BONUS is an ERA-NET project which brings together the key research funding organisations in all EU Member States and Associate Candidate Countries around the Baltic Sea. BONUS operates in close connection with the scientific and management actors. The aim is to form a net-work and partnership of agencies which are funding research aiming at deepening the understanding of conditions for science-based management of environmental issues in the Baltic Sea. The aim is to gradually and systematically create conditions for a joint Baltic Sea research and researcher training programme. The ‘status quo’ in ongoing research, research funding, marine research programme management and infrastructures is examined, and the necessary communication and networking tools are established. The needs and conditions of a joint research programme from scientific and administrative point of view are examined. The integration of the Associate Candidate Countries to the common funding scheme is considered in one of the proposed tasks. Finally, an Action Plan for creating joint research programmes, including all jointly agreed procedures of programme management and aspects of common use of marine research infrastructure is produced. An additional activity is the development of a common postgraduate training scheme. The consortium is composed of altogether 11 partners: 10 partners from 8 countries and one international organisation. In addition, BONUS links 7 funding organisations as associated members, which increases the number on involved organisations to 18 and countries to 9.