On June 30th, the auditorium of the One Sustainable Ocean, which took place under the 2nd United Nations Oceans Conference (UNOC) 2022, hosted the Blue Business and Innovation for a Sustainable Use of the Ocean. This event, organized by the Directorate-General for Maritime Policy, as the Blue Growth Programme Operator of the EEA Grants 2014-2021, aimed to demonstrate the preliminary results of the Programme and of some of the projects funded in the area of Business Development, Innovation and SMEs, and how they contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, in particular the SDG14: Life Below Water.
Secretary-General of Fórum Oceano, Rubén Eiras, started the session with a few welcome words to all participants. The opening session was attended by the Norwegian Ambassador to Portugal, Tove Bruvik Westberg, followed by the interventions of the Head of the National Focal Point, Susana Ramos, and the Deputy Director for Maritime Policy, Conceição Santos. In her intervention, Conceição Santos declared that "Portugal and the donor countries share the same global agenda for sustainable development with a special attention to the Ocean sustainable management and a sustainable blue economy ", also stating that the Blue Growth Programme, despite being focused on business creation, supports transversal projects on marine biodiversity, giving examples of how these fit into SDG14. It was also highlighted, however, that the Programme goes far beyond this goal, financing projects dedicated to the marine food value chain (aligned with SDG2), in the area of blue biotechnology (aligned with SDG3) and on the theme of marine renewable energies (aligned with SDG7 and SDG13).
The promoters of the funded projects continued with their presentations, being notorious the diversity of areas covered by the Programme: aquaculture and traceable fish, marine pollution, ocean observation and mapping, management, protection, conservation and reconstruction of the marine and coastal ecosystem, automation, robotics, technologies, and marine renewable energies.
Representing the various themes, the following projects were present:
At the closure session, José Maria Costa, Secretary of State of Maritime Affairs, emphasized the importance of the Blue Growth Programme and the projects financed to promote a healthy Ocean that enhances the development of the Portuguese blue economy, aligned with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
Watch the photo gallery about the event.