The BlueMed Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA)

The BlueMed Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) outlines a set of key challenges for the Mediterranean and particularly knowledge gaps, specific activities enabling the blue growth as well as measures for capacity creation and skills’ enhancement. Sectors of interest include ecosystems, climate change, biotechnologies, aquaculture, fisheries, tourism, shipbuilding, transportation, observing systems, data, off-shore platforms, cultural heritage, spatial planning.

The SRIA targets relevant research and innovation players and public and private actors of the blue economy such as national ministries, regional authorities, international organisations, research organisations, research infrastructures, academia, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the general public.

Sea of fish - Fish market in AdanaThe first release, dated October 2015, was the result of a consultation process at the national levels in the BlueMed member countries. In April 2017, an updated version was published.  The present version, updated in December 2018, is the result of the work of the four BlueMed platforms and incorporates the contributions of the non-EU countries involved in the process, following the agreement made by the Euro Mediterranean Group of Senior Officials BlueMed Working Group in Barcelona on October 2018. 

It now represents the represents a comprehensive strategy with the views of all stakeholders in the Mediterranean Basin. 



Download here the most updated version (March 2021):

also available: version française

History of versions:

The SRIA definition process

  1. Identify the needs of marine and maritime communities and align relevant programmes;
  2. Increase the accessibility of opportunities, funding and facilities;
  3. Develop joint actions by aligning, planning and programming research and innovation activities at multiple level;
  4. Engage different stakeholders;
  5. Fine-tune data, knowledge, capacities and projects;
  6. Maximise leverage effects of research investments and their influence on public policy;
  7. Raise awareness on the impacts to the Mediterranean that have been caused by a non-sustainable economic growth on land and at sea.

Challenges and goals for Blue Growth

BlueMed identifies a set of challenges under three pillars, (i) ‘key enabling knowledge’, (ii) ‘key sectoral enablers’, and (iii) ‘enabling technology and capacity creation’ characterized by tight horizontal synergies deemed necessary for sketching economy-driven trajectories. It also highlights cross-cutting themes.

The challenges are reported in the below, while the complete set of goals can be read on the SRIA document.

Key Knowledge Enablers

Key enabling knowledge for the Mediterranean

A. Mediterranean Sea ecosystems: characterize present dynamics, services, resources, vulnerability and resilience to natural and anthropogenic pressures
B. Mediterranean Sea: forecast changes of the basin under climate and anthropogenic pressures and develop services in the field of sustainable adaptation to climate change and plans for mitigation
C. Hazards and protection of coastal areas and open sea in the Mediterranean
D. Innovative blue growth trajectories: biotechnologies, food, and the deep sea and offshore resources


The BlueMed Implementation Plan

The Implementation Plan, drafted in June 2020, presents the shared priority goals, resulting from the preliminary prioritisation work jointly realised by the countries, and addresses thematic and structuring activities to be developed in order to ignite a transformative process at Mediterranean level. Each priority, closely linked to a key challenge in the shared BlueMed Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, comes with an “operational receipt” to reach the priority goal and with a set of Strategic Actions, i.e. larger and medium-long term initiatives and activities, with specific scientific or structural content that require strong commitment and additional dedicated resources from research funders; moreover, for each Strategic Action a proposal of feasible promotional actions is reported.

Prioritisation methodology:

The selection method is  rigid enough to allow comparable results, and flexible enough to allow countries give their national perspective (priorities can change on social, geographical, economic reasons, etc.).

  • At national level:

    • Step 1: all countries scored all SRIA goals from 1 to 10 based on 4 criteria (scientific, economic, techno and policy impact at Med level) and they classified goals between short/long term.
    • Step 2: all countries generated a top10 list of priority goals based on step 1 and following 10 criteria proposed by Italy (CNR):
      1. Goal clearly in the field of research & innovation;
      2. Goal addresses an issue which is relevant for the Mediterranean Sea;
      3. A realistic action plan can be established for the next years (favour g/a that could be developed in the short term);
      4. Possibility to have a leverage effect (convergence of the BLUEMED priorities with other strategies, e.g. Regions);
      5. Expected impact in terms of economic development, jobs, well-being of citizens, etc.;
      6. Gaps and risks;
      7. Required conditions (infrastructures, human resources, possibility of funding, etc.);
      8. The ‘across-pillar’ added value;
      9. Goal clearly filling a gap;
      10. Goal not overlapping with existing initiatives/projects.
    • A motivation for the selection of goals and main actions needed in their opinion to achieve those goals have also been requested.

    At international level:

    • Step 3: national exercises and a comprehensive matrix of results have been distributed to CSA coordinator, Work Package leaders and Platforms Coordinators, as background documents for the meeting scheduled in Rome on 21 March 2019;
    • Step 4: Final conclusions of the 21st March meeting will be communicated to the GSO BlueMed WG for their analysis, agreement and validation of priorities during the meeting scheduled for 4th
    • With the GSO’s endorsement, AEI and task partners will further develop the draft Implementation Plan focusing on the selected priorities + the pilot “Towards a healthy plastic-free Mediterranean Sea”.

The Implementation Plan

The BlueMed Prioritisation

A first step towards the implementation of the SRIA was to reach a consensus on which are the most pressing goals to achieve and what are the necessary actions to be implemented in order to reach those goals.

You can read the priorities details in the updated Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, and you find on the right an infographics on the selected top priorities.

The BlueMed Implementation Plan

The prioritisation process led finally to the drafting of the BlueMed Implementation Plan, that  provides a medium-term operational tool to develop sustainable Blue Economy in the Mediterranean area.

Priorities implementation plan

Click the images below to zoom the infographics.