Our Approach

Funding program

The core of the MeerWissen initiative is the establishment of scientific cross-regional partnerships. Within the framework of a funding program, partnership projects between African and German marine research institutions are supported for a period of two years and a budget of up to 250.000 Euros.

The funding program follows a two-stage application procedure. A “Call for Concepts” invites teams of African and German institutions to submit their project ideas. With the help of a scientific advisory group, these are then evaluated by the MeerWissen secretariat regarding content and set funding criteria. All project partners of positively evaluated concepts are invited to shape their projects together in a Co-Design process, which starts with a Co-Design workshop to elaborate a full grant proposal.

MeerWissen supports research projects that are clearly linked to needs in the region of implementation and that have a strategy set on how to increase chances of their results to become relevant in decision- and policy-making.

Scientific advisory group

The MeerWissen secretariat is supported by a group of scientists with expertise in the field of marine and coastal biodiversity at the science-policy interface. The scientific experts co-evaluate the project ideas and advise the secretariat on strategic and scientific questions arising within the initiative. Furthermore, they are part of the MeerWissen community and accompany activities beyond and between partnership projects.

Co-desiging partnership projects

A strong partnership and co-design approach is pursued to ensure that MeerWissen projects address concrete needs in partner countries and are jointly developed and implemented. The MeerWissen secretariat invites all selected partnership projects to participate in a Co-Design workshop before submitting their full proposals. The aim of this workshop is to introduce all projects and their respective implementing organizations, discuss contents, seek feedback and create synergies between projects. The workshop also lays the foundation for future collaboration and a vivid MeerWissen community by shaping connections between all parties.

Supporting cross-cutting activities

Exchange and cooperation among the various MeerWissen projects as well as other actors, is a goal of the MeerWissen initiative. Supported by the secretariat, MeerWissen projects work together in creating dynamic workshops, publications and contributions to international conferences. MeerWissen project partners are using a virtual platform to discuss overarching topics and challenges and developing cross-cutting activities, especially in the field of capacity building and science-policy exchange.