The Council is awarding $9.6 million in aid to fund 50 marine science research and development projects

The University's Administration, Research and Innovation granted subsidies worth 9.58 million euros to finance fifty projects for research and development in marine sciences promoted by seven Andalusian public universities and six research institutes and technological centers working to develop their activity in society.

The university indicated, in a statement, that this aid programme, which was resolved through a competitive competition, received 84 applications, and falls within the framework of the complementary research plan in marine sciences promoted by Andalusia in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. With support from European recovery funds.

The Universities of Almería (UAL), Cádiz (UCA), Cordoba (UCO), Granada (UGR), Huelva (UHU), Málaga (UMA) and Seville (USA) are the universities chosen for these incentives, with an amount of $7.43 million being raised, This represents 77.53% of the total aid granted. These resources will make it possible to promote 41 projects in the field of monitoring and monitoring the marine and coastal environment, sustainable, smart and precise aquaculture, and the blue economy.

Aside from the academic field, six centers, research institutes and technology centers have also been selected, which focus the remaining allocation of $2.15 million for nine initiatives. These agents are the Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage, the Campus of International Excellence of the Sea (CEI MAR), the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, the Center for Aquaculture Technology (Ctaqua), and the Institutes of Plant Biochemistry, Photosynthesis and Marine Sciences of Andalusia. .

Within the framework of this assistance programme, UAL will launch four projects with global support of €718,555. These lines of research will focus on improving new biotechnological treatments for valorization of invasive algae, sustainable production of macroalgae for animal feed applications or creating a new generation of sustainable microalgae-based products.

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For its part, the University of Central Asia will develop twenty research and development initiatives with a budget of $3.41 million, the largest budget collected by academic institutions. Among them, the historical and future analysis of plastic pollution in the Gulf of Cadiz or the monitoring of the movement and evolution of marine and coastal vertebrate populations in the face of human impacts stand out. Resources will also be allocated to genetic studies of fish and molluscs and the creation of digital twins to improve risks and encourage tourism to the vulnerable archaeological heritage of the Cádiz coast.

UCO will have €202,170 to implement a new IoT (Internet of Things) remote sensing platform for monitoring food and environmental safety in aquaculture. In addition, Granada (UGR) will receive €906,965 for five actions aimed at monitoring microplastics on the Andalusian Mediterranean coast or analyzing seafarers' adaptation to climate change. In addition, there is research into new feed formulations for aquaculture.

For their part, the two supported projects of the University of Huelva (UHU) propose a pilot for the use of tidal currents on the coast of Huelva and environmental monitoring, with allocations amounting to 464,280 euros. Likewise, Malaga received support for six actions with a global investment of $1.34 million. Using these resources, the researchers propose to use artificial intelligence applied in coastal ecology, enhance beach user safety and implement sea sports to boost the blue economy in Andalusia. Added to this measure is the development of an advanced 3D camera to better capture underwater images, wireless charging or evaluate microorganisms.

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Likewise, Seville (USA) received €388,290 for three projects focused on monitoring environmental risks, creating repositories to measure ocean carbon exports, and implementing a network of natural and human impacts observatories on the Andalusian coast.

Among the six technology and research centers that benefited, CSIC, through the Institutes of Plant Biochemistry, Photosynthesis and Marine Sciences of Andalusia, received the largest amount, €918,683, to launch four projects. In the case of the first institute, improving microalgae productivity in response to climate change for use in aquaculture will be encouraged, with support amounting to €184,287.

For its part, the Institute of Marine Sciences of Andalusia will allocate the approved contribution of 734,395 euros to delve deeper into three areas: reviving bivalve fisheries, developing new tools for monitoring the marine environment and research into epigenetic regulators. Likewise, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) received €456,591 for the Tharsis project of the Andalusian Marine Observer and for the “BioEcon4Fish” initiative.

Likewise, the Andalusian Institute for Historical Heritage (IAHP) raised €232,576 for its “Vestigium” project. Intertidal archeology and paleobiology, focusing on promoting heritage on the beaches of Cádiz. In addition, Ctaqua, with assistance of €144,291, will have the opportunity to assess competitiveness and R&D and innovation needs in the field of aquaculture.

CEI MAR, responsible for scientific management

Finally, CEI MAR will undertake the scientific management project of the Andalusian Complementary Plan for Research in Marine Sciences with a support of 400,000 euros. Andalusia leads marine research in southern Europe through this campus, which brings together 19 institutions from three countries: five Andalusian universities (Cádiz, Huelva, Málaga, Granada and Almeria) as well as the Algarve in Portugal and Abdelmalek Saadi from Morocco. The Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training of Andalusia (IFAPA), affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) were also merged.

The Agency for Scientific and University Quality of Andalusia (ACWA), affiliated with the Ministry, was responsible for selecting and evaluating all proposals submitted to the call, taking into account their scientific and technical quality, importance or applicability; The path of the principal investigator and research team, as well as the impact of the projects.

The awarded assistance can fund up to one hundred percent of the requested budget. Fundable concepts include the salary cost, as well as the costs of purchasing equipment, tools, scientific materials, bibliographic materials, computer programs, and equipment specific to the project. Resources for acquiring or accessing technical know-how and patents, as well as consulting and advisory services on innovation, among others, are also considered.

This support line responds to the Andalusian Government's goal of promoting the growth of the blue economy based on knowledge, innovation and sustainability. It is co-financed by the Council, which contributes four million, and the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, which undertakes the remaining amount through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, financed by the “Next Generation” Recovery Fund, approved by the European Union.

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