Blue and Green Growth Communities joint event Transition towards blue and green economies in the Mediterranean
Blue and Green Growth joint event
19th & 20th September 2019
Committee of the Regions, Brussels
The “Transition towards blue and green economies in the Mediterranean” event was a joint event organised by the Blue Growth and the Green Growth Communities Interreg Med. The event has represented a significant milestone as it marked the end of the first implementation period and bridges to the upcoming one.
The Green and Blue Growth communities, are two of the 8 thematic communities which support the implementation of the Interreg Med strategy with their networks of: 14 projects working on sound and innovative management of natural resources and 6 projects working on sustainable blue economy matters respectively. Both innovative communities have been launched 3 years ago.
The 2-day event held in Brussels gathered about 150 members of both communities together with a wide diversity of institutional and private sector stakeholders, such as: European Institutions, academia, NGOs, Public Authorities and thematic communities of projects in order to exchange, strengthen the links for future cooperation and tackle the important topic of ensuring capitalisation and transferring of results beyond projects implementation. Certainly, the “Transition towards blue and green economies in the Mediterranean” has represented a significant milestone as it marked the end of the first implementation period and bridges to the upcoming one.
On the first day, the “EU Green deal” was introduced and the need for new approaches reinforcing innovation, circular economy practices and blue & green business models was highlighted. The key role of territorial cooperation for a sustainable development was also stressed out. At the time of talking about Blue Economy, reference was made to the overall cooperation promoted between Mediterranean countries and the existence of a structured dialogue which led to the establishment of a “Blue economy working group”.
On the second session, addressed to fostering business innovation and access to finance, some projects were emphasized at the time of talking about business innovation such as the “4 Helix approach” and the “Pelagos project”. In particular, the “Pelagos project” shared the good practice of promoting a network of clusters –composed of 7 national hubs- as a matching platform to connect SMEs, enterprises and NGOs in order to promote innovation and new business ideas.
Education and awareness raising to and for sustainability were the main subjects from the third session and finally, during the last session of the day addressed to policy recommendations for a green and blue economy in the Mediterranean, the need for trans-boundary and cross-sectorial cooperation for policy change was encouraged through co-creation and co-responsibility for the elaboration of effective policy recommendations.
For instance, the RE-LIVEWASTE project, from the Green Growth Community, explained how they looked for innovative solutions involving and supporting local stakeholders and tried to reduce the environmental impact by generating valuable by-products on local market. At the same time, the MAESTRALE project, belonging to the Blue Growth Community, insisted on education as a key element for sustainability and the need to educate on sustainability issues if we want to skip to a more sustainable world economy. Finally, the need to raise awareness was also considered as a key issue for a bluer and greener future. On this issue, the “Blue energy labs” which involved population in the feasibility studies were presented as a good practice.
On the second day, both communities addressed inherent issues in a more sectoral way and presented their results, policy outcomes and recommendations, with the aim to boost synergies and to ensure their transfer to the Communities’ second implementation phase.
The joint event ended with a common session which was the occasion to highlight the main results of Blue and Green Growth projects to reinforce the approach between blue and green economies and the attractiveness of both communities.
The objective of the event was successfully achieved, thanks to the creation of synergies among Mediterranean projects funded by EU programmes and the participants, who have been encouraged to get involved in Blue and Green Economies sectors.
The InnoBlueGrowth project’s main objective is to ensure the communication and capitalisation of the different thematic projects’ outcomes dealing with blue economy issues in the Mediterranean region in order to increase their impact towards common identified targets.
The InnoBlueGrowth Project counts with a €1,47 million funding (of which €1,25M of EU co-funding) in the framework of the transnational cooperation programme Interreg Med.
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