Two thirds of our planet is covered by oceans and seas. If we manage them in a responsible manner, they can provide sources of food, medicine and energy while protecting ecosystems for generations to come. However, in order to make this possible, we need to know more about our seas and oceans. The Commission has therefore presented an Action Plan for Innovation in the “Blue Economy” to help use ocean resources sustainably and drive growth and jobs in Europe.
The Commission action plan for innovation in the “Blue Economy” proposes to:
- Deliver a digital map of the entire seabed of European waters by 2020.
- Create an online information platform, to be operational before the end of 2015, on marine research projects across the Horizon 2020 programme as well as nationally funded marine research, and to share results from completed projects.
- Set up a Blue Economy Business and Science Forum, which will involve the private sector, scientists and NGOs to help shape the blue economy of the future and share ideas and results. A first meeting will take place in the margins of the 2015 Maritime Day event in Piraeus, Greece.
- Encourage research, business and education actors to map out the needs and skills for tomorrow's workforce in the maritime sector by 2016.
- Examine the possibility of major players from the research, business and education community to form a Knowledge and Innovation Community (or KIC) for the blue economy after 2020. KICs, part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) can stimulate innovation in multiple ways, for example by running training and education programmes, reinforcing the path from research to the market and setting up innovation projects and business incubators.
Download the action plan here - Communication from the Commission: Innovation in the Blue Economy: realising the potential of our seas and oceans for jobs and growth - COM(2014) 254/2 (13/05/2014)
For more information
- Innovation in the Blue Economy: Realising the potential of our seas and oceans for jobs and growth:http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/marine_knowledge_2020/index_en.htm
- MEMO/14/336 : Questions and Answers on innovation in the blue economy
- MEMO/14/337: Blue Economy Innovation: examples of EU marine research
- Brochure on EU research projects for the 'Oceans of Tomorrow' (PDF file) http://ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/pdf/ocean-of-tomorrow-2014_en.pdf
- Horizon 2020: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/
- Blue growth in the EU - a set of studies:https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/maritimeforum/en/community/msexperts/articles/blue-growth-eu-set-studies
Source: European Commission (link)