In the framework of the “European Maritime Day in my Country”, the project MISTRAL organized the National Learning Camp, entitled “Business Opportunities in Blue Growth: networking & synergies between local businesses. Blue Growth in the RIS3 Smart Specialization Strategy”.

The last 21st of April 2021, in the framework of the “European Maritime Day in my Country” held by the Region of Crete in collaboration with the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), the project MISTRAL organized an online Greek National Learning Camp, entitled “Business Opportunities in Blue Growth: networking & synergies between local businesses. Blue Growth in the RIS3 Smart Specialization Strategy”.

This event was also the opportunity to highlight some of the main tools of the MED Blue Growth projects, whose efforts for transferring and capitalizing are being supported by the Blue Growth Community (BGC).

In this regard, the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the Greek representative of the Blue Growth Horizontal Project, presented the tools developed by two of the MED BGC’s projects, i.e. BLUE CROWDFUNDING and iBlue. During the event, two more MED BGC’s projects, the MISTRAL project -organizer of the event- and the 4helix+ project, presented their tools as well.

The Learning Camp, performed in Greek and addressed mostly to Cretan SMEs active in the fisheries and tourism sectors, was structured in three sessions.

  • During the first session, the MISTRAL project explained its main goals, the project’s “Blue Prototype” contest and two of the Greek contest’s winners were invited to present their projects’ ideas (i.e. a tool for monitoring coastal erosion and a traditional fishery practice).
  • The second session focused on “Entrepreneurship in Blue Growth: networking & financing opportunities”, was the scenario for NTUA, on behalf of the BGC, to present in detail the “Crowdfunding scheme” tool developed by the BLUE CROWDFUNDING project and “the innovative business model for sustainable SMEs” (3-PBM methodology) of the iBlue project. Moreover, during this session, the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce & Industry (TCCI) introduced the “innovation vouchers” of 4helix+ project and presented some of the innovative projects funded through this tool in order to give examples of SMEs innovative ideas in the blue sector.
  • The third session elaborated the theme of ‘Smart Specialization Strategy’ (RIS3) in the Region of Crete and the perspective of implementing blue economy priorities in the next programming period. HCMR shared specific proposals for RIS3 in the island of Crete, that could also be introduced in the next operational programmes planning, and made reference to the common recommendations prepared by HCMR and NTUA, based on the results of MISTRAL, BLUE GROWTH and BLUEMED projects, on fisheries, aquaculture, coastal and maritime tourism, marine renewable energy, environmental monitoring and management, and marine biotechnology. 


In addition, DG MARE made an intervention to comment on the need for a proper forecasting and prioritization of blue economy in the next period’s Operational Programmes and on the importance of interregional cooperation.

The Learning Camp closed with a mini workshop aiming to the networking of companies in the sectors of ‘Coastal and Maritime Tourism’ and ‘Fisheries and Aquaculture’. The companies attending the event expressed their interest for networking actions and for the development of a cluster of blue enterprises in Crete, in order to promote sustainable practices, to maximize knowledge sharing and awareness and to find potential interest for common activities and projects. 

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