An exciting project to enable the EU Mission Restore Our Ocean and Waters by 2030 is underway. PREP4BLUE (Preparing the Research & Innovation Core for Mission Ocean, Seas & Waters) project partners met in Brussels on 14 and 15 September to share initial results and plans for next steps in this €4.9 million, three-year project supported by the European Union’s Horizon Europe funding programme.
Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 seeks to protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity, prevent and eliminate pollution of our ocean, seas, and waters, and make the Blue Economy sustainable, carbon neutral, and circular. PREP4BLUE aims to inspire, engage, and involve citizens and stakeholders to interlink, leverage, and optimise activities among Mission projects, in particular in specific “Lighthouse” areas: Mediterranean Sea, Baltic and North Seas, Danube River basin, and the Atlantic/Arctic Sea basin.
Dr François Houllier, CEO of the Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer (Ifremer), welcomed the participants at the French Maison Irène et Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Dr John Bell, the European Commission’s Healthy Planet Director opened the meeting by emphasising PREP4BLUE’s key role in the implementation of the Mission: “Working at scale, on the ground, with citizens, promoting innovation to create impact [together we need to ensure] systemic, irreversible change towards the mission objectives”.
Partner discussions at the meeting focused on the practical steps needed to develop the methodologies, tools and resources that will underpin all initiatives hoping to respond to the Mission objectives. The goal for PREP4BLUE is to provide robust methodologies and practical guidance that will enable all citizens and stakeholders to engage in the co-creation and co-implementation of activities to support Mission objectives.
Project Coordinator, Natalia Martin Palenzuela, Director of International and European Affairs at the Ifremer said,
“Bringing the PREP4BLUE partners together for their first in-person meeting was an exciting milestone. There was a real buzz in the room with stimulating conversations and collaborations that were much more dynamic face to face compared to online. It was clear that everyone is both committed to the project and motivated to develop tangible, practical solutions that will support the entire EU community to achieve its Mission. I’m looking forward to the next stages of the project!”
To stay up to date with progress, follow @PREP4BLUE on Twitter and check out the project website, prep4blue.eu, coming soon. To engage with Mission Restore Our Ocean and Waters by 2030, follow @eumissionocean on Twitter, and visit EU Missions in Horizon Europe to learn more about all five EU Missions.