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Research and innovation

Policy background

The Black Sea is a unique sea basin that is rich in biodiversity, heritage and natural resources. But it is under increasing pressure from human activities and the effects of climate change, causing the Black Sea marine ecosystem to deteriorate. It has undergone drastic changes since the early 1970s.

The Black Sea, together with its marine basin and coastal socioeconomic systems, is a natural laboratory of global significance, for fundamental science, sustainability policy and the blue economy.

In 2018, experts from the 7 countries bordering the Black Sea: Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, in cooperation with marine experts from leading European marine institutes and organisations, and with the support of the European Commission, launched a shared vision for a productive, healthy, resilient, sustainable and better valued Black Sea by 2030 - the Burgas vision paper.

It identifies 4 main research priorities

  1. addressing fundamental Black Sea research challenges
  2. developing products, solutions and clusters underpinning Black Sea blue growth
  3. building critical support systems and innovative research infrastructures
  4. education and capacity building

The priority areas were developed into a fully-fledged Black Sea strategic research and innovation agenda (SRIA) to guide stakeholders from academia, funding agencies, industry, policy and society to address the challenges together.

The Black Sea SRIA is the main science pillar of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea (CMA), endorsed in May 2019. In it, the 7 countries recognise the importance of the Black Sea SRIA for generating scientific knowledge, including better ecosystem assessments, forecasts and management, as well as understanding of the vulnerability of the ecosystem.

Science-based decision-making will pave the way to a sustainable blue economy. The blue economy has a great potential for the Black Sea countries and for Europe as a whole as an instrument to promote cooperation, stability and empower the coastal communities in the region.

The Black Sea SRIA is also a good example of science diplomacy, underpinning confidence building, resilience and positive regional dialogue. A Senior Officials working group (GSO) has been set up to oversee successful uptake and implementation of the SRIA at country level.

Black Sea Young Ambassadors

On 29 October, Commissioner Gabriel launched the Black Sea Young Ambassadors Programme, a network of early career scientists who promote exchange, communication, dissemination and exploitation of Black Sea research.

Projects and results

Research project database

Black Sea Cordis results pack

For previous framework programmes, please contact the Research enquiry service.

Example of research cooperation project

  • Black Sea CONNECT Project A key Horizon 2020 coordination and support action (CSA) which will scientifically, technically and logistically support the broader Black Sea blue growth initiative.


  • Report
  • Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

Important and cross-sectoral EU-funded research initiatives have been working towards ensuring the sustainable future of the Black Sea