Mission Starfish - regenerating our oceans by 2030

Horizon Europe will incorporate, as a new element, research and innovation missions. One of the five mission area is healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, also referred to as "Mission Starfish". This mission area will support actions that address the water system as a whole looking at the many intertwined challenges to have healthy oceans and waters. 

The interim report published on 25 June 2020, identifies the objectives and approach of the mission and proposes five targets:

i) Generate and organise the necessary science and data
ii) Tackle pollution
iii) Sustainable use and management of aquatic resources
iv) Accelerate decarbonisation
v) Improve effective governance.

Starfish Mission

ERRIN input


The governance of our oceans and waters is a fragmented framework spread over all levels – from international to local. Regional and local authorities and stakeholders will be an important player in the development and steering to create more coherence and efficient cooperation both in terms of investments and research and innovation agendas.

In July 2020, the Blue Growth WG organised a webinar to discuss the development of the mission on healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters with the European Commission and a member of the Mission Board.

Building on this, in June 2021 ERRIN’s Blue Growth Working Group organised a dialogue together with the Mission Starfish Secretariat focusing on the area-based lighthouses proposed in the Mission. It was an opportunity for ERRIN members to come together with those working on the Mission and its implementation plan to discuss potential lighthouse activities, scale and governance. During the meeting, inspiring examples were presented from ERRIN members including WaterCampus Leeuwarden, North Norway, Mid-Norway, Turku Southwest Finland, Welsh Higher Education, Emilia Romagna and South Denmark. We also counted on colleagues from JPI Water, where ERRIN sits on the Stakeholder Advisory Board, for their support and contribution during the meeting.

A report on the dialogue is available to read here and includes ERRIN's key messages on the scale, scope, governance and synergies of the area-based lighthouses within Mission Starfish. ERRIN looks forward to a continued dialogue involving even more members on this Mission in the coming months.

ERRIN report on dialogue with EC on Mission Starfish

Following the ERRIN - European Commission dialogue on the role of regions in the area-based lighthouses in Mission Starfish, a report of the discussion with examples from ERRIN members and ERRIN's key messages and outcomes from the meeting has been produced.

Latest Updates

  • By Hilary Webb

Report on ERRIN - EC dialogue on Mission Starfish

ERRIN's report on its recent dialogue with the European Commission on Mission Starfish including examples provided by ERRIN members and key messages on the role of local and regional actors in the Mission. 

  • By Hilary Webb

Report on ERRIN - EC dialogue on Mission Starfish

In June 2021, ERRIN's Blue Growth Working Group and the European Commission’s Mission Secretariat co-organised a dialogue on the participation of regional and local actors in the Mission Area: Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters. ERRIN has produced a report on the dialogue including examples presented by ERRIN members and key messages on the role of regions in the Mission. 

  • By Hilary Webb

Successful ERRIN - EC dialogue on Mission Starfish

On 18 June ERRIN’s Blue Growth Working Group organised together with the Mission Starfish Secretariat a dialogue on the role of regions in area-based lighthouses anticipated in the Mission. It was an opportunity for ERRIN members to come together with those working on the Mission and its implementation plan to discuss potential lighthouse activities, their scale and governance.

  • By Hilary Webb

Be Green Go Blue: Commission launch new approach to sustainable blue economy

The European Commission is proposing a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU, with plans to support industries and sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts as they work towards the objectives of the Green Deal.

  • By Hilary Webb

Commission adopts its Zero Pollution action plan

The Commission has now adopted the EU Action Plan: 'Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil'. The subject is a key deliverable of the Green Deal and an important topic at EU Green Week 2021. 

  • By Hilary Webb

Call for input - Dialogue with European Commission on Mission Starfish 2030

ERRIN is organising an informal discussion together with the European Commission on the Mission area: healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters with a particular focus on exploring the proposed 'area-based lighthouse demonstrators'. Ahead of the dialogue, ERRIN members are invited to provide input.