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Organised by the project coordinator, the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, the project Kick-off Meeting was held in Bremerhaven on the 8-9 February 2017. Among others the aim of the meeting was to facilitate networking within the Consortium and with external partners and to agree on the next steps in order to ensure progress. The programme included introductory presentations of the nine work packages in which the project is structured, presentations of partner EU projects (INTAROS, Blue-Action, PRIMAVERA, CRESCENDO and EU-Polar Net), keynote lectures by two Scientific Advisory Board members (Gilbert Brunet and Veronica Eyring) and breakout discussions during which the teams defined responsibilities and formulated lists of actions for the upcoming months. There was also opportunity for networking at the ice-breaker reception and during coffee breaks.