JRC Active participation at the European Maritime Days’ 2022 Thematic Session 3 on “Sustainable Blue Economy Implementation through Smart Specialisation”

  • 19 May 2022 to 19 May 2022
  • Semi-presential at Pala de André - Viale Europa.

    48122 Ravenna, Italy

The European Maritime Day 2022 was held as a hybrid semi-presential event in Ravenna (Italy) on 19-20 May 2022. Within the Thematic sessions on the “European Maritime Policies” a Thematic Session 3 was organised on “The Sustainable Blue Economy implementation through Smart Specialisation”, where the JRC was featuring the intervention of the JRC Dir.B Director M. Landabaso Alvares.

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Agenda and Presentations

"Smart Specialisation and blue economy" by Mikel Landabaso.

Practical Information

19 May 2022 to 19 May 2022

Semi-presential at Pala de André - Viale Europa.

48122 Ravenna, Italy
Registration Information

Registration closed



The session focused on the implementation of the sustainable blue economy in the context of the EU Sea Basin and Macro-regional Strategies where Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) are a useful tool to further support regional cooperation in transitioning towards a sustainable blue economy, by creating the necessary innovation ecosystems. The discussion highlighted how blue interregional partnerships can facilitate the design, demonstration, scaling up and market introduction of new mature innovative services and products that promote green business models and practices.

The main purpose of the intervention was to present results of the blue economy related work done by the JRC in the frame of the Smart Specialisation in support of the blue economy’s emerging sectors and present future opportunities for the blue economy innovation cooperation in Europe.

Key messages of the JRC presentation are as follows:

  1. ​​​​​​​There is a high potential for blue growth innovation activities across the regions in Europe
  • Blue economy represents an important niche of innovation possibilities for many regions across the EU. One out of five EU regions are specialising in at least one domain related to the blue economy, including e.g. Coastal and Maritime Tourism, Marine Renewable Energy, Marine Biotechnology and Aquaculture, Green shipping and water transport, etc.
  • Supporting innovation in these areas is of particular importance with the aim to facilitate the design, demonstration, scaling up and market introduction of new, innovative services and products that promote green-blue business models and practices.
  • Smart Specialisation activities support policy-makers, regional and national authorities and other stakeholders involved in research and innovation to bridge blue growth investment platforms and regional innovation initiatives.
  1. JRC has been supporting Blue Economy through Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3)
  • Together with DG Mare, JRC has been exploring in topical reports the potential of S3 in emerging sectors such as in the Blue Biotechnology including Aquaculture, Desalination, and in Marine Environmental Protection and Micro-Plastics. JRC has also contributed in these areas to the Annual EU Blue Economy Reports for the years 2019, 2020, 2021, as well as to the upcoming 2022 report.
  • Creation of the innovation ecosystems through supporting of interregional S3 cooperation were put into practice and further forged through the Interregional S3 Partnerships that were until recently managed by the JRC S3 Platform through the three Thematic S3 Platforms (on Energy, Industrial Modernization and Agri-Food). One in particular focuses on the sustainable blue economy, namely the Interregional partnership for Advanced Manufacturing for the Marine Energy Applications involving 16 regions. Moreover, many of the existing 36 thematic S3 partnerships are devoted to supporting regional cooperation in transitioning towards a sustainable economy related also to the marine or maritime aspects.
  • For new partnerships being created around Blue Economy, JRC prepared a self-assessment Toolbox for developing interregional S3 Partnerships, including guidance for the effective development of both the partnership itself and its innovative ideas, in order to pave the way for long-term solutions to improve the effectiveness of the innovation collaboration
  • Interregional S3 Partnerships can also benefit from the new Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) instrument managed by the EISMEA. The aforementioned Toolbox can help partnerships mature in preparations of their applications to the I3.
  • JRC has also been facilitating the implementation of sustainable blue economy strategies in the context of the EU Sea Basin and the EU Macro-regional Strategies through the Smart Specialisation Strategies’ (S3) in the regions and EU Member States involved.
  1. ​​​​​​​JRC will continue to support sustainable Blue Economy as part of the recently launched Partnerships for Regional Innovation
  • The Partnerships for Regional Innovation are a new initiative turning words into actions in the Commission’s endeavour to put innovation at the core of EU policy making, delivering the European Green Deal. They help territories identify local challenges and set place-based directionalities for sustainability and societal wellbeing, and can be a catalyser for connecting local strengths and efforts to new sustainable EU-wide value chains. The Partnerships are launched by JRC and the Committee of the Regions, and supported by both line Commissioners, Gabriel and Ferreira.
  • The Partnerships introduce local missions to coordinate actions, policies and funding instruments under a single steer, and promote region-wide stakeholder engagement, introducing co-creation and working across governmental departments.
  • Inside the Commission the services team-up to mainstream innovation in our policies and ensure we coordinate and promote synergies between strategies (Sustainable Blue Economy Communication, the EU Industrial Strategy, the Innovation Communication, etc.) and funding and financing opportunities (Horizon Ocean Mission, Structural Funds, Financial support Invest EU / BlueInvest,…).
  • In reply to the Call for Pilots, the applications from 3 Member States, 29 single regions (NUTS2 or NUTS3) and from 6 networks of regions representing together around 50 additional regions have been received as shown on the PRI participation map.
  • In support of implementing the Partnerships a PRI Playbook was launched on 17 May to guide the implementation of the PRI Pilots.
  • The regions, Member States and territories across the EU are invited to work together with the Commission and CoR in building synergies across the Blue Economy Policies and Instruments, building on this new integrated territorial approach.
  • This workshop as well as the overall EMD event embodied a very good opportunity for the blue economy stakeholders across Europe to raise the awareness of the S3 related activities in the blue growth sectors - especially the emerging ones, which are the most vividly related to the research and innovation activities, and to re-connect the blue economy innovation community across Europe and beyond.