Winners of the North Sea Photo Contest

13 November 2020 - Published by Anne Sofie Forfang

The winners of the North Sea Photo Contest 2020 were revealed at the North Sea Conference on 10 November. They were chosen among 72 amazing photos submitted by 19 projects. A jury consisting of our National Contact Points had preselected 16 images which were shared for public voting to decide the final winners. 

Why do we care about project images at the Joint Secretariat? Because imagery is a great asset in dissemination! Just take a look at these breathtaking winners and runners-up, and the stories they illustrate. 


Category 1 - a smarter North Sea Region: Inn2POWER

Did you know that the North Sea has the capacity to meet 80% of Europe's need for power? Project manager Ira Lardinois told the audience,"This is such a booming industry. In the future we will need more than 20 times the current capacity and we are happy to support that." One of Inn2POWER's initiatives is a platform where SMEs in the offshore wind industry can find the test facilities they need to innovate.



Category 2 - a greener North Sea Region: PARTRIDGE

This evocative photo captures what PARTRIDGE is all about – nature-friendly farming. The proud farmers in the photo were rewarded by the discovery of redlisted Marsh Harriers nesting on their property. Project manager Francis Buner said, "Receiving this award really means a lot to us. I like to think that the large number of comments received for this photo is a sign that safeguarding biodiversity is at the heart of European society." Read the story behind this picture 

 Nature-friendly farmers looking at Marsh harrier nest


Category 3 - a more liveable North Sea Region: CANAPE

This beautiful photo shows volunteers helping to carry out peat coring. Peatlands cover only  3 % of the world’s surface area, but they store twice as much carbon as all the planet’s forests put together. CANAPE explores ways of restoring peatlands while building a robust, local economy. Project manager Harry Mach told the audience that the young volunteers are passionate about the environment and that is why they are spending their free time working really hard. 

Volunteers helping in peatland research and conservation



Category 1 - a smarter North Sea Region: Inn2POWER

This fascinating image illustrates one of the core aims of Inn2POWER: Bridging skills gaps in the offshore wind sector. The project has launched the first-ever offshore wind MBA course to help build the capacities of SMEs in the industry.

Worker walking between wind turbine blades on the ground.


Category 2 - a greener North Sea Region: RIGHT

RIGHT is building the right skills for the right future. Sustainability and innovation are said to be the future, but the future is happening today!

Person holding a glass jar with green plants n front of solar panels

Category 3 - a more liveable North Sea Region: CATCH

This image from Enschede in the Netherlands illustrates CATCH's holistic approach to climate adaptation: An area is used to collect excess water but doubles as a playground and learning opportunity for children. 

Children playing with paper boats in a lake

See all photos

See all photos entered for the contest! Visit the North Sea Photo Contest 2020 galleries:

Gallery 1: A smarter North Sea Region

Gallery 2: A greener North Sea Region

Gallery 3: A more liveable North Sea region

See the finalist gallery

See the 16 finalist images including comments and public votes:

Visit the finalist gallery


Getting ready for next year?

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all projects that participated in the North Sea Photo Contest, and to our National Contact Points who  pre-selected the photos for the public voting.  

David Grzegorzewski, Director EU Programmes Unit from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship, aptly presented the photo awards, stressing their photographic qualities and how they refleced important agendas in the North Sea Region. 

Also a big thanks to everyone who voted and commented. In some cases, competitors even commended each others' photos, in true transnational cooperation style!

The photo contest was a first for our programme, but it is not going to be the last. At the Secretariat, we were thrilled to see the range and quality of photos submitted already in the first year. So please stay tuned for next year's contest!