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The history behind DANUBIUS-PP

In early 1990s the Romanian Ministry of National Education and Research and the National Institute for Marine Geology and Geoecology (GeoEcoMar) had proposed the creation of an International Centre for advanced studies on the Danube River – Danube Delta – Black Sea System. To accomplish this goal, the Ministry obtained from local authorities 15 ha of land in Murighiol (Tulcea County) and entrusted the National Institute for Biological Sciences (INSB) to administer this area.
The first major international meeting where the participants started dealing with the concept of the integrated management of river-delta-sea systems was jointly organized in the Danube Delta in 2006 by GeoEcoMar and the US Army Corps of Engineers. At this workshop, experts in deltas from Europe and worldwide discussed and analysed among others the requirements for a performant delta management, as well as the need to integrate entire river catchments with deltas and coastal seas.
Over the years, the necessity of studying not just the Danube Delta ecosystem, but an integrated RS system became clearer. The lead in developing DANUBIUS-RI has been taken by Romania, which has committed this land and resources. In 2010 a workshop, which brought together Romanian scientists from many universities and institutes from Europe and abroad, strengthened the concept (the Diaspora 2010 National Conference). Starting in 2011, Romania a series of dedicated programmes, via the National Core Funding Programme for GeoEcoMar and INSB, gathered the advice and support of scientists and stakeholders from institutions in more than 15 countries across Europe.
In 2013 Romania provided funding via the National Sectoral Project no. S7/2013, coordinated by GeoEcoMar, in consortium with INSB and two companies (GEEA SRL and FMMC Consulting SRL). The project aimed at preparing the ESFRI Proposal for DANUBIUS-RI as a distributed pan-European research infrastructure. The project started with the establishment of the International Initiative Committee, with the purpose to provide advice and support for the concept, proposal and consortium development. The scope of DANUBIUS-RI was widened from a focus on the Danube river-delta-sea system to large river-sea systems across Europe. A significant contribution to DANUBIUS-RI concept was also brought by the FP7 project DANCERS (DANube macroregion: Capacity building and Excellence in River Systems (basin, delta and sea)).
In 2013 the project received a stimulus when it was designated a Flagship Project of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.
In late 2013 the discussions of a pan-European Consortium worked on submitting DANUBIUS-RI (as the International Centre for Advanced Studies on River-Sea Systems) for inclusion in on the ESFRI Roadmap. The proposal was submitted in March 2015 and a year later was included on the ESFRI 2016 Roadmap. Although covering RS systems across Europe, the DANUBIUS-RI acronym reflects the Danube as the most international river in the world.As a result of this recognition, the DANUBIUS-RI consortium submitted a proposal for HORIZON 2020 – INFRA DEV 2 call in June 2016. The HORIZON 2020 Project that supported the development of the pan-European entity – named DANUBIUS-PP (Preparatory Phase) was accepted and ran from 2016 until November 2019.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739562.