The maritime sectors present a huge potential to support Europe’s post-crisis economic recovery through innovative products and services creating high-value jobs shifting the EU towards the objectives of the Green Deal. However, sustainable maritime sectors still lack financial support, particularly for SMEs, facilitating market entry and scaling up.
The call is to help close this funding gap by supporting the development and market uptake of new products, services and business models in blue economy value chains, allowing pre-commercial innovations and favoring activities generating revenue.
The objectives of this call for proposals are to:
- a) Bring to market new products, services, processes, and business models in blue economy value chains and help advance their market-readiness;
- b) develop sustainable and innovative blue economy in Europe’s sea basins;
- c) de-risk investment in these projects to facilitate their access to other financing schemes for the next stages of their activities.
Proposals should aim at developing business concepts further into a market-ready product, service or process aligned with the blue economy growth strategy.
They should aim to:
- establishing new product, service, processes, business model in the blue economy value chains that contributes to one or more Commission political priorities, with a particular focus on the objectives targeted by the European Green Deal, (biodiversity, circular economy, digital earth and farm to fork strategies and the transition to a climate-neutral economy with reduced carbon and environmental footprint that is competitive on a global scale).
- shifting existing products, services, processes, business model in the blue economy value chains towards the above-mentioned objectives.
Projects are therefore expected to reach Technology Readiness Level9 (TRL) between 6-8.
The blue economy covers economic activities taking place in the marine environment or that use sea resources as an input, as well as economic activities outside the marine environment that are involved in the production of goods or the provision of services that will contribute to those activities. They can also be land-based activities such as, for instance, microalgae production and processing, land-based aquaculture, or similar.
Relevant areas for the blue economy includes:
- the blue bioeconomy — the cultivation, husbandry or capture of living material from fresh or saltwater and activities based on the use or processing of this material;
- digital transformation of ocean and coastal activities;
- renewable energy — including energy from wind, sun (floating), tide, wave and thermal gradients;
- enabling technologies such as sensors, digitisation, electricity transmission equipment, multipurpose platforms;
- production of new products from living or non-living resources that would otherwise be wasted;
- cleaner shipping;
- pollution monitoring, clean-up or management;
- new facilities that support the diversification or energy efficiency of ports;
- sustainable tourism aiming at reducing its carbon footprint or enhancing biodiversity, or efficiently managing resources (water, food and waste) or tourist flows (diversifying offer, addressing seasonality and safety)
Applicants must be exclusively for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, based in EU Member States.
Projects are expected to run for a duration of up to 36 months depending on the scope of the project
The available call budget is EUR 20 000 000. This budget might be increased by maximum 20%. EASME considers that proposals requesting a contribution in the range between EUR 700 000 and EUR 2 500 000 would allow to address appropriately the specific objectives of the Call topic.
Deadline and submission for application
Deadline for application is 16 February at 17 CET. Official documentation can be found here