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Signature d’un accord de partenariat entre le Cluster Maritime Tunisien et le cluster italien Blue Italian Growth

Un accord de partenariat a été signé aujourd’hui 9 juin 2020 par Cluster Maritime Tunisien (CMT) et le cluster italien Blue Italian Growth (BIG).

Cette signature a été réalisée lors d’une vidéoconférence à laquelle ont assisté l’ambassadeur italien en Tunisie, des représentants de la Commission Européenne, des représentants de la co-présidence italienne et marocaine de WestMed, le directeur général de l’aquaculture et de la pêche en Tunisie, les deux présidents des deux clusters et plusieurs de leurs membres, le gestionnaire du projet WestMED et les deux hubs nationaux Tunisie et Italie.

Ce partenariat, concilié et facilité par l’initiative WestMED et les hubs nationaux Tunisie et Italie, rentre dans le cadre de la mise en réseau des clusters ouest méditerranéens.

Une telle coopération permettra aux deux clusters de faciliter les relations entre leurs membres afin de mener au montage de projets dans de nombreux domaines relatifs:

  • aux systèmes intégrés d’observation et de prévision,
  • aux systèmes et méthodologies de planification et d’utilisation durable du milieu marin,
  • aux technologies d’atténuation et de compensation des impacts,
  • à la défense des côtes et des ports et à la requalification environnementale,
  • à la pêche et l’aquaculture, à la biodiversité et services éco systémiques,
  • aux approches technologiques pour une économie circulaire dans la pêche et l’aquaculture.

Cette association va également mener à la création d’une plateforme de coopération tuniso-italienne sur l’intelligence bleue et l’échange d’expériences et de compétences visant à favoriser l’implantation des académies bleues et des centres de formations professionnelles des métiers de la mer et des échanges des technologies de communications pour la promotion et le développement des activités de la mer.

National Hub gathers Italian stakeholders in a LNG working group

Within the support activities in the field of Sustainable Transport and Alternative Fuels, the Italian National Hub has activated a local working group, composed of stakeholders in the field of LNG for maritime transport. The members of this group include business associations, policy makers, national development banks, research institutes, consulting companies and universities.

A view of the future Higas Oristano GNL project in the port of in Port of Santa Giulia

The Santa Giulia – Oristano GNL project

Among them is Assocostieri, the association of Italian companies involved in energy (maritime) logistics and biofuels. It is one of the most pro-active members, having organised a survey among associated firms and collected seven project info-sheets about LNG bunkering facilities, some with re-gasification plants, which are looking for funding, financing, cross-border partnerships, etc..

With this aim, Assocostieri and the National Hub organised an info day on funding programmes and calls, including the Connecting Europe Facility, the EIB, national development banks and private equity funds. This took place on 5 March, immediately before the official lockdown in the country. The meeting allowed for online participation, so as to allow for people in the COVID-19 “red-zone” to participate.

Assocostieri Director General Dario Soria and Eng. Capaccioli introduced the work done thus far in the field and the project info-sheets obtained, to twelve private participants (7 of which joined remotely), two representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the coordinator of Conferenza GNL, Diego Gavagnin, the first Italian initiative on the LNG related supply chain.

 

Italian National Hub then described the assistance activities, their ability to work with other Mediterranean partners, and went through a detailed presentation of the CEF Blending Facility call, the CEF MAP Reflow call, CEF II, EIB financing products – including the Green Shipping Guarantee Programme -and outcomes of ongoing talks with national development banks and private equity funds.

Basing themselves on the project info-sheets, the National Hub also prepared an assessment of access to CEF calls.

Logo of the Connecting Europe Facility funds

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport is the funding instrument to realise European transport infrastructure policy

Considering the preliminary availability of the Italian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure to lead an LNG cross-border project, the next step is to match this availability with the most suitable project and to confirm the interest (already verbally expressed by many stakeholders) of other countries’ operators.

Similar initiatives will be undertaken with business associations of shipowners once lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 emergency are phased out, and it is expected that a gradual re-start of activity will allow companies to broaden their focus to include such topics, as concerns regarding their daily survival will diminish.

A next online meeting of the WestMED Technical Group for Sustainable Transport/Green Shipping will take place later in April.

The Italian National Hub at the WestMED hackathons Palermo

The Italian National Hub supported WestMED Central Team to ensure a qualified and numerous presence at the WestMED Hackatons, in Palermo on 14 May, contributing to the success of the initiative.

As rapporteurs together with relevant moderators, the Italian National Hub also coordinated the networking tables for Sustainable Coastal and Maritime Tourism and for Clean Transport.

WestMED presented at Small Scale LNG Use, Euro-Mediterranean Conference

On 15-16 May, within the framework of the 5th edition of Small Scale LNG Use, Euro-Mediterranean Conference & Expo in Naples, the Italian National Hub presented the WestMED Initiative and the Assistance Mechanism, describing also project ideas relevant to LNG bunkering, emerged since Algiers Stakeholders Conference in December 2018, developed till the Hackathons in Palermo and the possible subsequent steps.

Thematic tables in Rome

Thematic tables in Rome


As a follow-up to the first Road-Show/Kick-off Meeting of 25 Febryuary, the Italian National Hub has organized in Rome on 29 April and 3 May, several  thematic roundtables on:

  • Clean Transport;
  • Fishing and Aquaculture;
  • Marine Litter;
  • Ports and Intermodal Logistics;
  • Maritime Tourism, Coastal Development and Local Ecosystems;
  • Maritime Clusters Development&Networking;
  • Blue Skills, VET, School-Work dual system.



The aim of these roundtables has been to create an occasion for Italian stakeholders to know each other, exchange areas of interest, experiences and skills, projects submitted and in pipeline. In fact through a better reciprocal knowledge, they will reduce cases of overlapping projects submitted for the same call and funding programme, instead increase integration among project ideas and improve their quality, strengthen partnerships, better distribute areas of specialization and development at national level, clearer definition of stakeholders’ roles as project leaders and  partners, also considering the relevant financial capacities, to better express their views in the proper functioning of the funding programme, the call, etc.

But especially NH is trying to create the conditions for the 5+5 Dialogue Countries and subsequent partnerships to rely on a system of qualified Italian partners, well representing the specializations and evolution of such a rich system of Institutions, research institutes, think tanks, associations, enterprises, NGOs, Universitities, secondary schools, VET institutes, etc.

This initiative followed a mailing and recall action on over 200 stakeholders, and involved both stakeholders participating and those not joining Hackatons in Palermo.

They all showed to very much appreciate it, also to define some “mainstream” subjects, to be developed in the coming months.

Therefore it will be replied periodically, in order to give continuity and development to these subjects, let them become project ideas, partnerships, proposals, let stakeholders properly use the NH’s support.

kick-off meeting with the WestMED Italian National Hub

On Monday 25 February​ the kick-off meeting with the WestMED Italian National Hub was held in Rome, at the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hosted by the WestMED National Coordinators for Italy, notably the Department of Cohesion within the Italian Presidency of Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting gathered about 40 organisations amongst Regional Authorities, National Ministries and other relevant stakeholders for the Blue Economy in Italy.

The kick-off meeting was aimed to introduce the WestMed Assistance Mechanism (WMAM), its goals, functions and role, so to initiate a dialogue for the identification of the national priorities for strategic projects to be supported by the initiative. After an overview of the activities implemented, the project ideas identified in Algiers, as well as the many areas currently being « work in progress », the National Hub shared a calendar of possible events identified as a basis for the national Road-Show, and discussed the next steps foreseen for the governance of the initiative at national level.

Stakeholders involved expressed their appreciation of the work done so far, and those involved in the Algiers Stakeholders Conference confirmed the relevance of the initiative as a platform to share concrete project ideas. The Managing Authority for the ENI CBC Programme also expressed gratitude for the support given in expanding the partner countries as part of the Algiers Stakeholders Workshop. In exchange with participants, a series of follow-up actions have been identified, including the set-up of possible thematic groups charged with providing strategic advice to the National hub. Further activities will be published on the Linked-in page and the Italian section of the WMAM website

Kick-off meeting in Rome

On Monday 25 February​ the kick-off meeting with the WestMED Italian National Hub was held in Rome, at the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hosted by the WestMED National Coordinators for Italy, notably the Department of Cohesion within the Italian Presidency of Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting gathered about 40 organisations amongst Regional Authorities, National Ministries and other relevant stakeholders for the Blue Economy in Italy.

 

The kick-off meeting was aimed to introduce the WestMed Assistance Mechanism (WMAM), its goals, functions and role, so to initiate a dialogue for the identification of the national priorities for strategic projects to be supported by the initiative. After an overview of the activities implemented, the project ideas identified in Algiers, as well as the many areas currently being “work in progress”, the National Hub shared a calendar of possible events identified as a basis for the national Road-Show, and discussed the next steps foreseen for the governance of the initiative at national level.

Upon a very large mailing and recall action, 42 organizations, among Italian ministries, regional governments, public and private stakeholders, managing authorities, local contact points of EU funding programmes, IFIs’ managers perceived the importance of such an inclusive process, giving their contribution to the discussion and underlining their appreciation of the initiative.

It was the first step towards a more integrated process to improve the access to EU funding opportunities, through orientation of suitable stakeholders towards partnerships, the issue of thematic tables as an auxiliary tool to increase the best matching between skills/experiences and project proposals/ideas, the reduction of redundant and inefficient practices, to create the basis for a qualified participation of proper stakeholders to the relevant thematic events, etc.

Stakeholders involved expressed their appreciation of the work done so far, and those involved in the Algiers Stakeholders Conference confirmed the relevance of the initiative as a platform to share concrete project ideas. The Managing Authority for the ENI CBC Programme also expressed gratitude for the support given in expanding the partner countries as part of the Algiers Stakeholders Workshop. In exchange with participants, a series of follow-up actions have been identified, including the set-up of possible thematic groups charged with providing strategic advice to the National hub. Further activities will be published on the Linked-in page and the Italian section of the WMAM website.