Sigi Gruber

European Commission – DG RTD

Head of the Healthy Oceans & Seas Unit

Sigi Gruber started to work for the European Commission in 1991, with different responsibilities in the area of Education and Training as well as Research, the European Institute of Technology and International Cooperation. Prior to joining the European Commission, she worked in the public and private sector in Italy and Germany.  


The Unit she manages is supporting the transition to a healthy planet, which is climate neutral by 2050, and operating within safe planetary boundaries by:  

  • Ensuring that by 2030 the potential of Oceans and Seas, their ecosystems and Bioeconomies, to drive a Healthy Planet is fully understood, unlocked and harnessed. 
  • Designing and deploying a systems’ approach to the nexus of ocean-climate, ocean-food, ocean-weather and ocean-land, and focus on marine ecosystems and marine biodiversity.  
  • Leading, steering, identifying and piloting systemic solutions by design to the planetary boundaries and by directing international cooperation, ocean observations, and plastic and litter clean up.  
  • The Unit also monitors and contributes to specific s Sea basin Initiatives in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Arctic; furthermore, it coordinates the All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and is responsible to steering polar research activities, to feed into the EU Arctic Policy. It provides the Secretariat for the future Horizon Europe Mission on Ocean and Waters; it works with international organisations such as IOC and it is responsible for the Blue Growth calls as part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme,