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28 October 2015

EUR 30m for Baltic research

In November, the third and last call for applications in the European BONUS programme will open. Altogether, EUR 30 million is to be distributed to projects that will help to improve the environmental status of the Baltic Region. For those who are interested in the call, there will be an information meeting on 9 November.

In 2010, the EU decided to set up BONUS, the Baltic Sea research programme, in cooperation with the countries around the Baltic. The plan was to fund collaborative projects that can make practical contributions to sustainable development in and around this vulnerable inland sea. Since then, three calls have been arranged and 28 research and development projects are currently in progress.

‘BONUS is an important part of the Baltic research that’s now under way. Every country in the region is contributing money,’ says Thomas Nilsson at Mistra, which is providing Swedish funds alongside the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) and the Swedish Research Council Formas.

The current call, ‘Blue Baltic’ — the last and, to date, largest in the BONUS programme — follows a previously drawn-up research agenda that identifies urgent challenges. The call covers 11 theme areas, including sustainable aquaculture, development of methods for remote analysis, and technical solutions for attaining a good ecological status in the Baltic.

‘Basic research is being done in BONUS on, for instance, associated ecological factors. But much of the programme focuses on applied research in technology and social sciences,’ Nilsson says.

The call, which will be open from November to March, is open to all researchers in academia, research institutes and businesses. Projects must include at least three research groups from different countries. Support of up to EUR 3 million over a three-year period, starting in 2017 at the earliest, will be available to the projects.

The BONUS programme will be 50% funded by the EU, while the remaining funds will come from research funders in the countries participating in BONUS: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Russia, too, funds national projects with a bearing on the Baltic Sea, but does so outside the BONUS programme.

More information on the call and the terms and conditions relating to applications may be found on the BONUS programme website,

Text: Henrik Lundström, Vetenskapsjournalisterna


Briefing on 9 November

A meeting to provide information about BONUS and the current call will be held in Stockholm on 9 November. link (in Swedish)

Timetable for the call:

  • 9 November 2015: Blue Baltic call opens
  • 9 February 2016: last date for preregistration
  • 10 March 2016: closing date for applications
  • May 2016: evaluation of applications
  • June 2016: notification of award decisions
  • January 2017: earliest starting date for projects

Of the 28 projects currently in progress, Mistra is co-funding four:

  • Algal cultivation (microalgae)
  • Integrated warning system for oil spills (Geoilwatch)
  • Optimisation of small wastewater treatment facilities (Optitreat)
  • Assessment of environmental risks from sunken wrecks (Swera)

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