Regions and the blue economy - ERRIN at the European Maritime Day

  • Agnieszka Wieczorek Jetha
  • 22/05/2019
  • Working Group
  Entrepreneurship, investment, research and innovation were the key words for this year’s European Maritime Day taking place in Lisbon last week, with sessions looking at different opportunities – from energy and food to transport and tourism - offered by our oceans. The European Commission also launched the second edition of its Blue Economy Report, with a specific analysis for each Member State. ERRIN and its Blue Growth WG was there to organise one of the stakeholder workshops together with speakers from the MISTRAL Interreg project, the PERISCOPE Horizon 2020 project, STARTER incubator, Maritime Institute in Gdansk, and the Baltic Sea & Space Cluster. Our workshop highlighted how investments in blue growth have a positive cross-sectorial impact on the entire regional innovation ecosystem – with the speakers reflecting the full quadruple helix. Starting with the wider ecosystem approach, the MISTRAL project presented how they are working to create, manage, and ensure the sustainability of a transnational network of excellent blue growth clusters in the Mediterranean area. The PERISCOPE project has a similar objective of establishing a permanent innovation ecosystem in the North Sea Region to enable transnational partnerships, however here the focus was on SMEs and how to engage industry. The struggle to involve SMEs in collaborative projects was echoed by many people in the audience and during the discussion there were proposals to make the participation in funding programmes more flexible and to have clear guidelines when it comes to open innovation. From the research and cluster side, the discussion focused on how Smart Specialisation strategies can work to leverage investments in the blue economy and how interregional collaboration can best be funded.   The full presentation from the workshop is available below.