ISA Partnership Fund


ISA Partnership Fund is a multi-donor trust fund established on 3 August 2022 by the ISA Assembly during its 27th session (ISBA/27/A/10). The Fund aims to promote and encourage marine scientific research in the Area for the benefit of humankind and to contribute to dedicated capacity development programmes and activities aligned with the priority needs identified by developing States members of ISA.

Terms of reference of the Partnership Fund [ISBA/ST/SGB/2022/1]

The Partnership Fund supersedes the Endowment Fund for Marine Scientific Research in the Area, following the review by the Finance Committee (ISBA/27/A/8-ISBA/27/C/36).


The ISA Partnership Fund aims to:

Activities eligible for funding

The development and implementation of marine scientific research programmes in the Area, in line with the strategic research priorities identified in the ISA Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will benefit qualified scientists and technical personnel as well as relevant national and regional institutions from developing countries and regions.

The development and implementation of training programmes in line with the decision of the Assembly relating to the implementation of a programmatic approach to capacity development, particularly those addressing the priority needs for capacity development identified by developing States members of ISA.

The development and implementation of technical assistance programmes and activities that will enhance the implementation of the ISA Strategic Plan for 2019-2023, the High-Level Action Plan, the Action Plan for Marine Scientific Research and the programmatic approach to capacity development.

The engagement of multilevel partnerships on the conduct of marine scientific research programmes in the Area and dissemination and sharing of their results with interested Member States, contractors, relevant ocean industry sectors, the United Nations and its funds and programmes, relevant subregional, regional and international organizations, scientific communities and relevant civil society organizations.

ISA Partnership Fund may finance eligible expenditures for ISA-executed activities, such as staff costs, contractual services, equipment and office premises lease costs, media, workshops, conferences and meetings, and travel expenses. All recipient-executed activities funded by ISA must be in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures of ISA.

Call for projects – First Partnership Board Meeting (June 2023)

Open calls for projects

  • Building and developing capacities of least developed countries in deep-sea related sciences, technology and innovation in support of the sustainable development of blue emerging economies
    Funding allocated: USD15,000
    (i) the three-month fellowship of two experts from LDCs. Call for expression of interest Deadline: 7 December 2023

Projects under implementation

  • Development of a feasibility study on the potential of early warning signals to assess deep-sea ecosystem resilience
    Funding allocated: USD55,000
  • Enhancing capacity and knowledge-sharing in meiofauna research through the establishment of a “MeioScool” in partnership with Ifremer
    Funding allocated: USD172,000
  • Development of a training course on environmental impact assessment for activities carried out in the Area
    Funding allocated: USD100,000
  • Building and developing capacities of least developed countries in deep-sea related sciences, technology and innovation in support of the sustainable development of blue emerging economies
    Funding allocated: USD40,000
    (i) the three-month deployment of two experts from LDCs.

Completed projects

No calls have been closed at this time.

Partnership Fund Board

A Partnership Board is established to provide strategic guidance and direction on implementing the Partnership Fund activities and endorse strategic priorities. It consists of two representatives of the Secretariat, the Chairs of the Finance Committee and the Legal and Technical Commission and eight representatives of Member States, including the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) or small island developing States (SIDS). Donors contributing to other ISA-administered trust funds may also be invited to participate in the discussions.


Mr. José Dallo
Director, OEMMR, ISA Secretariat


Dr. Marie Bourrel-McKinnon
Chief of Staff & Head of Strategic Planning Unit, ISA Secretariat


Mr. Erasmo Lara Cabrera
Chair, ISA Legal and Technical Commission


Mr. Andrzej Przybycin
Chair, ISA Finance Committee


Prof. Ed Hill
Chief Executive, UK National Oceanography Center


Dr. Wan-hyun Choi
President, MABIK, Republic of Korea


Ms. Jorun Sigrid Nossum
Leader, Department for Climate and Environment, section Oceans, NORAD, Norway


Rear Admiral Md. Kurshed Alam
Secretary, Maritime Affairs Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh


Mr. Bharat Raj Paudyal
Foreign Secretary, Nepal


H.E. Mr. Dwight CR Gardiner
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Antigua and Barbuda


H.E. Mr. Neville Gertze
Permanent Representative of Namibia to ISA

Contributions to the Fund

Contributions to the Fund can be made by any State, contractor, international organization, academic and scientific institution, private corporation, philanthropic entity or private individual.

Since 2022, the Fund has received contributions from France (USD122,124), Greece (USD52,520) the People’s Republic of China (USD20,000) and Mexico (USD10,000).

Administration of the Fund

The Secretariat is responsible for providing indicative budget information, accounting and financial reporting, grants to recipients and supervision of activities financed under any grant agreement on the Partnership Fund website. ISA will enter into grant agreements with recipients and maintain separate records and ledger accounts for funds deposited in the Partnership Fund and disbursements made. The Secretariat is responsible for supervising activities financed under any grant agreement.

Closed capacity development Funds

News of the Partnership Fund