Sustainable Ocean Economy

Pre-Call For A Project Outline On Sustainable Ocean Economy

Call for proposals Closed

Apply through e-mail

The e-mail must be labelled 'Ocean-Based Biomass Pre-Call'

This call will foster the establishment of Nordic innovation projects, new Nordic partnerships, value chains or business models in the field of ocean-based biomass industries in the Nordics. This is a pre-call for project outlines to secure Nordic added value for a main call which will be announced in the beginning of 2023.

Application deadline:20 October at 12:00 CET
Available funding:NOK 250.000
Application format:Max. 4 pages in a single PDF format
Awarding of pre-call winners:No later than 1 November 2022
Project end: 23 January 2023

Biomass is material that comes from living organisms. Ocean-based biomass refers to biomass in marine environments, such as fish, seaweed, algae and plankton. In a broader sense, ocean-based biomass can also be defined as a range of materials linked to such sources or to the ocean at large.

The pre-call is launched under the Sustainable Ocean Economy program. The objective of the program is to make the Nordics a leading region in the development of a sustainable ocean economy.

Read more about the Sustainable Ocean Economy program

Oceans are crucial when it comes to regulating climatic conditions and providing ecosystem services, but they are also vital to the world's economy—and may, in fact, be considered a distinct economic sector. The ocean economy is defined by the OECD as the sum of the economic activities of ocean-based industries, together with the assets, goods and services provided by marine ecosystems. The ocean economy is the 7th largest economy in the world, according to the WWF. According to DNB, the ocean economy is estimated to grow twice as fast as the rest of the global economy towards 2030, and more than three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods — the vast majority of them in developing countries. Moreover, the OECD has assessed that more than 90% of trade uses sea routes, and oceans provide jobs to millions of people. Finally, marine ecosystems are at the forefront of many current global challenges.

The Nordic region is the 12th largest economy in the world. Because of climate change, we acknowledge that securing our food production chains and developing more local and circular production systems are becoming increasingly important. The Nordic region already has a big ocean economy, but we recognize that our opportunity as a region is to take the lead in making it the world's most sustainable and valuable ocean economy.

Who can apply?

Individuals, companies, public sector organizations (e.g. regulators, procurers, innovation ecosystems), cluster organizations, business networks or research institutions may apply.

The proposal does not need to be supported by a consortium at this point. However, during the pre-project period, a Nordic consortium must be established.

Consortium partners from countries outside the Nordic region are welcome to participate, but only partners from the Nordic countries can receive funding from Nordic Innovation.

What are we looking for in this pre-call?

This pre-call aims to facilitate the further development of project ideas related to ocean-based biomass. These ideas must provide substantial Nordic added value. The pre-project can be a platform for creating a Nordic consortium that addresses burning issues affecting the ocean-based biomass industry in the Nordics. The pre-call proposal must describe:

  • what challenge is to be addressed
  • how it will be addressed
  • and the anticipated benefit for the Nordic region

The tentative solutions can be anything from new instruments or production methods for seaweed to new market opportunities for biomass products.

In the pre-call, it is not a prerequisite to have a Nordic consortium in place. However, such a consortium must be established during the pre-project. To qualify as a Nordic consortium, the project must have participants from at least 3 Nordic countries or Nordic autonomous regions.

Nordic Innovation encourages participants to explore cross-sectoral collaboration on the addressed challenge.

This pre-call will be followed by a larger main call in the beginning of 2023. It is anticipated that through this pre-call, project ideas will be concretized and further developed into complete project proposals with the aim for participating in the upcoming main call. Please note that the upcoming main call will not be exclusive to projects receiving funding from this pre-call.


The objectives of this project are to:

  • increase Nordic added value and cross-border collaboration in the Nordics
  • help the bio-based ocean economy develop in the Nordics with lasting value propositions for the global market
  • help Nordic initiatives and businesses scale up
  • help the Nordic bio-based economy get market access

Through this initiative, Nordic Innovation sets out to promote sustainable growth, innovation, entrepreneurship and global competitiveness of Nordic companies in the ocean-based biomass industry. Nordic Innovation aims to speed up the transition to a more sustainable, innovative and interconnected ocean future.


The sustainable ocean economy is high on the agenda in a range of international and national policy settings. The OECD has a dedicated Ocean Economy Group which works to enable technologies driving sustainability in the ocean economy, to increase ocean industry foresight, and to build knowledge and innovation networks. In the European Union, the sustainable ocean economy is a vital component of the European Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe, as well as a critical way of meeting global climate objectives. In the 2021–2027 Horizon Europe framework, a key mission area will be healthy oceans with the aim of protecting and restoring the water cycle of oceans and other bodies of water. The sustainable ocean economy is also prioritized within Nordic cooperation and it constitutes one of the current work programs at Nordic Innovation.

Within this program, Nordic Innovation is currently focusing on ocean-based biomass. In the area of ocean-based biomass, there are a lot of innovative activities already going on, as well as strong Nordic know-how and huge future potential. The theme is suitable both for larger industries and for start-up and scale-up businesses that would benefit from increased Nordic cooperation and awareness of ongoing developments.

This pre-call for proposals aims to strengthen Nordic ocean-based industries by promoting cross-border collaboration and by creating new opportunities for growth, collaboration and innovation in the region.

In the pre-project, Nordic Innovation requires co-funding from the project participants of a minimum of 50%. This can be in the form of direct funding (capital) or in-kind contributions (working hours). Consequently, in this pre-project, co-funding — that is, funding from project partners — shall be no less than 250 000 NOK. This means that the total project budget will be no less than 500 000 NOK. The composition of the co-funding must be demonstrated in the proposal, and the provided budget template must be filled out and submitted with the proposal.

About Nordic Innovation

Nordic Innovation is an organization under the Nordic Council of Ministers working to promote cross-border trade and innovation. The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official intergovernmental body for cooperation in the Nordic region. With 26 million inhabitants in the Nordic region, the Nordic Co-operation is one of the most comprehensive regional co-operations in the world.

Nordic Innovation supports programs and projects to stimulate innovation and works to improve the framework conditions for Nordic markets and exports.

Nordic Innovation is implementing the Nordic Prime Ministers’ Vision 2030 for Nordic cooperation. Its mandate is to contribute to making the Nordics a leading region for sustainable growth and to increase entrepreneurship, innovation, and competitiveness in the Nordic region.

Evaluation criteria

All received applications that fulfill the formal requirements will be evaluated based on the following four criteria, all given equal weight:

  1. Market Relevance (25%)
    • from a local to a global perspective
    • market potential/readiness
  2. Demonstrated Nordic Added Value (25%)
    • how does this capitalize on the strengths of Nordic collaboration?
    • how does this strengthen the Nordic ocean economy?
  3. Sustainability Impact (25%)
    • what kind of new sustainable economies are applied (circular, bio-economy, direct trade, local economy, value chain approach, climate effect, SDGs, etc.)
    • assessment of natural, human and societal impacts
  4. Proposed Consortium Capacity (25%)
    • project leader’s role and suggested consortium partners (role, type, location), as well as the consortium’s collaborative capacities
    • suggested representation: at least three Nordic countries (full Nordic coverage will be given extra weight).

Formal requirements and deadline

The submitted proposal shall, at maximum, be four A4 pages, excluding budget template. The proposal shall be in English and submitted electronically in a single PDF file along with the budget template. Project partner(s) receiving funding from this pre-call shall be entities registered in a Nordic Country (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Åland Island, Faroe Island, Greenland or Iceland). The proposal must be received by Nordic Innovation no later than 20 October 2022 at 12:00 CET.

To receive the budget template, please contact us at:

The proposal should be delivered by e-mail to and labeled with: Ocean-based Biomass Pre-Call.

Please note that applications received after the submission deadline will not be considered.

The Nordic Innovation Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract, dated 4 June 2020, will be a part of the project contract.


Emil Gejrot - Innovation Adviser

Emil Gejrot (paternity leave)

Innovation Adviser
Emil has extensive experience of innovation projects and policy analysis in the Nordic region and beyond. Before joining Nordic Innovation, he worked for a research consultancy where he focused on digital transformation, inclusion, and sustainability. He holds an MA in Transcultural Studies and has lived and worked in Sweden, Norway, the UK, and Germany.