European Maritime and Fisheries Fund – Call for proposals – Blue Economy SME Window call 2020

EU funding opportunities

The maritime sector presents a huge potential to support Europe’s post-crisis economic recovery through innovative products and services creating high-value jobs. However, businesses in the blue sectors are currently lacking financial support to enter the market and scale up. This call for proposals, therefore, is to help advance the market-readiness of new products, services and business models in blue economy value chains, by closing the existing funding gap.

The objectives of this call for proposals are to:

  1. a) Bring to market new products, services, processes, and business models in blue economy value chains and help advance their market-readiness
  2. b) develop sustainable and innovative blue economy in Europe’s sea basins
  3. c) de-risk investment in these projects to facilitate their access to other financing schemes for the next stages of their activities.

Eligible Activities

Proposals should aim to:

  • establishing new product and/or service and/or processes and/or business model in the blue economy value chains contributing to 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).
  • and/or – shifting existing products and/or services and or processes and/or business model in the blue economy value chains towards the above-mentioned political priorities and objectives.

The proposals should aim at developing business concepts further into a market-ready product, service or process aligned with the applicant’s blue economy growth strategy. Projects are therefore expected to reach Technology Readiness Level9 (TRL) between 6-8.

A non-exhaustive list of 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, corrosion or biofouling resistant materials or coating, 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 supporting the diversification or energy efficiency of ports
  • sustainable tourism aiming at reducing its carbon footprint or enhancing biodiversity, or efficiently managing resources (e.g. water, food and waste) or tourist flows (e.g. diversifying offer, addressing seasonality and safety)


In order to be eligible for a grant, the applicants must:

  • be exclusively for-profit SMEs’ e.g. micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises
  • be legally established 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%. Proposals requesting a contribution in the range between EUR 700 000 and EUR 2 500 000 would allow the specific objectives of the Call topic to be addressed appropriately.


Applications must be submitted by 16 February 2021. Official documentations is available here

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