On 4 September 2020, the WestMed Maltese National Hub and National Coordinator, in collaboration with Horizon Europe Oceans Mission and Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), organised a virtual National Event which brought together almost 50 stakeholders from the various sectors of the blue economy.
Commitment to cooperate
The Chairman and CEO of Transport Malta, the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects and the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy delivered their welcome addresses in the event. Their messages emphasised the importance of the WestMed Initiative to exploit the economic growth potential of the Mediterranean Sea. Their speeches also conveyed Malta’s commitment towards the Initiative to collaborate with partner countries in the sea basin through the available joint-funding opportunities in order to develop research and development projects together.
Exchange expert views
Speakers during the event dealt with various topics ranging from an overview of the WestMed Initiative emphasising the work of the National Hub, to the objectives of Horizon Europe with special attention given to the Ocean Mission Board. Different funding programmes coordinated by MCST were also included in the Agenda. Other national experts explained the interlinkages between operators within the national blue economy and the risks and opportunities to build resilience post-COVID-19. The importance of data collection and digitalisation of the sector with the aim of strengthening the links between the sectorial operators was also highlighted. Click for the presentation slides
The event also served as an opportunity for a citizen engagement experience which involved an online questionnaire and a discussion on the challenges of the marine environment in the Mediterranean Sea as well as opportunities to overcome them. The results of the questionnaire served as an input into the discussion which was undertaken with the stakeholders. Furthermore, participants expressed interest in understanding the synergies between the different regional initiatives and their willingness to contribute as citizens towards the identification of priority areas within the region.
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