On May 8, 2019, State Secretary Maria Magdalena Grigore participated in the opening of the conference on “Sustainable Development at the Black Sea” (SustBlack), jointly organised by the Ministry of Research and Innovation and GeoEcoMar Institute, with the support of the European Commission.
The conference marked the launch of the Black Sea Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) – a document developed by researchers from the Black Sea coastal countries and from the Republic of Moldova, with the assistance of experts working in research institutes of other EU Member States and with the support of the European Commission.
The SRIA is a first for the Black Sea region and represents the latest initiative of a series of similar approaches designed for other maritime basins in the EU (the Mediterranean Sea, for instance). The document reflects the common priorities of the Black Sea coastal countries and the Republic of Moldova with regard to research and innovation in different fields of the blue economy, all of which were also highlighted in the Bucharest Declaration on the Launch of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the Black Sea.
The SRIA will also guide the actions of the relevant actors within the scientific community, as well as of the public and private sectors in the region, and will enable the implementation of joint research and innovation projects whose structure may vary according to the will of the stakeholders. The strategic agenda will make it easier to attract investments and EU funds, including in the context of the next EU research and innovation framework programme for 2021-2027 (Horizon Europe).
In her speech on the SRIA official launch, the state secretary recalled that strengthening cooperation in the Black Sea region through a more active engagement of the EU was one of the main objectives of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU and pointed to the role played by the SRIA launch in order to reach that objective. She welcomed the efforts of the scientific community from the region and gave voice to Romania’s appreciation for the support that the European Commission provided in that process. The state secretary also emphasised the major role that research and innovation may play in making the most of the Black Sea resources and in developing the blue economy, while protecting the ecosystem at the same time.
State Secretary Maria Magdalena Grigore recalled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had supported the relevant institutions throughout the process of developing and negotiating the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and reaffirmed the availability of the MoFA to support its implementation in the years to come.
The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the Black Sea (SRIA) was developed following a two-year process that brought together researchers of the coastal countries and the Republic of Moldova, experts working in research institutes of other EU Member States and representatives of the European Commission. The main milestone in that process was the Vision Paper outlining the objectives of the future SRIA, which was adopted under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the city of Burgas, in May 2018. The process was constantly supported by the European Commission and was funded under the Horizon 2020 Programme. The scientific coordinator of the project was the Institute for Marine Sciences of METU University of Turkey. The National Institute of Marine Geology and Geoecology (GeoEcoMar) was also a chief player on the Romanian side.
The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda enjoys the support of the relevant authorities of the countries in the region, including the Romanian Ministry of Research and Innovation.
The SRIA is a guiding instrument for the national, regional and European research and innovation initiatives. It rests on four pillars: addressing fundamental Black Sea research challenges; developing products, solutions and clusters underpinning blue growth; building critical research infrastructures; education and capacity building. The agenda is built on a pragmatic, flexible and project-oriented approach.
The development of the SRIA, together with the launch of the agenda, also opens up a new stage in the implementation of the Black Sea Synergy, as highlighted in the latest evaluation report thereon, published by the European External Action Service and the European Commission on March 5, 2019 (https://eeas.europa.eu/diplomatic-network/black-sea-synergy/346/black-sea-synergy_en).
The Bucharest Declaration on the launch of the Strategic research and Innovation Agenda is available at http://www.sust-black.ro/Bucharest%20Declaration%20on%20the%20launch%20of%20the%20Black%20Sea%20Research%20and%20Innovation%20Agenda.pdf
The Strategic Research and Development Agenda is available at http://www.sust-black.ro/Black%20Sea%20Strategic%20Research%20and%20Innovation%20Agenda.pdf
The importance of the SRIA is also presented in the official video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyRLBff-AQI.