BONUS Blue Baltic projects

Seven projects funded by BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme, start their implementation this month. Further five projects, also funded from the ‘BONUS call 2015: Blue Baltic’, will be announced in early June 2017. This will bring the full worth of the Blue Baltic projects seeking solutions to concerns our vulnarable Baltic Sea faces to EUR 30 million.

“In its 10 years of existence, BONUS has built a unique, macroregional collaboration of research and innovation funding institutions. We invite top consortia of researchers and innovators to make project proposals which foster sustainable development of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. The best ideas with highest foreseen impact get funding ”, says Kaisa Kononen, Executive Director, BONUS Secretariat.

Three of the projects deal with aquaculture, globally the fastest growing animal production industry, driven by an increasing demand for high quality protein and healthy food. In the Baltic Sea region aquaculture growth is constrained by concerns about environmental impacts that these projects on their different aspects will now tackle. Also a timely topic of microplastics is under scrutiny in a project developing eco‐techonological solutions for removal of micro‐pollutants and microplastic from contaminated water. Two of the projects are examining different aspects of Baltic Sea food webs that have been severely impacted by hazardous substances and climate change in the last decades. One further project looks at new surveillance tools for remote sea monitoring and their application on submarine groundwater discharges and seabed surveys.

The seven projects commencing will join the BONUS‐funded projects’ portfolio of 28 projects started in 2014 and 2015. By June, when five more projects are announced, the portfolio will increase to 40 BONUS‐funded projects bringing their value close to EUR 100 million. Key policies that the policy driven BONUS research programme supports include the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and other coastal and marine environmental policies and plans.
The now announced BONUS Blue Baltic projects comprise a total of 62 partners from the BONUS member states of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Sweden, and among those 15 from industry. In one project there is also a partner from Belgium, Canada and Norway and two from USA. The Danish (5) , Finnish (1) and German (1) institutions will steer the research projects running up to 3 years with financial support up to EUR 3 million each depending on the scope of the project. Four projects have emphasis on the more scientific topics and three on the more applied topics that were opened for proposals in the call. “We are proud to announce these seven new champions of an extremely competitive selection process. All our projects are transnational and multidisciplinary and aim at producing the best knowledge base for the decision makers for the benefit of the Baltic Sea region’s sustainable future”, says Kononen. “The open and collaborative approach in research and innovation cooperation – as adopted in BONUS – supports also the advancement of the wider pan‐European approaches”, Kononen adds.

The seven Blue Baltic projects starting their implementation in April 2017:

BONUS BALTHEALTH – Baltic Sea multilevel health impacts on key species of anthropogenic hazardous
substances, Project Coordinator Rune Dietz, Aarhus University, Denmark

BONUS BLUEWEBS – Blue growth boundaries in novel Baltic food webs, Project Coordinator Laura Uusitalo,
Finnish Environment Institute

BONUS CLEANAQ – Innovative removal of N, P and organic matter in effluents from recirculating aquaculture
systems, Project Coordinator Per Bovbjerg, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of

BONUS CLEANWATER – Eco‐technological solutions to remove micro‐pollutants and micro‐plastic from
contaminated water, Project Coordinator Kai Bester, Aarhus University, Denmark

BONUS FLAVOPHAGE – Bacteriophage based technology for pathogen control in aquaculture, Project
Coordinator Mathias Middelboe, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

BONUS OPTIMUS – Optimisation of mussel mitigation cultures for fish feed in the Baltic Sea, Project
Coordinator Jens Kjerulf Petersen, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark

BONUS SEAMOUNT – New surveillance tools for remote sea monitoring and their application on submarine
gorundwater discharges and seabed surveys, Project Coordinator Rudolf Bannasch, EvoLogics GmbH,

More information about Blue Baltic projects at