Building the blue biotechnology community in the Mediterranean


B-Blue is a strategic project of Priority Axis 4 of Cross-Border Cooperation Program Strengthening Mediterranean Governance (Interreg Mediterranean), on the topic: Strengthening the capacity to act and promote dialogue and synergy among stakeholders I the value chain of the blue bioeconomy in the Mediterranean.

Main objectives are:
• Coordinated capacity building in the blue bioeconomic areas;
• Activation of innovations in the value chains of blue biotechnology.

Project description

Ten partners from eight Mediterranean countries and more than 300 experienced stakeholders in the field of blue bioeconomy, including universities, research centres, national and local institutions and governing bodies, business support organizations and Med multilateral organizations, will be working together for 22 months to create the Blue Biotechnologies (BBt) community in the Mediterranean. The exploitation of marine bio-resources through biotechnological solutions is a field with massive potential for innovation and economic growth, but at the same time it is a relatively young discipline that requires excellent coordination of key international factors. Therefore, the B-Blue project aims to establish a framework for increasing international coordination of key stakeholders in the Mediterranean blue technology, which will consequently lead to an increase in the utilization of joint innovation capacity.

The framework of international coordination that the project wants to create is based on an inclusive 'Quintuple Helix' innovation model that always includes a social and environmental perspective in decision-making.

The implementation of the mechanisms of this coordination will be based on common, targeted knowledge that will help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – creating business opportunities for the blue economy.

Project objective

The overall project objective is to design, develop and strengthen the capacity of local, regional, national and international frameworks, both horizontal and vertical, and to bring together and coordinate different stakeholders in the field of blue technology (BBt) of the Mediterranean to meet common challenges.

Specific objectives are:
• Engaging and bringing together the blue biotechnology (BBt) innovation community to empower it through innovation capacity and create new business opportunities in the BBt area;
• Promoting an inclusive, participatory territorial coordination mechanism with as many stakeholders as possible that encourages macro-regional international cooperation in specific value chains in the field of blue biotechnology (BBt);
• Improving the coordination of the Blue Biotechnology (BBt) community with policy makers and program holders to promote the alignment of the various EU cohesion programs and innovation policy programs in the BBt sector in the Mediterranean;
• The ultimate goal is to define, design and implement a structured framework (which will include MENA countries from the first step, i.e. the countries of the Middle East and North Africa) that will facilitate access to new business opportunities and multilateral initiatives for the established BBt community for funding, but also directing funding programs and policies.

Project partners

1. National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development - ENEA, Italy; leading partner
2. National Institute of Biology - Marine Biology, Slovenia
3. Apulia Region - Service Staff Structure to supporting the Coordination of International Policies, Italy
4. Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments - HAMAG-BICRO, Republic of Croatia
5. Science and Technology Park, Montenegro
6. National Research Council - Institute for Biological Resources and Marine Biotechnologies, Italy
7. Hellenic Centre for Marine Research - Institute of Oceanography, Greece
8. Pôle Mer Méditerranée – Toulon Var Technologies, France
9. University of Murcia - Information and Communications Engineering Department, Spain
10. National Innovation Agency – ANI, Portugal

Associated project partners are:
1. Blue Italian Growth Technology Cluster, Italy
2. Cluster Maritime Tunisien, Tunis
3. Businessmed, Tunis
4. SPIRIT Slovenia, Slovenia
5. Murcia Region - Directorate General of Research & Scientific Innovation, Spain
6. Marche Region, Italy
7. Institute de la Mer de Villefranche (IMEV), France
8. Ministry of Science of Montenegro, Montenegro
9. BIOCentre – Republic of Croatia
10. Rudjer Boskovic Institute - Republic of Croatia
11. UNIMED – Mediterranean University Union, Italy
12. Municipality of Durres, Albania
13. General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Greece

Project value

• Overall project value is EUR 1,499,916.01, of which EUR 1,242,624.38 are ERDF grants and EUR 32,304.25 IPA grants.

EUR 189,691.51 are available to HAMAG-BICRO.

Project duration:  22 months (01.09.2020– 30.06.2022)

Main project website: https://b-blue.interreg-med.eu/