In the last edition of the EU Blue Economy Report, the European Commission includes in this sector, all those activities that are marine-based or marine-related.
This means that the blue economy refers to established but also innovative and emerging sectors to the development of coastal communities and economic systems.
Traditional sectors are seven: Marine living resources, Marine non-living resources, Marine Renewable energy, Port activities, Shipbuilding and repair, Maritime transport and Coastal tourism.
According to the Report, these sectors directly employed close to 5 million people and generated around €750 billion in turnover and €218 billion in gross value added in 2018.
But there are emerging sectors such as: Marine renewable energy (i.e. Ocean energy, floating solar energy and offshore hydrogen generation), Blue bioeconomy and biotechnology, Marine minerals, Desalination, Maritime defence, and Submarine cables.
The EU Blue Growth Strategy
The Blue growth is the long term strategy that the European Commission has implemented to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. Seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation and growth. The Blue Growth Strategy aims at promoting a number of important areas of development activities in many domains.
The strategy consists of three components:
1. Develop sectors that have a high potential for sustainable jobs and growth, such as:
a. aquaculture (Fisheries website)
b. coastal tourism
c. marine biotechnology
d. ocean energy
e. seabed mining
2. Essential components to provide knowledge, legal certainty and security in the blue economy:
a. marine knowledge to improve access to information about the sea;
b. maritime spatial planning to ensure an efficient and sustainable management of activities at sea;
c. integrated maritime surveillance to give authorities a better picture of what is happening at sea.
3. Sea basin strategies to ensure tailor-made measures and to foster cooperation between countries:
a. Adriatic and Ionian Seas
b. Arctic Ocean
c. Atlantic Ocean
d. Baltic Sea
e. Black Sea
f. Mediterranean Sea
g. North Sea.
The BlueInvest Platform
The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) decided to set up a BlueInvest Platform for SMEs in 2019. This encompassed a package of measures including coaching for investment readiness, and grants up to €22 million in 2019 and €20 million in 2020, for the final steps of the new business plans (e.g. demonstration, certification, marketing etc.).
In line with the EU’s move towards leveraging its support, thegrants were made conditional on letters of intent from investors– either from the public or the private sector. In addition, €75 million worth of liquidity from the EIF (with a 95% guarantees from EFSI) was made available in 2020 for investing equity in funds specialising entirely or mostly in the blue economy or co-investingin particular companies.
The Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 is expected to build on experience gained in setting up and operating the Platform.
The successor to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will offer more possibilities to bring in external investors. Additionally, InvestEU, the successor to EFSI, will switch from purely stimulating economic recovery towards beinga primary instrument to accelerate measures under the Green Deal. Since projections indicate that the blue economy will play a crucialrole in meeting targets for greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity, substantial strengthening of investment support from the EU is expected.
CALLforEUROPE will be covering all funding opportunities coming from the Blue Economy Strategy and from all the European funding opportunities in this field.
GIVE A LOOK AT OUR MAGAZINE HERE.
Find any other European funding opportunity every week in our CALLforEUROPE Magazine!