BONUS 2010-2017

The joint Baltic Sea research and development programme

Riku Lumiaro, FIMR
Copyright Riku Lumiaro
In June 2010, the European Parliament supported the European Council’s decision that launched a new research and development programme to protect the Baltic Sea, BONUS, worth of EUR 100 million for the years 2010-2017.

In particular, the exceptionally high support by the Members of the Parliament – 97 % of votes for BONUS – reflects well the status of BONUS as the first model case for the development of science-based management of the European regional seas. BONUS thus serves the whole Europe, not only the Baltic Sea.



    “Regional research governance frameworks at regional seas level do not exist yet, except for BONUS.”

Review of regional research governance frameworks for the purpose of
future articulation of maritime governance at the EU level, MARCOM+ 2011


BONUS brings together the research communities of marine, maritime, economical and societal research to address the major challenges faced by the Baltic Sea region. A full understanding of the Baltic Sea system is needed. This requires sound knowledge that is scientifically first-rate and relevant for society.


The EU framework provides mechanism for combining national research funding and for using this in the work aiming to meet the challenges of today. Over the past years the EU regulations show a paradigm shift from substance and sector based directives to integrated approaches such as the Water Framework Directive, the Integrated Maritime Policy and the Roadmap for Marine Spatial Planning. The development of European macro-regional policy within Baltic and Danube regions in particular are viewed as pioneers.


    “BONUS deserves special attention as a valuable, forward-looking model for other forms of future regional research cooperation with common European value, such as those in the regions of Danube, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea.”

Lena Ek, Member of the European Parliament
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy


Understanding and predicting global change in the Baltic Sea region requires integrated approaches and integrated research for the Baltic Sea System at several levels. We also need a full understanding of the Baltic Sea System in connection with relevant societal options for planning and remediation.

In particular, it is important for BONUS to work together with relevant stakeholders and provide them an opportunity to participate in shaping the strategic research agenda and exploit its outcomes. Furthermore, in addition to the competitive calls announced based on the strategic research agenda, BONUS supports cooperation actions such as young scientists activities, workshops, conferences, training courses, synthesis work as well as dissemination and specific stakeholder events. These activities are implemented either directly by the BONUS Secretariat or through dedicated assignments selected in open competition.