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22.06.2017 12:48

Maritime spatial planning, microplastics and novel monitoring approaches of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are under scrutiny in projects worth EUR 7.4 million

22 June 2017, Helsinki.  Three new projects fostering sustainable development of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and funded by BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme, start their implementation 1 July. This will bring the full worth of the 'BONUS call 2015: Blue Baltic' projects started this spring and summer to EUR 30 million.

BONUS BASMATI will seek improved maritime spatial planning related to marine and coastal ecosystem services and marine protected areas through integrated and innovative solutions that are to be developed in support of regional management action of our fragile sea.

BONUS INTEGRAL will feed into the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and ecosystem status assessment through providing the Baltic Sea specific integrated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases data that will be obtained using the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) and related infrastructure. 

BONUS MICROPOLL will set out to study risks orginating from microplastics in the Baltic Sea that ultimately support of the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive through ‘to be proposed’ microplastics monitoring and mitigation strategies.

All eight BONUS member states i.e. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden, as well as the UK, are represented in the three projects, bringing the total number of participating countries in Blue Baltic projects to 13 with Canada, Belgium, Norway and the USA already on board.

The emphasis of all three projects are on the scientific topics that were opened for the call and will join the BONUS-funded projects’ portfolio of 36 projects started in 2014 (20), 2015 (8) and earlier this year (8). The German institutions steer two and Danish one of the projects now starting for the next three years (until 30 June 2020), and with financial support of EUR 2 to 2.8 million each. The BONUS projects’ portfolio will increase to 40 still in September when one more Blue Baltic project will start its implementation. This will bring the total value of projects close to EUR 100 million.  

“We are proud to add these projects to the community of champions of an extremely competitive selection process.”, says Kaisa Kononen, Executive Director, BONUS Secretariat. “The same principles of transnationality and strong stakeholder engagement present in all BONUS-funded projects will be used also in the criteria of the call that BONUS will announce on 9 August 2017”, Kononen adds.

“I strongly encourage to follow the BONUS e-bulletins and other media to find out first hand about the desk-top studies that we will be looking for in the forthcoming proposals. The aim will be to critically review and synthetise the research outputs that address the challenges for sustainable use of the Baltic Sea ecosystem services around specified topics, and produce a research foresight for the coming decade”, concludes Kononen.




The Blue Baltic projects announced by 22 June 2017:

BONUS BALTHEALTH – Baltic Sea multilevel health impacts on key species of anthropogenic hazardous substances, Project Coordinator Rune Dietz, Aarhus University, Denmark

BONUS BASMATI – Baltic Sea maritime spatial planning for sustainabel ecosystem services, Project Coordinator Henning Sten Hansen, Aalborg University, Denmark

BONUS BLUEWEBS – Blue growth boundaries in novel Baltic food webs, Project Coordinator Laura Uusitalo, Finnish Environment Institute

BONUS CLEANAQ – Innovative removal of N, P and organic matter in effluents from recirculating aquaculture systems, Project Coordinator Per Bovbjerg Pedersen, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark

BONUS CLEANWATER – Eco-technological solutions to remove micro-pollutants and micro-plastic from contaminated water, Project Coordinator Kai Bester, Aarhus University, Denmark

BONUS FLAVOPHAGE – Bacteriophage based technology for pathogen control in aquaculture, Project Coordinator Mathias Middelboe, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

BONUS INTEGRAL – Integrated carbon and trace gas monitoring for the Baltic Sea, Project Coordinator Gregor Rehder, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Germany

BONUS MICROPOLL – Multilevel assessment of microplastics and associated pollutants in the Baltic Sea, Project Coordinator Sonja Oberbeckmann, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Germany

BONUS OPTIMUS – Optimisation of mussel mitigation cultures for fish feed in the Baltic Sea, Project Coordinator Jens Kjerulf Petersen, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark

BONUS RETURN – Reducing emissions by turning nutrients and carbon into benefits, Project Coordinator Marcus Carson, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden

BONUS SEAMOUNT New surveillance tools for remote sea monitoring and their application on submarine groundwater discharges and seabed surveys, Project Coordinator Rudolf Bannasch, EvoLogics GmbH, Germany

More information about the BONUS call 2015: Blue Baltic projects at

To subscribe to BONUS e-bulletin, go to

Kaisa Kononen, Executive Director, BONUS EEIG, tel. +358 (0) 40 581 1189, kaisa.kononen(at)

Maija Sirola, Communications Manager, BONUS EEIG, tel. +358 (0)40 352 0076, maija.sirola(at)

BONUS is a joint research and development programme producing knowledge to support

development and implementation of regulations, policies and management practices specifically tailored for the Baltic Sea region. It issues calls for competitive proposals and funds projects of high excellence and relevance based on its strategic research agenda.  Half of the funding for the EUR 100 million programme comes from the national research funding institutions around the Baltic Sea, the other half from the EU. 

Key policies that the policy driven BONUS research programme supports include the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and other coastal and marine environmental policies and plans.

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