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WestMED hackathon 22 in Malta - start

WestMED Hackathon ’22 – Maritime community gathers in Malta to generate concrete ideas for boosting the blue economy

On June 30 2022, more than 60 representatives from the WestMED Maritime community gathered in Salina Bay on Malta. It was an occasion to develop and discuss project ideas and learn the outcomes of the ‘WestMED in my country’ events.

Each WestMED National Hub presented the key takeaways from their ‘in-my-country’ event that had been organised in the previous eight weeks. The events covered a wide range of maritime topics; ranging from  diversification for fishers in Spain, cluster formation in Mauritania and Blue Economy opportunities for accelerators in Italy to bridging the Blue Skills gap in Malta.

The hackathons themselves consisted of targeted theme-based discussions focused on some of the  main issues that are currently at the top of the WestMED Initiative agenda: aquaculture, tourism, transport and ports, maritime clusters, blue skills and Maritime Spatial planning.

Each hackathon resulted in a number of concrete ideas with suggestions on how to take these ideas forward – also in light of current and upcoming funding opportunities

These ideas will be carefully studied for feasibility and followed-up by the respective national Hubs

You can already download the slides (pdf) used, containing both the main takeaways from the in-my-country events  as well as the main hackathon ideas.

The report with  videos of the presentations will be made available shortly

For further information, please contact communications@westmed-initiative.eu, or your nearest National Hub

presenters at table discussing during westmed national event in Naples 2022

A new Blue Economy support ecosystem proposed during Italy’s WestMED National Event in Naples

Within the beautiful setting of the new museum Darwin Dohrn in Naples, on May 26th and 27th 2022, the WestMED National Coordinators and the National Hubs organized the Italian ‘WestMED in my country’ event: “Blue Accelerators & Incubators: the main challenge for Blue Growth in Italy”.

With the practical support of Cluster Tecnologico Nazionale Blue Italian Growth and Federazione del Mare, the endorsement of the Department of Cohesion within the Presidency of Council of Ministers and of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this was also recognized as an official EMD in my country 2022 event.

It was opened with speeches from the Mayor of Naples, Gaetano Manfredi (former Dean of the University Federico II) and the Regional Counsellor for Research, Innovation and Start-ups of the Campania Region, Valeria Fascione.

Based on a structural gap in the Italian Blue Economy ecosystem, the idea proposed was implementing a national supply chain of support for innovation, new entrepreneurship and employability, based on an alliance that consists of Maritime Clusters, Accelerators & Incubators and Investors & Fund Managers (public & private).

Such a supply chain could facilitate and expedite the search for partners & financial resources by the promoters of a Blue Economy initiative, while national and regional maritime clusters could help mitigate the risks taken by investors and accelerators/ incubators. They could do so by helping to identify the most deserving and really innovative initiatives.

This two-day event gave the opportunity for Italian stakeholders to:

  • become further acquainted with the WestMED Initiative activities in Italy and in the sub-basin over the last four years;
  • become aware of the strategic agreement among the two national maritime clusters (proposed and supported by the WestMED National Coordinators and Italian National Hub) and the excellent results already achieved;
  • network and meet, (Italian and foreign) representatives in-person from over 50 clusters, accelerators and incubators, venture capital companies, start-ups, research institutes, EU platforms, EU funds managing authorities.

More than 70 experts and professionals from the whole country joined in-person with an average of 40 participants who followed  the event online.

To complement the programme,  the visitors were treated to a guided tour of the museum by Prof Ferdinando Boero, who described the 150 years history of Stazione Anton Dohrn where he highlighted the significant contribution of the two scientists Dohrn and Darwin to marine zoology and their studies preserved in this museum, as well as drawing attention to the Gulf of Naples, as being the richest marine biodiversity site

All participants who joined in-person, received a free conference kit.

As a follow-up, the WestMED National Coordinators and Italian National  Hub are already undertaking the steps subsequent to the opportunities that emerged during this event.

For further info, contact Leonardo Mazari (National Hub Italy) : italy@westmed-initiative.eu

 

report cover Blue Economy report 2022

The EU Blue Economy report 2022: ocean economy fuels European green transition

The European Commission has published its annual EU Blue Economy Report to take stock and uncover the latest trends and developments in all economic sectors related to the oceans and coastal areas. With close to 4.5 million people employed, a turnover of more than €665 billion and €184 billion in gross value added, the EU blue economy sectors contribute significantly to the EU’s economy, especially in the coastal regions. Moreover, the report notes that the EU’s blue sectors are a spawning ground for innovative solutions and technologies that can help fight climate change and take the green transition to the next level. It also points at the high cost of inaction to fight climate change, as the damage of rising sea levels could cause a direct loss of more than €200 billion per year by 2080 in the EU.

More information here

Download the report here

 

 

people meeting at event bridging the gap in Malta 2022

Bridging the Maritime Skills Gap. Succesful WestMED event helps identify possible solutions in Malta

Today the WestMED Initiative (Malta) in collaboration with the Malta Maritime Forum organised an event entitled “Blue Skills: Bridging the Skills Gap through Education and Ocean Literacy”.

The event was successful in bringing together the views of the captains of industry and academia who identified skills shortages and possible solutions to the skills gap shortages that are afflicting the industry.

The event sought to strengthen cooperation between all stakeholders in order to address labour market frictions that hamper employers from their much-needed talent and skills that sustain their business models.

Moreover the event also focused on the important role of ocean literacy in order to bridge the gap highlighting the importance of engaging youths, students as well as NGOs within the industry.

The work conducted by the Union for the Mediterranean on blue skills was also presented in the event and colleagues from the Atlantic Assistance Mechanism presented the work conducted on blue skills and ocean literacy in the Atlantic.

The event was purposely timed to coincide with Maritime Day and enjoyed official recognition as a ‘European Maritime Day (EMD) In My Country’.

Besides key industry and academia representatives, other participants in the event included the Hon Aaron Farrugia, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects; the Hon Ivan Castillo, Shadow Minister for the Maritime Sector; Perit Karmenu Vella, former European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries; and Mr Joseph Bugeja, Chairperson and CEO of Transport Malta.

More information: contact Stephanie Vella or Annabel Vella at our WestMED National Hub Malta

euromed academy

E-Learning program launched: “Fostering and managing Blue growth Potential in the Mediterranean

Source: Interreg Mediterranean-Blue Growth

In the context of the INTERREG EURO-MED Academy, the Blue Growth Community is launching the next 16th of May 2022, the online programme “Fostering and Managing Blue Growth Potential in the Mediterranean ».

This e-learning programme is addressed to the next Generation of Mediterranean Leaders on Inclusive and Sustainable Development both from the Northern and Southern shores. This entails a very wide audience having a direct relation to the Blue Growth sector, from young people involved in the blue economy governance to young entrepreneurs and practitioners working in business support organizations (BSOs), NGOs, research institutions, etc.

Therefore, all stakeholders coming from the public/private sectors and civil society interested on Blue Growth will have the opportunity to benefit of this free learning programme that offers a global coverage of all thematic areas of Blue Economy.

Using different training tools such as 7,5h of pre-recorded lectures, available side material for studying (documents, videos, links, etc.), assessment tools (short tests and an exercise), one live webinar and a final event (with key-note speeches and selected presentations of the participants and students), this programme will offer:

  • Modules: 10 short modules structures in the following thematic:
    1. Potential of Blue Economy in the Mediterranean
    2. Marine Renewable Energy (1st part)
    3. Marine Renewable Energy (2nd part)
    4. Sustainable Tourism
    5. Greening the Ports
    6. Fisheries & Aquaculture
    7. Unlocking the potential of Blue Bioeconomy through biotechnologies
    8. Maritime Security & Maritime Surveillance
    9. Maritime Spatial Planning
    10. How to reconcile Blue Economy and Marine Environmental protection

 

  • Course duration: 5 weeks (recommended)

 

Through a dedicated section under each Module, the participants will have the opportunity to overview innovative results and tools produced by the projects of the Blue Growth Community and beyond.

The Blue Growth Community e-learning program “Fostering and Managing Blue Growth Potential in the Mediterranean” will take place from the 16th of May to the 11th of July 2022.

Find more information here.

ENROL NOW!

 

 

underwater ray of light

Survey for Nautical Companies to Understand Potential of Innovative Marine Robotics

Blue Roses is an EU funded project, developed by a consortium of research institutions and companies (Navigo and Aninver – IMC Worldwide among them), to use state-of-the-art marine robotics to develop innovative and sustainable underwater services for marinas and leisure boats.

The aim of the project is to facilitate access to the underwater environment through the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and associated ICT. This ‘new dimension’ will help marinas attract and grow interest from diversified users. The robots can be used in a variety of functions, including yacht hull monitoring, remote access to underwater sites, monitoring of sea beds and many other applications.
The three scenarios considered by the project, in which we seek to identify and analyze innovative services and business models, are:
1. Remote access to naturalistic and/or cultural underwater sites (Pilot 1)
2. Robotic-based waters and seabed monitoring inside marinas (Pilot 2)
3. Robotic-based monitoring of yacht hulls for security and support to refit and dismantling

This survey is part of the research to understand the potential of innovative marine robotics services and business models. Your collaboration is highly appreciated. Your personal data will only be used for statistical purposes and none of the consortium members will store or further use this information.

Take me to the survey here

grand harbor of valletta malta

Four Mediterranean sovereign wealth funds join forces to make co-investments

Source: Econostrum
Date: 29 March 2022
Four Mediterranean countries have launched a foundation of sovereign wealth funds from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa on Tuesday 29 March 2022 in Malta. The idea was born during the Med 7 Summit in 2019 in Malta from a discussion between the French President and the Maltese Prime Minister. It is now taking shape with a signature between Malta Government Investments (MGI) – which led the work to set it up – the French public investment bank and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE).

« This network of sovereign wealth funds in the region will discuss and share co-investment opportunities, »commented Herald Bonnici, Managing Director of MGI.

The Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo (COFIDES) has also initialled a memorandum of understanding with these three SWFs to become a member of this new network which will be based in Malta. « They are currently key financial players thanks to their stabilising role through medium and long-term investment strategies. COFIDES is also an active member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) and the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Funds network, » says José-Luis Curbelo, President of COFIDES.

Read the full article on the econostrum website
screenshot front cover tourism handbook

Social and economic regeneration of the Mediterranean after the crisis: Shared methods and tools for relaunching a sustainable post COVID-19 tourism model

Source: UfM website
Date:  15 March 2022

Development dynamics and trends in the Mediterranean, as in the rest of the world, have suffered a severe slowdown since 2020. In many cases, they have taken the form of a sharp reversal following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and economic crisis that has ensued. The pandemic crisis has weakened economic sectors that are considered vulnerable as they are more than others influenced by different variables. The Mediterranean basin and the countries of the three continents bordering it have not been spared by the crisis, and in this context one of the hardest hit sectors has been tourism.

Consequently, many of the measures adopted by national governments have focused, on the one hand, on income support for workers in the tourism sector and, on the other, on support mechanisms for the activities linked to the sector (directly or indirectly). At the same time, many Mediterranean countries, especially within the framework of multilateral and supranational initiatives, have been preparing recovery plans to tackle the post-pandemic phase and beyond.

Read the full article and download the report

front cover transition pathway for tourism report

EC Transition pathway for tourism published

Source: EC.europa.eu website
Date: February 4, 2022

Following the 2021 Updated Industrial Strategy and given the many challenges faced by the tourism industry and the major impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism ecosystem was the first industrial ecosystem to work on a transition pathway.

The extensive stakeholders co-creation process began in June 2021 with a targeted consultation on possible scenarios for transition. Altogether over 30 workshops and meetings were held with stakeholders to further brainstorm and elaborate the ideas.

The transition pathway identifies 27 areas of measures for the green and digital transition, and for improving the resilience of EU tourism. It calls for more circular and environmentally friendly services in tourism, enhancing data sharing for more innovative services, and improving accessibility of services, among others.

During a tourism-dedicated spotlight event on 8 February, during the EU industry days, the Commission and stakeholders will discuss the transition pathway and the next co-implementation steps.

Document

Transition pathway for tourism

rusty can on sandy sea floor

Combating marine litter in the Mediterranean through an integrated and strategic management approach : launch of the Plastic Busters CAP project

Source: UfM secretariat
Date: 27 January 2022

Marine litter, the vast majority of which is made of plastics, is globally acknowledged as a major environmental and societal challenge of our time. The Mediterranean is one of the most affected seas by marine litter with more than 130 marine species are affected by debris originating primarily from shoreline activities.

The new project “Plastic Busters CAP:Fostering knowledge transfer to tackle marine litter in the Mediterranean” kicked off today under the umbrella of the UfM initiative “Plastic Busters”, to become an instrument to improve Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), resulting in better local development planning.

Read the full article here