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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

EU H2020 Green Deal: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future

Published: 30 July 2020

Although Brexit has happened the UK has FULL access to the H2020 European Green Deal research programme. This has a €1Bn budget and the UK is fully eligible (as the UK has already paid its dues into H2020).

draft Work Programme for a new call that will come out this autumn is available.  There are numerous potential opportunities for the SMMI community some of which are summarized below.  Although the UK is a full member of H2020, some have suggested that is better for UK organisations to be a partner rather than a leader of bids.

SMMI and the University of Southampton EU Office have some preliminary information on these calls so if you want the full (99 page) document then please write to the SMMI co-ordinator Sue Smith.

EU-wide Webinar/Brokerage events are planned for 23 October 2020.

Potential opportunities as follows:

LC-GD-2-1-2020: Demonstration of innovative critical technologies to enable future large-scale deployment of offshore renewable energy technologies
This is principally around demonstrating (at sea) full scale wind, wave, tidal and/or solar systems, but SOES could potentially contribute around: 

  • Marine spatial planning issue
  • Power to X (cables etc)
  • Design of an environmental monitoring plan that would be implemented during the demonstration

LC-GD-5-1-2020: Green airports and ports as multimodal hubs for sustainable and smart mobility (part of Area 5: Sustainable and smart mobility)
A clear commitment of the European Green Deal is that “transport should become drastically less polluting”, highlighting in particular the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in aviation and waterborne transport (14 and 13% of EU GHG emissions respectively).  Green airports and ports, as multimodal hubs in the post COVID-19 era for sustainable and smart mobility have a great potential to immediately start driving the transition towards GHG neutral aviation, shipping and wider multimodal mobility already by 2025.

There are two aspects to this
Area A: Green Airports – ok – not obviously maritime but maybe of some interest to our community;

Area B: Green Ports
Perform large-scale, real-life high TRL demonstrations of sustainable maritime and inland ports, addressing at least 6 of the following 8 aspects:

  1. Demonstrate integrated low-emission energy supply and production at ports (e.g. electricity, green hydrogen, advanced biofuels and bioliquids) and supply systems (on-shore or off-shore), with storage, distribution and power / re-charging / sustainable alternative fuel re-fueling infrastructure for ships and other vehicles operating at/to/from ports, as well as for other uses (e.g. port equipment/machinery, on-shore power supply systems for vessels mooring in the port, etc.);
  2. Demonstrate sustainability and innovation beyond energy supply and demand at ports, particularly the integration with green and smart logistics and operations at/to/from ports, energy-efficient buildings, innovative construction, dredging and infrastructure activities, effective and green land use;
  3. Demonstrate seamless and highly efficient logistics operations, for integrated sea/river-port-hinterland connections (e.g. between sea/river, rail and road), to enable modal shifts and system-wide door-to-door multimodal passenger mobility and freight transport;
  4. Perform pilot activities to showcase the positive environmental effects of digitalisation (incl. satellite-based solutions) in ports, particularly with clean (e.g. electrified / hydrogen) connected and automated vehicles and cranes, as well as intelligent port systems and dynamic vessel traffic flows for improved routing and scheduling, to minimise ship time at port, enabling efficient and automated logistics chains and multimodal inter-connections;
  5. Deliver new tools and optimisation mechanisms for multimodal access, passenger and freight flows into and out of the port, as well as between ports, facilitating port access and reducing traffic from / to the city or other nodes;
  6. Assess non-technological framework conditions, such as market mechanisms and potential regulatory actions in the short and medium term, which can provide financial/operational incentives and legal certainty for implementing low-emission solutions (e.g. considering first-mover advantage, best-equipped-best-served principles and port market share effects);
  7. Develop and promote new multi-actor governance arrangements that address the interactions between all port-related stakeholders, including port authorities, ship owners, local communities, civil society organisations and city, regional or national planning departments, in order to accelerate the production and use of sustainable energy;
  8. Deliver a Master Plan for the future Green Port, with a bold vision and a roadmap with milestones to achieve GHG neutral shipping and minimal pollution in maritime and inland port areas (incl. ships in and approaching port) by 2030, 2040 and 2050; as well as addressing the associated investment / cost implications (incl. operational and capital expenditures). There are details on what the “MasterPlan” should include.

LC-GD-7-1-2020: Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services
This call is also principally around undertaking large-scale demonstrators of ecosystem restoration, including in heavily degraded freshwater, coastal or marine ecosystems. Required activities include:

  • Setting baselines, goals and a monitoring framework for projects.
  • Adapt, integrate and demonstrate innovative methods on upscaling ecosystem restoration.
  • Demonstrate and test how restoration activities enable sustainable, climate-neutral and -resilient, inclusive, transformative approaches.
  • Develop and implement solutions together with vulnerable regions and communities on how to frame transformational change.

LC-GD-8-1-2020: Innovative, systemic zero-pollution solutions to protect health, environment and natural resources from persistent and mobile chemicals
Aim is to demonstrate innovative solutions to protect health, environment and natural resources from persistent and mobile chemicals: solutions should lead to cost-effective monitoring and to mitigation or elimination of the issues and better understanding of environmental fate of persistent and mobile chemicals on humans and the environment. SOES input could include:

  • Research and development of (bio)remediation of contaminated soil and water contaminated by persistent and mobile substances and their precursors
  • Development of new cost-effective high-resolution methods to measure persistent and mobile chemicals in different media
  • Environmental (bio)monitoring of persistent and mobile chemicals
  • Development of best practises for management of waste containing persistent and mobile substances
  • Detection and identification of specific pollution problems.

LC-GD-9-3-2020: Transparent & accessible seas and oceans: Towards a digital twin of the ocean
Aim is to develop a pilot ocean digital twin, i.e. by integration of a wide range of data sources and its transformation into products that can be used to inform decisions and empower monitoring and preservation of habitats and support a sustainable Blue Economy. The pilot should address concrete cases in local or regional sea basins.

  • Data acquisition from multiple sources, including integration of sensors on automated systems that target observation gaps
  • Technologies to incorporate structured and unstructured data, e.g. from alternative sources such as historic data collected before the digital age
  • Application of big data and AI to support timely ecosystem assessment
  • Modelling approaches to build a consistent multi-variable multi-dimensional description of the ocean
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