ULCO – France

The University of the Littoral Opal Coast (ULCO) is a public university located in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments of northern France. The university is located near 3 important harbours*, which gives the university a specificity in the maritime field. ULCO welcomes about 10,000 students, including more than 1,000 international students. The university is involved in numerous European and international partnerships, particularly with the countries of the southern Mediterranean (double degrees, doctoral theses in co-supervision, etc.).

Our motto at ULCO is: The University with a human dimension open to the world!

The marine and coastal topic is at the core of ULCO’s strategy, as indicated in its name « Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale ». ULCO is part of the French Marine Universities network ( Sustainable blue economy is at the heart of ULCO’s institutional strategy for research, teaching and the development of socio-economic partnerships. In 2020, an Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (ISML : was set up with the aim of strengthening and structuring marine sciences research and teaching offer as well as technology transfers and science-society, in line with the challenges and expectations of the maritime sector. The excellence of ULCO’s marine research and teaching was recognized by the award in 2021 of the French PIA 4 Excellence project: IFSEA “Transdisciplinary graduate school for marIne, Fisheries and SEAfood sciences”.

The recent implementation of the IFSEA graduate school at ULCO will allow to carry out innovative research and train future generations of researchers and professionals to tackle the environmental, societal and economic challenges of the blue economy through transdisciplinary approaches.

University of the Aegean (UAEGEAN) Greece

The University of the Aegean (UAEG) has been founded on six different islands in the Aegean Sea and includes 18 Departments. The Department of Geography in Mytilene, Lesvos Island, Greece, supports academic activities in the fields of earth system science, social-economic sciences and geographic information science. UAEG’s partnership will more specifically include the Urban Geography Group of the Geography Department that focuses on the Mediterranean and European space and in Latin America. It follows critical geography perspectives of the urban and peri-urban space, contemporary urban changes, glocal (local-global) analyses of urban phenomena (like common goods and public space, urban sprawl, urban competition or solidarity, minority spaces, urban segregations), urban and environmental studies, cultural urban approaches and comparative studies of phenomena in different cities as well as urban movements.

Universidad de estudios de Palermo (UNIPA) – Italy

The University of Palermo (UNIPA) is a consolidated cultural, scientific and teaching presence in central-western Sicily. Its 5 Schools and 16 Departments cover the most important domains of contemporary scientific and technological knowledge. In the academic year 2021-2022, more than 500 incoming students from EU and extra-EU countries chose the University as their host in the framework of Erasmus+ individual mobility.

The UNIPA Department of Earth and Marine Science (DISTEM) will lead the present proposal and thanks to the leadership of UNIPA experimental Animal Care and Welfare will be able to cover most marine aquaculture and ecological topics.

Relevant infrastructure or equipment. Facilities are modern and large, being able to offer big opportunities to carry out research in many topics of marine science with a large array of mesocosms, equipment for field experiments (a large boat for coastal surveys) and lab analysis (from mass spectrometers to coulter counters, flow-cytometers, HPLC and biochemical and Immunological expert labs) and zebra fish facilities useful to accomplish teaching commitments.

Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) – Egypt

The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) is part of the Arab League. The AASTMT was established since 1972 providing numerous educational services to the people of the Arab World, ranging from middle/high school programs to undergrad/postgrad studies. The AASTMT campuses in the Egyptian cities of Alexandria, El-Alamein, Cairo, Port Said and Aswan have had many achievements in education, training, consultation, and research within the field of climate change and related subfields (maritime transport, engineering, environment, and management sciences) for more than 48 years now. Since its establishment, AASTMT has been involved in the various fields of education, training, scientific research, and community service. Being a multi-purpose, multi-task institution, AASTMT basically offers its services to students from the entire Arab world, as well as those from African countries. AASTMT undertakes teaching, training designed to qualify students in all fields of knowledge, including sciences, technology, and humanities.

Currently more than 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, and 1000 researchers work and study on the various campuses of AASTMT, located all over Egypt. AASTMT offers educational programs to serve the community of Alexandria, and other cities in Egypt.

Alexandria University (AU) – Egypt

Alexandria University is one of the oldest and biggest universities in Egypt, since 1942. It is consisted of 24 faculties and institutes covering the majority of disciplines.

AU has around 120,000 students and almost 30,000 employees and staff members. AU is an important partner in EU-funded projects from FP7 and Tempus to H2020 and Erasmus+ and the university has around 450 international agreements with other universities, institutes and entities.

Because of its geographical location, on the Mediterranean Sea, AU has a unique, distinguished and multidisciplinary department in whole of Egyptian universities, Oceanography Department; where AU team members of the current project are affiliated. It has been found in 1948 and is concerned with multidisciplinary training, education and research in oceanography.

The importance of the department has been increased a lot in the last few years especially after addressing the UN SDG 14 concerning life below water, hence, it becomes important now in Egypt to start working on the implementation of that goal and its tasks, especially that Egypt has a national strategy for the sustainable development for 2030.

University of Sousse (US) – Tunisia

Aspiring to be “one of the major players in the socio-economic development of the country and region”, the University of Sousse is a public university based in Tunisia’s third largest city of Sousse, around 90 miles from Tunis. It was formed in 2004 when the huge University of the Centre was divided into three new institutions. It offers a wide range of academic and professional training in the basic, legal, economic and management sciences, technology, agronomic, medical, paramedical, arts and human sciences. There are 17 higher education institutions (four faculties, four schools and nine institutes). In 2006 it was among the first Tunisian universities to adopt the bachelor, master’s and doctor progression of qualifications.

  • There are 16 research laboratories, 22 research units, 6 common service units for research and 4 doctoral schools.
  • The university has 57 international cooperation conventions with universities all over the world.

The University of Sousse is involved in the blue economy mainly in two manners.

First of all, via the training courses mentioned below:

  • Bachelor Degree: ESSTHS (Higher School of Science and Technology of Hammam Sousse)
    • in Physics and Energy: Renewable Energies
    • in Chemistry: Recycling and Recovery of Waste
  • Professional Master:
    • Energy Engineering: Control and Rational Use of Energy – HIASTS (Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Sousse)
    • Management of Environmental Change in the Mediterranean and Agriculture – HAICM (Higher Agronomic Institute of Chott Mariem)
  • Research Master: HIASTS (Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Sousse)
    • Sustainable mobility and clean energy
  • Doctorate in Water, Soil and Environment – HAICM
  • Doctorate in Plant Protection and the Environment – HAICM

Second, through international programs and entrepreneurial competitions:

  • COMMON, as project born to tackle marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea, apply the principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), a dynamic process of management and sustainable use of coastal zone, to:
    • the challenge of marine litter,
    • improving knowledge of the phenomenon,
    • enhancing the environmental performance of 5 pilot coastal areas in Italy, Tunisia and Lebanon, and engaging local stakeholders in marine litter management. 
  • Entrepreneurial competition: The University of Sousse (USo), with the support of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, piloted a national project on innovation in the socially responsible blue economy.

The University of Sousse (USo), through its Research and Innovation Support Unit (UDARI) launched a call for projects relating to innovative initiatives on the blue economy:

  • Dissertations projects,
  • research results of students from different Tunisian universities and research centers.

Identified strategic areas: These axes correspond to the potential available to Tunisia.

  • Shipbuilding and maritime transport,
  • Marine energies: wind power, tides, etc.
  • Marine biotechnology and human health,
  • Traditional fishing (promotion of this unique heritage in the Mediterranean),
  • “Blue” tourism,
  • Aquaculture: fish, crustaceans, sea cucumbers, algae, etc.

Blue Era project university referent: Dr. Khaled TAMZINI

University of Monastir (UM) – Tunisia

The University of Monastir or UM is a Tunisian multidisciplinary university with its own financial and administrative autonomy located in Monastir, Tunisia. It was founded in 2004 following the reform of the university higher education system and is organized in 5 Faculties, 2 graduate schools and 9 institutes. Its main activities are related to higher education, learning and research in a broad sense, with the aim of decentralizing services, supervising and improving the profitability of the higher education system.With approximately 27,500 students, 2,044 lecturers and 758 administrative and support staff, the University of Monastir offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, with an average graduate count of approximately 4,700 per year. It is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as 18th in the 2016 Arab Universities Regional Ranking. According to UniRank, the university ranks third in Tunisia. In 2020, the university ranked 301-400 globally and the first nationally in the “Energy Science & Engineering” field according to the Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020.

University of Jordan (JU) – Jordan

The school of Basic and Marine Science (SBMS), University of Jordan/Aqaba is home for three departments in Marine Biology, Coastal Environment and Mathematics. The SBMS offers three study programs including two Bachelors in General Biology and Mathematics and one Masters in Marine Sciences.

The SBMS has a team of competent and highly qualified faculty members, lecturers, lab supervisors, technicians and administrative staff who serve students in the two faculties, SBMS and the school of Nursing, in addition to the general university courses offered to all other students of the university.

The SBMS provides all the needed infrastructure and resources for students’ development such as the teaching and research laboratories, which help students in getting the best practice and applications of the knowledge gained in theory courses.

Al Albayt University (AABU) – Jordan

Founded in 1993, Al al-Bayt University is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the suburban setting of the large town of Mafraq (population range of 10,000-49,999 inhabitants). Officially recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Jordan, Al al-Bayt University (AABU) is a large (uniRank enrollment range: 15,000-19,999 students) coeducational Jordanian higher education institution. Al al-Bayt University (AABU) offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as pre-bachelor degrees (certificates, diplomas, associate or foundation), bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorate degrees in several areas of study. One of the most imprtnet fcaulties in University is Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty (IEEF) was established in 2001 to conduct researches in the field of water, environment and earth sciences and for preparation a qualified students and specialists having scientific capabilities in various fields of earth sciences and environments.

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