Home MarTERA – MarTERA ERA-NET Co-Fund

MarTERA is an ERA-NET Cofund scheme of Horizon 2020 of the European Commission. The overall goal of the ERA-NET Cofund MarTERA is to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in maritime and marine technologies as well as Blue Growth.

The MarTERA consortium, consisting of 16 collaborating countries, has organized joint call that is co-funded by the EU for transnational research projects on different thematic areas in 2017. Furthermore, three joint calls without co-funding by the EU have been successfully launched by the MarTERA partners in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

An overview of all selected projects from the ERA-NET BlueBio COFUND can be found here. A list of projects involving MT partners can be found here.

The focus of development in MarTERA is given to technologies (instead of sectors) due to their potentially large impact to a wide range of application fields.

Objectives of MarTERA

The main objective of MarTERA is to address a number of actual challenges that can be identified as follows:

  • National and European research in several marine and maritime sectors is often poorly coordinated. Synergies towards implementing common goals could only be achieved through better coordination and harmonizing the foci of funding programmes; While collaborative projects funded by the EC are often quite large and complex to attract participation especially of SMEs, national funding schemes offer limited opportunities to collaborate with foreign partners, especially if cross-border funding is impossible;
  • The participation in trans-national projects offers advantages by using respective national funding, to tackle complex projects which cannot be accomplished by one nation alone;
  • Transnational projects provide a better chance for innovation to enter into new markets;
  • The cross-cutting perspective in technology development can lead to innovations capable of benefiting more than one sector, hence increasing the impact of the funded trans-national projects.
  • Bringing industry and research actors across borders together will strengthen Europe’s economic position underpinning Blue Growth.
  • Through trans-national cooperation it is feasible to create critical mass and focus excellence on precompetitive breakthroughs, which can benefit marine and maritime industries in general and make them more competitive in the longer term, thereby maintaining Europe’s competitive edge.
  • To create critical mass and address the needs for technologies in marine and maritime operations.

For more information, please click here.

The MarTERA consortium is made up of 18 partner institutions from 16 EU Member States, EU Associated Countries and Third Countries. In 2017, the MarTERA consortium organized a joint call that was co-funded by the EU. Furthermore, in subsequent years, a select number of the MarTERA partners successfully launched joint calls, without co-funding by the EU.

  • Argentina – Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Producitva (MINCyT)
  • Belarus – National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB)
  • Belgium – Vlaanderen – Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen – Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO)
  • France – Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
  • France – Ministère de la Transition écologique (MTE)
  • Germany – Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH – Projektträger Jülich (JÜLICH)
  • Germany – Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)
  • Ireland – Marine Institute (MI)
  • Italy – Ministero dell’Istruzione, Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR)
  • Malta – The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST)
  • Netherlands – Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappeleijk Onderzoek – Dutch Research Council (NWO)
  • Norway – Forskningsrådet – The Research Council of Norway (RCN)
  • Poland – Narodowe Centrum Badan I Rozwoju (NCBR)
  • Portugal – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
  • Romania – Unitatea Executivă pentru Finanțarea Învățământului Superior, a Cercetării, Dezvoltării și Inovării (UEFISCDI)
  • South Africa – Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)
  • Spain – Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI)
  • Turkey – Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu (TÜBITAK)

 For contact details of the National Programme Managers, please visit the following link.

Please visit the funding page for our latest calls, rules and regulations for participation.



Development of SMART nanostructured layers for sensing corrosion in AQUAtic structures

Corrosion is a result of thermodynamically-driven processed which occur due to the interaction of active metal alloys with the surrounding environment, leading to the degradation of metallic structures. The problem is particularly relevant in maritime offshore structures due to aggressive conditions such as high salinity and humidity. Although there are several methods to monitor the condition of structures in service-life, most of them are complex, expensive and above all do not provide direct information regarding the real condition of the underlying substrate.

The main goal of SMARTAQUA is to develop a sensing nanolayer applied directly on steel structures, to provide cost-effective, reliable means of detecting degradation. The sensing properties will be achieved by incorporation of smart additives which are responsive to the local conditions verified close to the metal substrate, combining colorimetric with magnetic detection, permitting thus to monitor the overall integrity of the structure. The additives to be developed are based upon inorganic hosting structures for controlled release of optically active species such as pH indicators and magnetic nanoparticles.

SMARTAQUA consortium is composed of three partners from European countries with strong coastal activity, namely University of Aveiro (Portugal), SINTEF (Norway) and AquaBioTech (Malta). The partners combined complementary expertise in fields such as materials science, surface engineering, coating technology and ecotoxicology and cover different sectors, from academia to research institutes and SMEs.

The expected output of SMARTAQUA is a new generation of sensing nanostructured layers that will be applied in different structures to monitor corrosion degradation. Ultimately, it will have an impact in different economic sectors associated to Blue Growth, from local aquaculture and floating fish farm facilities to windmills, but also more traditional sectors such as oil platforms and ship industry.

To visit project website click here.


Transnational cooperation for PROtecting NIChe AREas from marine corrosion and biofouling by green coatings and new testing technologies

Marine biofouling and corrosion are two substantial challenges for shipping, offshore infrastructures, aquaculture infrastructures, and maritime technologies exposed to sea water.

Expensive corrosion resistant materials are often needed for vital functional equipment and surfaces. ProNiCare project will address the urgent need to develop environmentally friendly and more cost-effective solutions for new antifouling coatings, following the ban of environmentally damaging tributyltin (TBT). This will be advanced through use of high-tech nanomaterial-based formulations, creating a thin coating with functional antifouling and anti-rust additives in a green and eco-friendly product that will be tested in a newly developed innovative testing unit.

ProNiCare project additionally aims to further improve the understanding of biofouling propagation and protection of niche areas and offer best practices to address this maritime challenge.


According to MARPOL 73/78, principles have been determined to prevent pollution of the marine environment. However, illegal discharges by ships above the permitted limits in prohibited areas persist. The protection of coasts and marine waters faces complex and multifaceted challenges. The marine and coastal ecosystems are especially threatened by sea-based contaminants of anthropogenic actions. Therefore, the 2002 EU Recommendation on Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the 2008 Marine Strategy Framework Directive have been developed in order to preserve all European coasts and marine waters.

To address these problems and support EU regulations, the idea of SMARTPOL has emerged with the aim of producing technological solutions for marine pollution detection while establishing data services which will be able to integrate with existing EU services in synergy with the European Green Deal. SMARTPOL aims to present a novel and compact pollution detection, monitoring and analysis system architecture consisting of hardware and software components in order to monitor marine fields and to detect different types of marine pollution. In sum, integration of different types of sensors (e.g. remote sensing, UAV and USV integrated IoT), development of marine pollution detection algorithms using sensor data and state-of-the-art intelligent system technologies including AI-based image processing, autonomous navigation and smart communication systems will be presented as R&I objectives of the project.

Our consortium is made of highly qualified domain expert organizations which will establish the SMARTPOL pollution detection system. The consortium has broad expertise on interface systems for data sharing to overcome lack of extensive data sharing; issues related to the reuse of public sector data and collecting data for the common good; and technical obstacles to data re-use in the marine field.

Access the below platform to search for project partners.


This article was last updated on: May 3, 2023