News | 15 March 2024

The ICM, Spanish institution protagonist in the 'European Ocean Days'


MINKA, one of the ICM-CSIC citizen science observatories, is consolidated as a reference platform for the European Mission "Restore our Ocean and Waters".

The ICM representation played a leading role in the 'EU Ocean Days'.
The ICM representation played a leading role in the 'EU Ocean Days'.

The Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC) reiterated last week its commitment to the European Union mission "Restoring the ocean and our waters" of the Horizon Europe program, during the first edition of the European Ocean Days. A delegation of 5 people participated in several top-level events to give voice and visibility to the 12 projects of the Mission in which the ICM participates, 3 of them coordinated.

The European Ocean Days are the main meeting point for the entire European marine research community, where the progress of the Oceans and Waters Mission, future priorities for European seas, blue innovation and investment opportunities, as well as ocean literacy activities are covered over a week. In this first edition, the event brought together participants from more than 100 projects from all over Europe who participated in an intense four-day program of talks, matchmaking, round tables and presentations.

Among the contributions of the ICM-CSIC, the following stand out: the discussion session on the future challenges of the Mission (exclusively for European project coordinators); the presentation of MINKA at the Annual Mission Restore in Ocean and Waters Forum, where the MINKA experience was presented; the participation in the collaboration event between actors involved in the Ocean Mission; the presence in the event dedicated to the blue economy, the BlueInvest Day; and the participation and intervention in the debate of the European Parliament on the steps needed to effectively implement the mission.

"The presence of the Institute at the event brings to the table the fact that we are clearly aligned with the objectives of the Oceans Mission, one of our main focuses of activity at the international level," assures Marco Talone, Deputy Assistant Director for Internationalization and Scientific Diplomacy. 

During the meeting, Talone had the opportunity to present the different initiatives in which the ICM is involved both within the Oceans Mission and in the United Nations Decade of the Oceans. At the national level, the ICM is one of the most active centers in the mission, where apart from the projects in which it participates, it has several initiatives adhered to the Mission Charter.

MINKA: platform referring to Mission projects

Vanessa-Sarah Salvo, researcher of the Environmental and Sustainability Participator Information Systems (EMBIMOS) group of the ICM-CSIC, presented the experience of MINKA, a citizen science observatory of the ICM-CSIC, leader in European Mission projects, which already has 224. 775 observations of coastal biodiversity and is being used in two of the European projects of the Mission: ProBleu.Schools, for the integration of ocean and water culture in educational communities, and DTO-BioFlow, oriented to the integration of marine citizen science data in the European digital space. Likewise, it will soon be incorporated as a citizen science platform to another Mission project, PHAROS. Additionally, thanks to its versatility, it is being used in complementary projects to the Mission, such as ANERIS, ENFORCE and AMRITO.

BlueInvest Day

The ICM also actively participated in the 'Blueinvest Day', an annual event whose main objectives are to encourage innovative initiatives and investments in blue economy to promote a transformative and sustainable impact on the industry. 

"The ICM, as an innovative agent plays a very important role in the BlueInvest community, providing ideas and innovative solutions to both emerging companies in the sector and organizations that promote projects in the field of the blue economy," says Miquel Sureda, responsible for the Knowledge Transfer Unit, who was able to use the event to generate new partnerships, learn first-hand what the trends in the sector are and promote the scientific and technical capabilities of ICM research groups.

Among other important contributions of ICM-CSIC to the European Ocean Days, the team participated in the discussion session at the European Parliament on March 6 on the implementation of the mission. Jaume Piera, principal investigator of EMBIMOS-ICM-CSIC intervened advocating the importance of linguistic diversity and local language adaptation to effectively promote ocean and water culture projects in local communities and schools across Europe. Finally, as a closing event of the European Ocean Days, the Ocean Literacy Forum was held on March 8, where the ICM-CSIC was represented by Jaume Piera, one of the 5 winners of the informal competition on ocean and water culture.

About the Mission "Restore our Ocean and Waters"

The EU Mission "Restore our Oceans and Waters" seeks to protect and restore the health of our waters and oceans through research and innovation, citizen engagement and blue investments. The ocean and waters are envisioned as a unit that plays a key role in achieving climate neutrality and restoring nature.

Moreover, the Mission supports regional engagement and cooperation through area-based "lighthouses" in the major sea and river basins: Atlantic-Arctic, Mediterranean, Baltic-North Sea and Danube-Black Sea. These lighthouses are sites for experimentation, demonstration, development and deployment of the Mission's activities in the EU seas and river basins.