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EUR 17 million for research seeking solutions to sustain the Baltic Sea ecosystem healthy and productive

Eight research projects worth a total of EUR 17,3 million funded by BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme, start their implementation this month.

They will seek solutions as part of efforts to sustain the Baltic Sea ecosystem healthy while providing goods and services upon which the 85 million inhabitants living in the Baltic Sea catchment largely turn to for sea-dependent lifestyle and wellbeing.

As human activities have changed most ecosystems and continue to threaten the Earth’s ability to support future generations, BONUS works to tackle this challenge in the Baltic Sea regional scale. It gathers the eight EU member states bordering the Baltic Sea to cooperate together and provide policymakers with the information they need to achieve greater sustainability in the region.  

“Since its inception in 2007, BONUS has built a unique, macroregional collaboration of research and innovation funding institutions.  We invite top consortia of researchers and innovators to make project proposals which foster resilience of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. The best ideas with highest foreseen impact get funding ”, says Kaisa Kononen, Executive Director, BONUS Secretariat. 

Half of the funding for the EUR 100 million programme comes from national research funding institutions around the Baltic Sea, the other half from the EU’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.

Key policies that the policy driven BONUS research programme supports include the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, the EU Marine Strategy Framework and Maritime Spatial Planning Directives as well as other coastal and marine environmental policies and plans. BONUS is also considered an EU-wide pioneer in creating a macroregional governance network for research and innovation and a forerunner in implementing the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission.  

The eight projects  commencing will join the BONUS portfolio of other 20 projects that started last year. Later in 2015 a further call will open with an aim to ensure good coverage of all the the current research needs identified together with the policymakers in the region and included in the BONUS strategic research agenda.  “We look forward to reaping the concrete benefits from these projects.  In the long-term they will help policy makers to define strategies for safeguarding sustained ecosystem services.  On the other hand they will help us as individuals to adopt to more ecologically sustainable lifestyles”, Kononen adds.

The selected BONUS projects comprise a total of 64 participating partners representing all eight Baltic Sea EU states as well as one partner from Russia and one from France. The Finnish (3), Swedish (3),  Danish (1) and German (1) institutions will steer the research projects running up to 3 years with financial support between EUR 2 and 3 million depending on the key theme of the project.

For further information about the eight BONUS call 2014: Sustainable ecosystem services projects, visit or contact Maija Sirola, Communications Manager, BONUS EEIG, tel. +358 (0)40 352 0076, maija.sirola(at)





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