Articles

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

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

slide l

WestMED’s Spanish National Hub shares valuable insights at the EU Macro Regional Strategies week

On the 10th of March 2022, the Spanish National Hub of the WestMED Initiative took part as speaker at a workshop organized by DG MARE and DG REGIO within the Macro Regional Strategies week (7 to 11 March 2022). The workshop, entitled as “S3 interregional cooperation on sustainable blue economy: Cross fertilisation among MacroRegional Strategies and Sea Basin Strategies” took place on thursday, 10 March 2022  from 11:00-12:30 CET with the aim of discussing “How to promote concrete cross fertilisation actions also through the support of the S3 thematic platform on Sustainable Blue Economy”.

The event consisted on some short presentations from various speakers from EUSAIR, WestMED Initiative and Atlantic Action Plan and CPMR and ended with a round table where speakers discussed about what concrete activities the thematic platform for sustainable blue economy could develop in order to support S3 approach within the macro regional and sea basin strategy level as well as at project level.

The intervention for the WestMED and Atlantic was entitled as “Challenges and opportunities of S3 interregional cooperation at SBS level. Governance and project dimension” where the Spanish National Hub for the WestMED Initiative and the Atlantic Action Plan, Mrs. Marta Pascual, explained the various challenges and opportunities that rise when using S3 in interregional cooperation within the sea basin strategies. The Spanish National Hub highlighted that innovation must not blindly follow competitiveness logic but must respond to broader regional societal challenges and be an intermediate step towards the longer-term goals of fostering sustainability and inclusiveness. In this sense, S3 can act as a catalyst for building and strengthening regional innovation systems also with the sea basin strategies.

Macro Regional Strategies Week Agenda

 

Marta Pascual at the third EU macro-regional strategies week

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

westmed sttering committee meeting in Rome november 8. 2021

Malta, together with Libya, takes over the WestMED Initiative’s Co-Presidency

After two years of intensive work, Italian and Libyan Co-Presidency representatives hand over the WestMED Co-Presidency to Malta

The 14th WestMED Steering Committee (WMSC) meeting took place on November 8, 2021, in the premises of the Italian Villa Farnesina (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and online. The meeting provided the opportunity for the WMSC to evaluate the implementation of the initiative, as well as to reflect on the outcomes of the outgoing Italian-Libyan co-presidency, and on introducing the future Maltese-Libyan co-presidency.

As main outcomes, Daniele Bosio (Italian WestMED Co-Presidency) presented a stock-taking of the last two years of intensive work  – which concentrated on 3 thematic areas: green shipping, clusters and aquaculture -, and welcomed the new Maltese Co-Presidency with a message of encouragement.

The representative of the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Ebejer Shaun Patrick, lead coordinator in Malta when it comes to Integrated Maritime Policy, shared the approach to the work to be carried out in conjunction with Libyan partners during the incoming Maltese Co-Presidency.

The main message presented was that of continuation with the “excellent work carried out so far, through the development of concrete measures and mechanisms to help promote the Blue Economy vision and boost worldwide competitiveness of the Mediterranean”. According to the Maltese representatives, “this vision needs to be based on a framework which supports all the states involved, and takes into consideration the specificities of the whole region”.

The new Maltese-Libyan Co-Presidency outlined their priorities for the next two years, including:

  • Decarbonisation and greening of the maritime transport sector
  • Sustainable fishing and aquaculture development
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Maritime clusters
  • Ocean literacy and Blue Skills

The WMSC includes national coordinators from the relevant ministries from participating countries (France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia), the European Commission and the Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat, as well as observers from International Organizations and financial institutions. Their role is to ensure operational coordination, guidance and necessary support to ensure the initiative’s expected results are achieved.