[BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, 2 July 2021] — A new €9m European Union (EU) research project called 'DOORS' (‘Developing Optimal and Open Research Support’ for the Black Sea) will link science, policy and industry for critical Black Sea regeneration. Led by GeoEcoMar from Romania, DOORS will bring together expertise and technology from 37 institutions from the Black Sea region (including EMBRC) and other European countries to address the human and climate change impacts on damaged ecosystems. The kick-off meeting was launched on 29th June by Wendy Bonne of the European Commission and Mr Ciprian Teleman, Romanian Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, who said:
'DOORS represents a clear commitment of the European Union for the Black Sea, which will enable a climate neutral, sustainable and productive blue economy. Education, Research and innovation is the Golden Triangle for the knowledge-based economy to strengthen the links between Romanian and European scientists'. Adrian Stanica, DOORS Project coordinator, Director General, GeoEcoMar, Romania, added: 'DOORS is the project that will transform into reality the Scientific Research and Innovation Agenda for the Black Sea, a strategic document endorsed by the riparian and EU countries during the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council. Now DOORS will generate deeper knowledge and understanding on the processes governing the specific Black Sea ecosystems and to understand which are the thresholds that we need to respect to have a Healthy and Productive sea'.
Bordered by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine, the Black Sea has a rich cultural history and a wealth of biodiversity and wildlife. But in order to address the environmental challenges that threaten the Black Sea , DOORS will develop a common framework of scientific methods for gathering data. The project will provide a system that will bring together information from in-situ measurements, research cruises, satellite observation, modelling, and data integration capabilities. This system will allow partners to better understand the complex marine processes that happen across the Black Sea.
'EMBRC is thrilled to get involved with partners around the Black Sea', said Nicolas Pade, EMBRC Executive Director. 'This is an area where we have been wanting to collaborate with for some time. In particular, we are looking forward to contributing to the harmonisation of sampling methodologies and the sustainability plan underpinning Black Sea Blue Growth'.
Alongside the integration of scientific knowledge sharing, it is a fundamental objective for DOORS to engage with wider society. By providing mechanisms for business to link with research, DOORS will create new job opportunities for emerging Blue Growth economies through new synergies and mentoring schemes; the first of its kind to be set-up in the Black Sea. Key initiatives that engage schools, universities and general citizens of the region will promote behaviour change and celebrate best practice, influencing future policy, Blue Growth and the health of Black Sea communities.
'We hope that by the end of the project, DOORS will open a sea of new opportunities to the Black Sea communities. It has been for too long that our sea has suffered from the combined effects of humans and global changes, but also from the twists of recent history. DOORS will bring the needed knowledge to support the Black Sea recovery – whilst bringing the opportunities of the Industry 4.0 Revolution closer to the people. We hope DOORS will be the game changer that we have been waiting for too long,' said Adrian Stanica.
 The Black Sea is widely considered as Europe’s most polluted sea. Research indicates the amount of marine litter floating in the Black Sea, per square kilometre, is double that of the Mediterranean Sea. Decades of agricultural waste dumping such as fertilisers has caused extensive eutrophication – the process whereby the resulting algal blooming starves the water of oxygen. Fish stocks and species diversity are under severe threat as water quality deteriorates to such an extent that many speculate whether the Black Sea might become the first major sea devoid of life.
DOORS has received funding from the from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (H2020-EU.22.214.171.124.) under grant agreement number 101000518.
If you would like more information about this project, please email Michael Rea, work package lead for Communications and Dissemination at: firstname.lastname@example.org