• 30 Jun, 2020
A sustainable ocean economy in 2030: Opportunities and ...

What will the sustainable ocean economy look like in 2030? What are the risks and opportunities facing companies and investors? Will the post-coronavirus recovery help or hinder the ocean’s potential to create economic growth and jobs?

In this report, the World Ocean Initiative assesses the challenges facing key sectors in the ocean economy including seafood, shipping, tourism and renewable energy. We look at the role of banks and investors in financing the transition towards clean, low-carbon technologies, as well as opportunities in data and analytics. Solutions to marine plastic pollution from source-to-sea are analysed, as is the ocean’s potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Drawing on the latest data and in-depth interviews with leading experts in government, business, finance and conservation, this report provides valuable insights for all stakeholders working to achieve a sustainable ocean economy.

    Read More
  • 05 Dec, 2019
The Blue Bioeconomy Forum publishes its European roadma...

The sea has traditionally been a large source of economic prosperity and it offers large potential to contribute to achieving quite a number of Sustainable Development Goals, including life below water, climate action, decent work and responsible consumption.

Fisheries and aquaculture have been important sources of food for a long time, but outside these sectors the use of renewable aquatic biological resources to make products is still in the infancy stage. In order to speed up the developments and achieve the potential of this so-called blue bioeconomy, the Blue Bioeconomy Forum (BBF) was set up in 2018 as a platform for entrepreneurs, researchers, government officials and other stakeholders. The aim of the BBF is to develop a common understanding of the current status of blue bioecono- my in Europe and to collectively identify strategic developments, market opportunities, appropriate financial assistance, regulatory actions and research priorities. The BFF seeks to exploit synergies between blue bioeconomy sectors which can benefit from the innovative and optimal uses of aquatic biomass, by sourcing biomass for a particular purpose (e.g. for high-value applications such as pharmaceuticals), but also by valorising by-products and ecosystem services.

In the past year and a half the BBF organised a process of interaction with more than 300 stakeholders including a starting event in December 2018 in Amsterdam and a roadmapping conference in Brussels in June 2019. The focus of their activities was on better identifying the wide range of initiatives in the sector, identifying drivers and hurdles for the development of the sector, and defining ways forward. Now they are presenting this Roadmap for the blue bioeconomy that should help the blue bioeconomy fulfil its potential and flourish. 

    Read More
  • 05 Dec, 2019
Blue Economy Window call

On 25 November, the Executive Agency for SMEs organised an information day for the launch of the "Blue Economy Window" call that has a total budget of €2.5 million.

Watch the event online  

Under the 2019 call, organisations can get between €700,000 and €2,500,000 for their projects. Any for-profit SME based in the EU (single participant or a member of a consortium) can apply.

The Information Day was also an opportunity take advantage of the match-making session, meet your potential partners, stakeholders or discuss your project directly with our project advisors. Check the whole agenda and also see the event presentations

For further information, visit our funding opportunities page here and also check the call's FAQs and the general EMFF FAQs

    Read More
  • 27 Nov, 2019
Decisive steps towards a new fishing governance and pro...

The 43rd General Fisheries Commission for Mediterranean (GFCM) Annual Session attended by 24 countries took place in Athens from 4 to 9 November 2019. The 15 recommendations and resolutions, proposed by the European Union, were adopted by consensus with the crucial support of the GFCM Secretariat.  These adoptions constitute an important step towards the full implementation of a new fisheries governance in Mediterranean and in the Black sea, in accordance with the objectives established by the MedFish4Ever (2017) and Sofia (2018) declarations, as well as the regional plan of action for small-scale fisheries (2018).

Historical management plans will help protecting iconic species, such as turbot in the Black Sea, red coral in the Mediterranean, blackspot seabream in the Alboran sea, demersals in the Adriatic, deep-water shrimps in the Strait of Sicily. These plans are based on the principles of transparency and traceability that will allow, in particular, to implement catch certificates and joint inspections. Management measures concerning the composition, maintenance, identification and retrieval of fish aggregating devices (FADs) were endorsed to better asses their impact on dolphinfish.

The annual session also focused its effort on protecting cetaceans and vulnerable species and ecosystems with the adoption of resolutions mitigating by-catches and preventing significant adverse effects of fishing activities. A working group on new technologies will focus on the issues of gear selectivity and mitigation of by catches.

The fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities was also enhanced through the better categorisation of cases of non-compliance, the launching of pilot projects on the use of electronic logbook and on the implementation of a centralised vessel monitoring system (VMS) for all GFCM areas of competence. In addition, all riparian countries are invited to share information about their fishing access agreements. In this same vein, the GFCM Secretariat will map all the conservation and control measures implemented by the riparian countries for protecting the fishing restricted areas.

The results of the second performance review of the GFCM has shown  impressive progress since 2014, notably in terms of conservation, data collection and management plans. They underlined also the efficiency of the GFCM Secretariat. However, they highlighted the need for better monitoring, control and surveillance measures for fighting against IUU and clear enforcement of the decisions adopted.

GFCM has also established the calendar of events for next year:

  • High level meeting (June 2020, Algiers) for the adoption of the new GFCM Strategy for the five-year period (2021-2025)
  • High-level conference on the follow-up of the Sofia declaration (October 2020, Georgia)
  • 44TH GFCM Annual Session (November 2020, Tirana)
  • High-level conference on the review of the MedFish4Ever initiatives (2021, Greece)

More information in the Fisheries section of the European Commission.

    Read More
  • 15 Nov, 2019
EU launches a Blending Facility to support sustainable ...

The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) launched today a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Blending Facility. It seeks to promote the participation of private sector investors and financial institutions in projects contributing to the environmental sustainability and efficiency of transport in Europe.

€198 million are made available in the form of grants to support Blending Operations. These operations are a combination of grants and/or financial instruments from the EU budget and financing from Implementing Partners (via a loan, debt, equity or any other repayable form of support).

A virtual information day on the rolling call will take place on 5 December 2019.

What projects are eligible for funding?

The rolling call for proposals supports two priorities of the CEF Transport multi-annual work programme for 2014-2020, with an indicative budget of €99 million each:

  • Deployment of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)
  • Alternative fuels for transport

This innovative blending mechanism has been devised to make sure that projects selected for grant support are bankable with a proven maturity.

Who can apply?

Two types of applicants can submit their proposal:

  • One or more Member States
  • With the agreement of the Member State(s) concerned, international organisations, joint undertakings, or public or private undertakings or bodies established in an EU Member State supported by financing from an Implementing Partner.

How to apply?

Project promoters must engage first with an Implementing Partner (public financial institutions), which performs an initial screening of each project to be potentially supported by financing from the Implementing Partner, in order to be included in the CEF Transport Blending Facility’s Project Pipeline.  The Implementing Partner will then engage with the project promoter to conduct the necessary appraisal to obtain the approval of the Implementing Partner’s governing bodies for the project, included in the CEF Transport Blending Facility’s Project Pipeline. The appraisal results are summarised in the Project Report and Eligibility Check List, which will become part of the application file.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the first Implementing Partner and will be joined soon by other entities, such as national banks. The list of all Implementing Partners of the CEF Transport Blending Facility is published on the call page.

Please address all questions related to this rolling call to the call helpdesk.

    Read More