In its Blue paper (COM2007/575 of October 10th 2007) the European Commission highlighted the need to implement an integrated maritime and marine policy in order to “enhance Europe's capacity to face the challenges of globalisation and competitiveness, climate change, degradation of the marine environment, maritime safety and security, and energy security and sustainability.” It stated further that such a policy “must be based on excellence in marine research, technology and innovation”.

The aim of RITMARE is to implement what is suggested in the Blue Paper in terms of research and innovation, by means of a national programme of scientific and technological marine research.

More specifically, RITMARE has been structured around the following three objectives:

  • to support integrated policies for the safeguard of the environment (the health of the sea);

  • to enable sustainable use of resources (the sea as a system of production);

  • to implement a strategy of prevention and mitigation of natural impacts (the sea as a risk factor).

In this framework, RITMARE represents a significant opportunity for the Italian marine scientific community to:

  1. Increase synergies between those Research Bodies and University Consortia that are involved in marine research, facilitating the emergence of excellence and promoting cooperation;

  2. Strengthen cooperation between the world of research and Italian Industry in two complementary directions: inducing the research community to respond to the needs of industry and encouraging the latter to contribute to a relaunch of the technologies available to marine researchers;

  3. Enhance Italian participation in European projects and initiatives, increasing the number of Italian scientists appointed as project coordinators and promoting participation in joint programmes (e.g. JPIs) where the resources made available by the participants are matched by contributions from the EU.

The objective over the five years is to set up a system for maritime research that is more internally cohesive, better coordinated with the international scientific community and more in tune with Italy's economic and industrial players.