Bonus EEIG

Frequently asked questions about BONUS

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What is the BONUS vision?

BONUS vision is 'Economically and ecologically prosperous Baltic Sea region where resources and goods are used sustainably and where the long-term management of the region is based on sound knowledge derived from multi-disciplinary research.'

BONUS brings together the research communities of marine, maritime, economical and societal research to address the major challenges faced by the Baltic Sea region.

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What are the management priorities of BONUS?

The first priority aims at setting up and implementing a Baltic Sea system programme by opening competitive calls for proposals and funding projects of high excellence and relevance.

The second priority focuses on facilitating the cooperation of Baltic Sea system researchers and integration of research programmes. BONUS will support variety of specific support actions: organising conferences and workshops, facilitating communication and information exchange as well as fostering common use of research infrastructures.

The third priority focuses on the young generation and aims at carrying out strategies to strengthen human capacity building in interdisciplinary science and science-based management.

The fourth priority aims at establishing smooth and effective links between scientists, policy makers and knowledge users. The aim is that the impact of BONUS is high in ensuring that the Baltic Sea system research is applicable for real-life solutions, and policy-making is based on scientific knowledge.

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What are the strategic objectives of BONUS?

The strategic objectives of BONUS (2010-2016) are:

1.       Understanding the Baltic Sea ecosystem structure and functioning

2.       Meeting the multifaceted challenges in linking the Baltic Sea with its coast and catchment

3.       Enhancing sustainable use of coastal and marine goods and services of the Baltic Sea

4.       Improving the capabilities of the society to respond to the current and future challenges directed to the Baltic Sea region

5.       Developing improved and innovative observation and data management systems, tools and methodologies for marine information needs in the Baltic Sea region enhancing sustainable use of coastal and marine goods and services of the Baltic Sea

The scientific approach towards the above strategic objectives is interdisciplinary with a balanced representation natural and socioeconomic disciplines.

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Who can become a BONUS member? What does it entail?

The BONUS EEIG members are national funding institutions in the Baltic Sea countries.  The members form the BONUS’ governing body, the steering committee, which is the highest authority of the BONUS EEIG. Thus being a member means participation in decision making in regards of the strategic orientation of BONUS, on the planning of calls for proposals, on the budget profile, on the eligibility and selection criteria, on the pool of evaluators, on the approval of the ranking list of projects to be funded by BONUS, on the monitoring of progress of the projects funded and on the supervision of the adequate and orderly work of the BONUS Secretariat in relation to BONUS. Also, members contribute funding for the programme.

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What does it mean that BONUS contributes to European Research Area (ERA)?

ERA is a process which was launched at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000, aiming at making Europe a place where scientific research, technological development and innovation thrive and address the major challenges of our times. It aims at fostering free movement of researchers, research funding and scientific knowledge across national borders. BONUS has developed within the ERA framework.

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What does it mean that BONUS is an Article-185 programme?

The Article 185 refers to the EU treaty that defines the various forms of collaborations between EU members states. This particular article states that if the member states establish a joint research programme, the European Community can join it. The decision about the EU participation has to be made by a co-decision of the EU Parliament and the Council. BONUS is one of the five existing programmes implemented under Article 185.

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What is BONUS+ ? What are BONUS+ projects?

BONUS has evolved through three consecutive steps. The first step was BONUS ERANET 2003-2008 during which the conditions for a jointly funded programme were established. The second step was the BONUS+ call that was a single call for proposals launched in 2007. After the evaluation procedure 16 best projects were selected for funding during 2009-2011 with a total of EUR 22 million. The third step is BONUS, the joint research and development programme 2010-2016 under Article 185. (See BONUS+ websection for more information LINK)

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The BONUS European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG ) is the dedicated implementation structure established in Helsinki for the implementation of BONUS. The BONUS Secretariat is the body that, in practical terms, ensures, with the guidance from the BONUS Steering Committee, the functioning of the BONUS programme.

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What is BONUS Law?

The BONUS Law is a co-decision by the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the participation of the European Union in funding BONUS. This was published in the EU Official Journal  on 30.9.2010 (L 256/1).

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Who are the BONUS stakeholders?

According to a commonly used definition of a stakeholder, this is any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organisation’s objectives. For BONUS the most important stakeholders are the scientists focusing in studying Baltic Sea problems, research results’ end users such as Baltic sea environmental management bodies (HELCOM, environment ministries), sectors exploiting Baltic sea ecosystem goods and services (traffic, fishery, energy) and bodies involved in marine and maritime legislation (EU institutions), and also NGOs interested in Baltic Sea issues.

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Who are the BONUS advocates?

During 2010-2011 BONUS recruited one person in each BONUS country to identify and communicate with key stakeholders in their respective countries. The advocates organised national workshops, approached national funding agencies and disseminated information about BONUS in their own languages.

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What is the geographical area covered by BONUS?

The Baltic Sea system is a term derived from the Earth system science concept. In the context of the BONUS programme, the Baltic Sea system includes the Baltic Sea ecosystem with its living and non-living elements as well as the catchment, the climatic system, as well as the societal system depending on and interacting with the natural compartments of the system.


The Baltic Sea region is a geopolitical entity including countries neighbouring with the Baltic Sea: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation (North-Western part) and Sweden. Eight of the Baltic Sea region countries are EU member states as well as participating states of BONUS.

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How does BONUS help to protect the Baltic Sea?

BONUS aims at creating the scientific basis for developing and implementation of ‘fit-for-purpose’ regulations, policies and management practices, to respond effectively to the major environmental and key societal challenges which the region faces and will face in the coming years. In order to restrict and mitigate harmful impact of human activities in the Baltic Sea, there is a need for thorough understanding of the cause-effect linkages between the human activities and the state of the Baltic Sea.

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