Ecomondo 2021. On October 27, CINEA successfully led a session on boosting SME investments for a Blue and Green Economy, in collaboration with 10 exciting projects. Funded under the EMFF 2020 Blue Economy Window call, the projects displayed sustainable technologies to support the EU Green Deal, approaching the goal from various angles such as algae and aquaculture, green transport and offshore renewable energy.
After an introduction by Luca Marangoni (Deputy Head of CINEA's Sustainable Blue Economy Unit), the scene was set for Blue Economy SMEs by Felix Leinemann (Head of Unit, Blue Economy Sectors, Aquaculture and Maritime Spatial Planning, DG MARE) and Daniela Cedola (Consulting Director, PwC).
Felix Leinemann emphasized that, in the European Union, Blue Economy is responsible for 4.5 million jobs and had a turnover of EUR 650 billion in 2018. However, not all sectors are sustainable in their operating ways. A crosscutting approach that makes use of technological advances and supports innovative businesses should prevail. That's why the European Commission launched “a new approach for a sustainable blue economy” in May 2021, with the objectives of addressing decarbonisation and biodiversity preservation.
To ensure the goal of circularity, investment is needed, and in particular the facilitation of access of blue SMEs to finance, using tools such as the BlueInvest Platform. Daniela Cedola explained how this tool provides assistance for investment and market readiness, targeting start-ups and SMEs with innovative and disruptive technologies and solutions. Selected initiatives are presented to investors and stakeholders, allowing them to engage with the project owners. Over 220+ high-potential projects are currently featured on the Platform, and 230 unique organisations have engaged with BlueInvest, amounting to EUR 684 million committed to the Blue Economy by 26 investors who attended BlueInvest Day 2020.
10 of the successful candidate projects of last year’s Blue Economy Window call, present at the event, are part of the solution to achieve the EU Green Deal. The first half focused on algae and aquaculture, and the second half discussed green transport and digital ocean technologies.
KELP-EU: Through an innovative seaweed bio refinery, this project by Oceanium wants to support seaweed farmers on the market and develop an array of products. Click here for the PDF of the presentation.
AQUAPEKILO: Through this project, Eniferbio proposes to replace soy with Pekilo protein in aquafeed. A single production plant can replace 65 km² of soybean fields! Click here for the PDF of the presentation.
SEAWING4BLUE: Another way to tap the power of the wind for shipping, with Airseas' automated and optimised kite, providing 20% of fuel savings and emissions reduction. Click here for the PDF of the presentation.
ESENSE: To counter risks at sea, Elwave’s project is working on breakthrough electromagnetics detection, navigation and characterization, which can make offshore operations safer. Click here for the PDF of the presentation.
Throughout the meeting, representatives from the projects were able to ask questions and network.
- Publication date
- 4 November 2021