On 10th and 11th May took place in Athens, Greece, and online, the Conference Business Cooperation on Blue Growth in Europe organized by Innovation Norway and partners from 11 countries, including the Directorate General for Maritime Policy (DGPM), operator of the Blue Growth Programme in Portugal.
The event aimed to discuss the latest expertise, opportunities and ideas for business innovation, green solutions, new technology and alternative energy sources for blue growth with representatives from the marine and maritime sectors across Europe.
The plenary session had more than 330 participants registered, 22 from Portugal, and started with the welcoming words from Magnar Ødelien, Director of EEA and Norway Grants at Innovation Norway followed by a video message of Kostas Fragkogiannis, Greece's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness, and ended with Frode Overland Andersen, Ambassador of Norway to Greece.
The session continued with the presentation of several funding opportunities in Europe, including the EEA and Norway Grants, their objectives, numbers, and the possibility of the implementation of a future mechanism, namely in the business area. The Blue Growth Programmes status across Europe was also emphasized by Margrethe Asserson, Senior Sector Officer from EEA and Norway Grants Secretariat (FMO).
An overview of the blue growth in each country was the following session, with national presentations from Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Romania. Portugal was represented by Sandra Silva, Programming Services Director from DGPM, that highlighted the global results of the calls in the country and identified the Portuguese entities present, project Promotors, that aimed fostering partnerships and identifying business opportunities in this event.
The afternoon was dedicated to two thematic sessions:
- Green Shipping to discuss how to create business in the maritime industry, with new technology, solutions and energy sources including electrification, batteries, hydrogen and ammonia. In this session, Miguel Castro, Senior Pilot from the Port of Sines described the Green Shipping status in Portugal.
- Blue Bioeconomy and Algae Production to discuss how to bring bio-based products, such as algae, seaweed and microorganisms, processes, or services to the market. Elisabete da Costa, Executive Advisor from Bluebio Alliance was the moderated of this session.
In the morning of the next day another two thematic sessions took place:
- Smart Ports to discuss the automation, technology and systems that make ports smart, connected and green.
- Offshore Wind to discuss business and cooperation across all of Europe’s sea basins, both bottom-fixed and floating technologies. In this session, José Pinheiro, Country Manager for Southern Europe from Oceanwinds described the Offshore Wind in Portugal.
After lunch the event continued with the matchmaking (B2B meetings) between participants present in person and online. The project Promotors, that were part of the Portuguese committee, had the opportunity to establish several contacts and hopefully future partnerships.
Watch the video of the session.