Monday, July 29, 2019

The EU Blue Growth initiative is a long-term strategy with a recent history characterised by a strong integration with the EU Cohesion policy, which placed maritime investments at the centre of regional cooperation. The workshop shares the strategies and experiences developed by Mediterranean Regions for promoting innovation across all sectors of the blue economy in the current multiannual financial framework. Starting from this baseline, politicians and research experts will set a new cooperation framework for addressing the innovation challenges of the Blue Growth in the new programming period.

The first session of the workshop is focused on the strategies, experiences, good practices and successful initiatives for innovation in the Blue Economy sectors such as: the Transnational Innovation Voucher Schemes for knowledge and technology transferring in the blue sectors (4HELIX+, MED Programme and BLUE_BOOST, ADRION Programme); the interactive approach to innovation in the small-scale fishery and aquaculture sectors for the development and exchange of demand oriented technological and non-technological solutions (ARIEL, ADRION Programme and SUSHI-DROP, ADRI.SMARTFISH, DORY Italy-Croatia Programme); the clustering of blue entrepreneurship, R&AT and investment boards for innovation and sustainability in the blue economy (Rede Dinâmica XXI - Apredin, PT); the nanotechnology-based methods as an innovation speeder of blue growth (Babeş-Bolyai University, RO); the environment-friendly approach to marine aquaculture based on Recirculating Aquaculture System and Integrated Technologies (University of Tirana, AL).

In the workshop’s second part, network’s national and regional authorities are invited to discuss, with representatives of the 32 partner organizations working in the Blue Growth transnational cooperation projects, the contribution of such initiatives towards a more sustainable growth in the blue economy as well as to outline a set of recommendation for strengthening transnational innovation systems in the new programming period.

1st SESSION - Speakers and presentations

Innovation policies for supporting blue growth: the innovation voucher scheme

Mrs Manuela Bora, Marche Region (Ancona, IT)

The presentation will focus on the process of stimulation and guidance developed for the innovation and technological transfer of the MSME/Startup of the Blue Growth sectors: the Innovation voucher scheme implemented in the Blue_Boost (funded by the Adrion Programme) and 4helix+ (funded by the MED Programme) Projects.

Innovation brokering in small- scale fisheries and aquaculture: project and results in the Adriatic Ionian macro Region

Ms Sanja Matić-Skoko - Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Split, HR)

The presentation will focus on the interactive approach to innovation applied to small-scale fisheries and aquaculture sectors for the exchange, transfer and testing of technological and non-technological solutions that respond to the concrete and daily needs of operators.

A holistic approach to sustainable blue growth: innovation experiences in the West Mediterranean regions

Prof. Fernand Gaspar, Rede Dinâmica XXI - APREDIN (Lisbon, PT)

The presentation will focus on blue entrepreneurship, research&innovation and investment, deepening a number of strategic Mediterranean initiatives to support Europe’s Sustainable Blue Economy, developing all three sides of a fundamental triangle to increase innovation in the Blue Growth Sector: research&innovation, investment and entrepreneurship.

From nanobiosensing to blue bioeconomy: translational science as innovation speeder of blue growth

Prof. Simona Cinta Pinzaru, Babeş-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, RO)

The talk covers the latest research results using nanotechnology-based methods and laser-based spectroscopy to reveal amazing facets and properties of waste biomaterials from aquaculture sector and seafood industry and their potential for blue bioeconomy. Turning a threat into new opportunity is illustrated by considering an invasive crab species, which turned into significant negative impact on aquaculture and ecosystem sustainability. For a scientist working in advanced materials field, a crab shell is a tridimensional highly ordered natural nano-architecture which is yet challenging for replication in any nanotechnology-based fabrication protocol. Such nano-architectures are increasingly required in innovative research fields like nanobiophotonics, nanomedicine, regenerative medicine, bio-sensing and others. We further show how the translational research could turn biogenic wasted materials in added-value by-products such as smart materials for solutions loading and slow delivery, selective absorbents, smart bio-fertilizers or photonic materials. Concluding, the pivotal role of scientific research results dissemination, education and communication along with the built synergies across sectors is highlighted as an innovation speeder of Blue Growth.

Innovation towards the sustainability of Mediterranean blue economy: new technologies for marine aquaculture

Prof. Rigers Bakiu, Agricultural University of Tirana (Tirana, AL)

In the Mediterranean basin, Marine Aquaculture is mainly represented by the blue economy sectors involved in producing fingerling and growing the juveniles of European seabass and gilthead seabream. Best practices of off-shore sea cages are famous in Spain, while Turkey and Greece still remain the top producers of these two commercial species. In this presentation, it will be elucidated the marine aquaculture development in Albania, while adapting the new technologies and the outcomes of similar initiatives from the neighbor countries. Off-shore production systems combined with the proper fish feed represent a sustainable solution toward minimizing the problems related to aquaculture in the marine ecosystem. At the end, the new technologies related to Recirculating Aquaculture System and Integrated Technologies are going to be presented as best examples for further development of the Mediterranean Blue Economy by following an environment-friendly approach.

2nd SESSION - Debate among network’s national and regional authorities