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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article1 July 2022European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency5 min read

EMFAF flagship projects on regional maritime cooperation kick off

Today seven EU funded projects are kicking off to strengthen sea basin-level collaboration in the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Western Mediterranean.

EMFAF flagship projects on regional maritime cooperation kick off

The projects are funded under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund call for proposals EMFAF-2021-PIA-FLAGSHIP that supported “Flagship projects” (pilot strategic initiatives) to achieve the goals of the relevant sea basin strategy. All together the projects are worth it almost EUR 5.5 million.

The call covers the following three topics:

  1. Innovative multi-use projects combining offshore renewable energy with other activities and/or with nature protection in the Atlantic

This call topic supports the Atlantic Maritime Strategy priority to develop marine renewable energy. The specific objective is to support the development and uptake of multi-use between marine renewable energies (especially emerging ones such as wave, tidal and floating wind) and other blue economy activities or with nature protection (e.g. marine protected areas).


  • FLORA - FLOating RAdar

The FLORA project will develop and demonstrate an industrial-scale prototype of a multi-purpose ocean station with renewable energy generation and operational oceanography capabilities: the FLORA Ocean Station (or FLORA O.S.). Equipped with a novel sensor suite, the FLORA O.S. will gather data on birds and biodiversity, which is critical to Marine Spatial Planning, with a low environmental impact. The FLORA O.S. will accelerate oceanic multi-use by eliminating much of random sampling, estimation, and extrapolation in which modern Environmental Impact Assessments are largely rooted. The station’s power generation system will be hybridised with wave and solar energy, thus making the system more reliable as a remote oceanic sensor in different marine environments.

Duration: 24 months (01.06.2022 – 31.05.2024)

EU contribution: € 990,180.24


  • AquaWind - Innovative multi-use prototype combining offshore renewable energy and aquaculture in the Atlantic Basin

AQUAWIND will combine an existing marine renewable energy production Wind to Power (W2Power) prototype in TRL6 with an innovative finfish aquaculture solution in TRL4. The aquaculture prototype will include a tailor-made design fish cage with novel net materials, high level of digitalisation and species diversification. On the other hand, the W2Power will consist of floating wind technology. This project will perform multi-use (MU) test trials joining marine energy production with live fish aquaculture in the Atlantic region for the first time. AQUAWIND will evaluate the cost reduction of commissioning, maintenance and operation of the combined activities as well as the environmental impact in the surrounding maritime space.

Duration: 36 months

EU contribution: € 1,066,884.16


  1. Black Sea blue economy investment and innovation capacity building pilot

In support of the implementation of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea – endorsed by Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine – this call topic aims to boost innovation and digitalisation in blue economy sectors. The selected pilot projects will contribute to the implementation of the European Green Deal objectives, the Digital Agenda and the EU Communication on Sustainable Blue Economy, with a special focus on blue economy businesses, SMEs and start-ups.


  • 4BIZ - Boosting the Blue Economy in the Black Sea Region by Initiating a Business Collaboration Framework in the field of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Coastal and Maritime Tourism and Maritime Transport

The aim of the project is to address local capacity building needs to boost innovation, digitalisation and investment in the Black Sea blue economy. The main sectors would be fisheries and aquaculture, coastal and maritime tourism, as well as maritime transport. The collaboration framework will bring together blue economy stakeholders in the EU and eligible non-EU Black Sea countries.

Duration: 24 months (01.06.2022 – 31.05.2024)

EU contribution: € 510,484.15 (80% funding rate)

  • DBAN - Digital Blue economy and innovation Acceleration Network

The project aims at establishing a regional digital Blue Innovation Acceleration Network for the Black Sea region, which will be first implemented between the partnering cities of Burgas, Batumi and Odessa. The network would support businesses and business initiatives in Blue economy sectors, building upon their potential for innovation, circular and bio-based solutions as well as their capacity to contribute to the local sustainable development performance indicators.

Duration: 24 months

EU contribution: € 414,797.88

  1. Recovery of coastal and maritime tourism in the Western Mediterranean

In line with the priorities of the European Commission, this call topic aims to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the coastal and maritime tourism sector in the Western Mediterranean, as part of a smart and resilient blue economy. This call topic aims at preserving the marine and coastal environment as well as marine cultural heritage, and contributing to the attractiveness of coastal areas. The topic also focuses on ecotourism, digitalisation of the sector and mobilising private-public investments.



The ECOCRUISING FU_TOUR project aims to boost managerial, blue, green and digital skills in the Western Mediterranean tourism sector. The target are SMEs but also public and private stakeholders in charge of the promotion of European and West European coastal and maritime destinations. The project will design eco-smart cruise packages targeting Millennials and Gen Z. The objective is to offer innovative route and solutions paving the pathway towards Net-Zero for Cruise and Coastal Areas by introducing a brand new experience for these target groups to cruising, combining smart and eco-friendly offers.

Duration: 28 months

EU contribution: € 792,177.80

  • EU WeMED_NaTOUR - EU West Mediterranean NaTOUR

The project focuses on West Mediterranean natural marine sites and coastal destinations to develop transnational eco-smart tourism packages, mixing sustainable, responsible and eco-tourism according to a smart and resilient blue economy strategy. The general objective is to design and pilot eco-smart tourism packages for the school-trip tourism market, addressed to primary and secondary schools, with the strong involvement of West Mediterranean tourism SMEs. The selected West Mediterranean natural marine sites maritime/coastal destinations will be linked together by their relevance to marine and coastal sustainability, preservation, protection criteria, the ideal destinations for youth to “learn-by-visiting”, enjoying the beauty of landscapes and contributing to preserving their fragile and unique ecosystems.

Duration: 28 months

EU contribution: € 796,683.46

  • REBOOT MED - Recovering, Experiencing and Boosting eco-tourism in the WestMed area

The project aims to encourage public-private partnership co-defining Blue Economy Action Plans for the Recovery of the tourism sector, and to incubate, accelerate and test new eco/blue economy tourism packages in 10 pilot areas in 6 WestMed countries (MA, MU, ES, IT and FR). The cross-cutting objective of REBOOT MED is to support the implementation of the WestMed common roadmap for the development of a sustainable blue economy in the sub-basin to generate growth, create jobs and provide a better living environment for people in Western Mediterranean and tourism sectors.

Duration: 24 months (01.09.2022 – 31.08.2024)

EU contribution: € 796,683.46

Please note that the information on the projects is provisional and subject to the final signature of the Grant Agreements