The European Commission has adopted an updated action plan for the blue economy in the EU Atlantic area, covering France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. The revamped action gives new impetus to the Atlantic maritime strategy and strengthen the participating countries’ recovery efforts. Among the priorities are blue skills, ocean literacy, marine renewable energy, as well as healthy and resilient oceans. One of the actions is the promotion of sustainable practices in coastal and maritime tourism.
The main sources of funding will be European Structural and Investment Funds, including the future cooperation programme in the Atlantic area and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The full action plan can be found here.
Deadline: 24 September 2020
As part of the Green Deal, the European Commission is working on a new offshore renewable energy strategy. This should provide the strategic direction for the EU’s ambitious plans of increasing offshore wind parks in the next decades. EBI will provide input to the consultation but invites members, stakeholders and interested parties to also provide specific feedback they may have.
The public consultation can be found here.
Deadline: 10 November 2020
The EU’s Arctic policy has been updated regularly since it was first outlined in 2008. The consultation will be a broad reflection on the current policy addressing new challenges and opportunities, including the EU's ambitions under the European Green Deal. The consultation seeks input on the strengths and shortfalls of the existing policy, with a view to possibly preparing an updated approach.
The public consultation can be found here.
The European Commission published its yearly Blue Economy Report. It is based on 2018 data collected from Eurostat. It includes specific information for each sector in the blue economy, including “building of pleasure and sporting boats”, “repair and maintenance of ships and boats”, as well as “coastal and maritime tourism”. This is broken down at national level for key indicators, such as employment, value added, turnover, gross profit margin and other key indicators.
The report also includes a case study on “The Recreational Boating Industry: Made in Europe” (from page 150). Besides providing key figures on the impact of the recreational boating industry, it also includes information on the policy measures needed to support the sector (access to finance, recognition of skipper qualifications, VAT, as well as others).
Deadline: 31 July 2020
The programme offers an exclusive coaching programme for high potential start-ups and SMEs with innovative and sustainable products and solutions for the Blue Economy. Businesses and projects selected for Investment Readiness Assistance will receive coaching packages tailored specifically to their readiness levels and business objectives. The programme is impact-driven, with a clear focus on providing business support to help start-ups and SMEs build capacities for growth and attract investment.
More information and how to apply can be found here.
Deadline: 17 September 2020
Funded under: EEA Grants
The Programme will finance projects proposed by Romanian enterprises in blue growth. The aim is to finance development and application of innovative blue technologies/products, processes and solutions. Projects are also expected to contribute to the development and application of innovative technologies, processes and solutions, as well as reduction of CO2 emissions and more energy efficient production processes. Within Blue Growth, eligible activities are the development and investment in maritime supra-structures, coastal and maritime tourism, innovative solutions related to marine litter and waste, as well as water supply and desalination. For more information and how to apply click here.
Based on the outcomes of projects funded under the European Cooperation Programme for the Mediterranean area (the Interreg MED Programme 2014-2020), a policy paper on the blue economy in the Mediterranean was published. This policy paper includes objectives and actions to promote the blue economy in the Mediterranean. While the focus is regional, the outcomes are equally applicable across Europe. Specific policy recommendations for three focal sectors were developed, namely yachting, marine renewable energy and maritime surveillance. The recommendations are addressed towards the EU institutions, international and intergovernmental organizations, Member States and regional authorities.
EBI was closely involved in the development of the policy paper and provided input on the challenges for the recreational boating sector in the Mediterranean, as well as across Europe. These and a number of EBI’s policy recommendations were successfully taken up and include among others:
The paper also calls for support to the sector through economic development policies and to raise public awareness of the sectors’ strength, SME focus and potential for sustainable growth in the blue economy. This paper will be further promoted and brought to the attention of the EU institutions in the coming months. The full policy paper can be found here.
The projects under Interreg MED were iBlue, MAESTRALE, PELAGOS, PROteuS and 4Helix+.
As part of the European Commission’s BlueInvest Platform, the Readiness Assistance offers a coaching programme for high potential start-ups and SMEs with innovative and sustainable products and solutions for the Blue Economy. Businesses and projects selected for Investment Readiness Assistance will receive coaching packages tailored specifically to their readiness levels and business objectives. The programme has a clear focus on providing business support to help start-ups and SMEs build capacities for growth and attract investment. Up to 200 businesses will be selected to receive coaching tailored specifically to their business objectives. Each participant will be matched with a dedicated business coach, whom they will work with to develop a set of concrete business objectives. Participants will receive targeted assistance from their business coach, who will work with them to achieve their set objectives within a defined timeframe. The one-to-one coaching sessions will be conducted over a 3-month period, both in-person as well as digitally.
Participants will also benefit from additional training through participant-only sessions organised at the BlueInvest Academy, networking and B2B matchmaking sessions at the BlueInvest events. A competitive selection process will be used to select the best candidates for the BlueInvest Readiness Assistance.
For more information and the application form, please click here.
Deadline: 27 February 2020
Through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the European Commission is providing grants to market- and investment-ready SMEs with innovative products, technologies and services for the blue economy.
The 2019 call is open until 27 February 2020. It has an available budget of EUR 22.5 million. Organisations can get between €700,000 and €2,500,000 for their projects. Any for-profit SME based in the EU can apply, either as a single participant or a member of a consortium. EBI is available to support interested EBI member companies in the process.
For further information and how to apply, please click here.
This first Annual Economic Report of the EU Blue Economy intends to measure the trends, performance and progress of the Blue Economy in Europe.
It looks into the established maritime sectors (living resources; marine extraction and oil & gas; ports, warehousing and water projects; shipbuilding & repair; coastal tourism) but also at some emerging innovative sectors (marine renewable energy; blue bioeconomy; desalination; deep-seabed mining; coastal and environmental protection).