MARINA is more than a project related to marine issues.
MARINA, in fact, takes into account several cross-cutting topics because our life is strongly connected to marine environments.
Consider this: over half of the world’s population lives within 60 km of the sea and the majority of the biggest cities are located in this area adjacent to the sea. This means that you cannot consider marine topics separately from health, transport, security, food and agriculture issues, and other aspects of our daily life which are addressed by the EU Horizon2020 Funding Programme.
Deep sea mining activities, for instance, which are now becoming a reality, are very closely connected to environmental issues, in particular for surrounding sites, but, at the same time, have important links with human health, energy production and security issues. Another example is irresponsible and unsustainable fishing often due to the pressures in the fish markets but the consequences are the destruction of biotopes; sea environments that took thousands of years to be created. Even our favourite beauty face creams contain microplastic beads that pollute the sea water and the fish and can end up back on our plate!
That is why we need to have a holistic approach to the way we use marine resources and to new innovations. This approach requires us to look at challenges from different perspectives and to jointly find the best possible solution. It is necessary to also have an intensive dialogue with citizens and stakeholders as a whole. This holistic approach is what Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is all about, [About RRI] and you too can have your voice heard.
In fact the RRI approach is at the core of the MARINA project. The RRI approach will be used with all stakeholders in 8 strategic marine Hot Topics issues involving all the Horizon2020 societal challenges:
- Marine biotech
- Sea Transportation
- Deep sea mining (including bio prospecting)
- Marine Change caused by climate
- Renewable energy (wave, wind, tidal)
- Tourism and coastal cities
- Fishing and aquaculture
- Pollution caused by human land and sea pressures.
However, MARINA will not stop at the above marine hot topics. In a “contagious” context among issues and actors, the project aims to federate all other EU-funded RRI projects, including those not related to marine issues, in order to develop the RRI Roadmap, starting from its best practices and its limitations, and making it useful for many societal challenges. So thanks to MARINA, it will be possible to develop a better alignment between research and innovation and societal needs, transferable also to other important areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology etc.