary approach to understand natural and anthropogenic change in the ocean.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-09-2014 | Award Amount: 5.55M | Year: 2015

The European Union has committed to the gradual elimination of discarding. DiscardLess will help provide the knowledge, tools and technologies as well as the involvement of the stakeholders to achieve this. These will be integrated into Discard Mitigation Strategies (DMS) proposing cost-effective solutions at all stages of the seafood supply chain. The first focus is on preventing the unwanted catches from ever being caught. This will promote changes in gear using existing and innovative selectivity technology, and changes in fishing tactics based on fishers and scientists knowledge. The second focus is on making best use of the unavoidable unwanted catch. We will detail technical and marketing innovations from the deck, through the supply chain to the final market, including monitoring, traceability and valorization components. DiscardLess will evaluate the impacts of discarding on the marine environment, on the economy, and across the wider society. We will evaluate these impacts before, during and after the implementation of the landing obligation, allowing comparison between intentions and outcomes. Eliminating discards is as much a societal challenge as a fishery management one, so we will also evaluate stakeholders perception of discards. DiscardLess will describe the changes in management and the associated governance structures needed to cement the process. We will propose approaches to managing discards in a range of case study fisheries across Europe, encompassing differences in specific discarding issues. All these innovations will be combined in integrated Internet based interactive programs (DMS toolbox) that will help fishers to evaluate the present and future situation and to take a more qualified decision of how to adjust to the new regime. Also, we will disseminate the outcome of the project and maximize knowledge transfer across Europe through an educational environment teaching the next generation as well as more conventional routes.

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