European Commission has earmarked €8 million to help developers test novel products and services in high-potential emerging blue economy sectors, including ocean renewable energy.
Funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the announced funding is part of a larger €14.5 million investment initiative to further promote sustainable blue growth across the EU.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “At the Our Ocean conference in Malta, the European Union led by putting the blue economy on the agenda for the first time. Today we launch a €14.5 million investment initiative for green projects to safeguard our marine ecosystems. On ocean energy, tackling marine litter, and along Mediterranean coastlines, I am delighted that we are so quickly following up on our Our Ocean pledges.”
Aside from €8 million set aside for start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in blue economy sectors, further €2 million has been allocated to fight the growing challenge of marine litter.
In addition, €3 million will support twinning projects in the Mediterranean Sea, including between maritime training and education institutions, blue economy businesses and local fishing communities.
Finally, €1.5 million is allocated to restoring marine and coastal ecosystems in the Mediterranean, including mitigation of climate change.
The Our Ocean conference, held in Malta on October 5-6, 2017, generated an unprecedented level of commitments: 437 were announced, including € 7.2 billion in financial pledges.
The EU alone announced 36 commitments which amounted to over €550 million.