The event was attended by the Head of National Focal Point of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism, Susana Ramos, who presented the EEA-Grants 2014-2021 in Portugal.
The Director-General for Maritime Policy, Ruben Eiras and the Head of Programming Department, Sandra Silva, presented the EEA-Grants Programme 2014-2021 "Blue Growth", under the Programme Operator perspective and high lightening the total amount available for the Blue Growth Programme: 44.7 M€.
Following the presentations, the EEA-Grants 2014-2021 Blue Growth Programme Implementation Agreement was signed by the DGPM’s Programme Operator representative, Ruben Eiras and the Head of National Focal Point, Susana Ramos.
The Closing Session was attended by the Ambassador of Norway in Lisbon, Anders Erdal, the Minister of Planning, Nelson de Souza and the Minister of Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, praising strongly the relations of friendship and cooperation between Portugal and the donor countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), as well as the financial instrument of EEA-Grants 2014-2021 in Portugal, specifically the Blue Growth Programme, based on the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism, in which the Ministry of Sea is responsible through the DGPM, as Program Operator.
The Blue Growth Programme aims to support projects that promote the sustainable sea economy and the blue growth, giving priority to SMEs, also supporting research, science and technology, as well as education and professional training.
This Programme will also allow Stakeholders and Portuguese companies at several areas of the maritime sector to assess the establishment of new business partnerships and future business between Portugal and Donor Countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The Blue Growth Programme also has a bilateral objective of strengthening cooperation between Portuguese entities and Donor Countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) to achieve a sustainable Blue Growth.
For this occasion, the 1st Call dedicated to Business, Development, Innovation and SMEs was also launched. The total Grant Amount for this Call is: € 14,200,000.
The main objective of this Call is to finance companies that develop, apply and market innovative products and technologies, this Call is also intended to encourage cooperation between companies and research institutions in order to promote innovation based on user-oriented research (TRL 4-9, in line with the Horizon 2020 guidelines).
In order to increase the value creation and competitiveness of Portuguese companies, a number of sectors will be supported, such as: fishing / aquaculture (development of innovative products and technologies in the fish farming sector), commercial ports, ocean renewable energy sector - marine technology including offshore infrastructures, robotics, technologies for deep sea resources and mapping, shipbuilding (development of innovative products and technologies), blue biotechnology and environmental monitoring and maritime surveillance.
The main focus is to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of Portuguese companies in the Blue Growth area, as well as future business solutions, based on the principles of Disruptive Sustainability of the Blue Economy, as well as the concept to describe the sustainable use of sea resources for economic growth, better living conditions and jobs, the health of the marine ecosystem, and it is imperative to promote sustainable business in the naval and maritime sectors.
The event took place in an environment of true business cooperation and friendship between the representatives of Donor Countries and Portugal.