Smart Specialisation and Blue biotechnology in Europe
This science for policy report evidences the great potential of the Smart Specialisation approach applied in the context of maritime-oriented policies. Specifically, the report analyses the blue emerging sectors of aquaculture, algae and micro-algae, confirming that marine technology offers innovation potential being a multidisciplinary, knowledge and capital intensive technology. Territorially, although Blue biotechnology offers major potential in coastal regions, it is observed that non-coastal EU regions also specialise in micro-algae and development of bioactive compounds from marine bio-resources. Accordingly, five different types of regional specialisation profiles were identified, reflecting the territorial and socio-economic diversity of EU regions.
Smart Specialisation Strategies favour the discovery of innovation potential in Europe also in the Blue Biotechnology. This report introduces the smart specialisation activities in the emerging Blue Growth sector of Blue Biotechnology. As a part of the larger Biotechnology sector, the Blue biotechnology aims to make the existing sector of aquaculture and macroalgae harvesting more efficient and sustainable, and to develop new bio-products and applications from marine bioresources to be used in energy, cosmetics, nutrition, health and manufacturing. 12 countries and 53 regions in the EU present linkages to the Blue biotechnology in their Smart Specialisation Strategies. A comprehensive screening of EU supported interventions in the funding period 2014-2020 showed that 238.6 M EUR of EU funds have been invested in 182 projects and initiatives related to Blue biotechnology with a total budget of 336 M EUR.