Kick-Off Meeting from succesfully funded EU-HORIZON 2021 project “ATLANTIC-ARCTIC AGORA” in Aveiro, Portugal


The EU-Project Atlantic- Arctic- Agora (A-AAgora), started on first of December 2022, has had its Kick-off meeting from 13-15th december in Aveiro Portugal, hosted by the Project coordination, Aveiro University. Around 60 representatives of the consortium, consisting of 29 Partners from different sectors such as Universities, companies, municipalities, NGO´s and ministries from nine countries, attended the Kick-Off meeting. The consortium, with the Center for Ocean and Society from Kiel Marine Science at Kiel University, followed the EU-Call “Horizon-Mission-2021-Ocean-02-03- Protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity” in 2022 with successful funding.

The Center for Ocean and Society leads the Work package on “Social-ecological Innovation for deliberative democracy processes” which will implement a living lab approach to the three demonstrator regions (Portugal, Norway, Ireland), building on a serious gaming approach, enabling stakeholders at different scales to overcome the language barrier and participate at decision-making through their reasoning, viewpoints, arguments and trade-offs.

After a first get-together and meeting the partners, the A-AAgora- Project Coordinator, Ana Lillebø, and the director of Aveiro University, Paulo Jorge Ferreira, welcomed the European team of partners from Portugal, Ireland, Norway, Germany, Finland, Romania, France, United Kingdom and Belgium, followed by a presentation of the sister projects CLIMREST and BlueMissionAA, from within the same call. The EU-Commission Mission Ocean on “restore our ocean and waters by 2030” presented their activities and role for the A-AAgora project and vice-versa.

The mission is designed to fulfil three interlinked and mutually supportive objectives: “i) Protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity; ii)Prevent and eliminate pollution of our ocean, seas and waters; and, iii) Make the sustainable blue economy carbonneutral and circular”. To this end, innovative solutions are requested at basin-scale to “foster a digital ocean and water knowledge system” and to “promote a participatory governance based on public mobilisation and engagement, empowering citizens to take action and drive the transitions through deliberative democracy, social innovation, citizen science and awareness campaigns”.

These are to be implemented in two phases: ‘development and piloting phase’ (2021-2025) acting as lighthouses, and a ‘deployment and upscaling’ phase (2026-2030). Hence, in support of the ambitious targets set in the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the Zero Pollution Action Plan, and the EU climate policy and answering the requirements of the call on innovative and transformative change, Atlantic-Arctic Agora (A-AAgora) was proposed and funded.


Dr. Rüdiger Voss

Center for Ocean and Society
Neufeldtstraße 10
24118 Kiel