Opportunities and prospects for the development of blue business in the Black Sea region

Under the frame of the 4BIZ Project, on the 29th of February, 2024, it was organized the Regional Brokerage event „Boosting Black Sea Blue Biz – 4BIZ”, in Constanta.  The event gathered entrepreneurs, representatives of innovative companies, start-ups and stakeholders from Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Greece and France, including regional development agencies, chambers of commerce, innovative clusters, universities and support organizations. 

The Ukrainian delegation headed by Olena Zhukova, Executive director of the PU “Ukrainian Maritime Cluster”, Ihor Lysytskyi, a member of PU “UMC” Supervisory Board and Cluster member companies MDEM LLC, Gulfstream LLC, C-Job Nikolayev LLC, Amico Digital LLC took part in the event physically and online. Due to the similar format of the event (offline/online), students of the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding from the Faculty of Maritime Economics were able to observe the event. 

The event aimed to offer a framework for B2B, B2G, B2C collaborations by facilitating the exchange of Blue Business ideas, best practices and knowledge in order to identify new directions to be followed for conceiving successful entrepreneurial activities.  

With spoke a welcome speech at the opening panel Prof. Eden MAMUT, 4BIZ Project Coordinator Ion MOCANU, President, Galati Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (online), Sonia KARASAVVIDOU, Project Officer, European Commission, Olena ZHUKOVA Executive Director of the PU “Ukrainian Maritime Cluster”, Mehmet Bozdogan Head of the Project Development and Implementation Unit at Eastern Black Sea Development Agency (DOKA). 



During the speech, the 4BIZproject coordinator informed the participants of the event with the results of the project implementation, at which stage it is and voiced the main policy recommendation for support blue business in the Black Sea region. Namely:  

  • Strengthening the framework for promoting the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship with a deep respect to the marine and coastal environment: the Sikorsky Innovation Challenge model 
  • Establishing and supporting the development of competence centres on blue economy by the involvement of universities and scientific research communities 
  • Highly professional support services for the entrepreneurs and managers of businesses in the field of blue economy 
  • Dedicated/targeted investments funds with expertise in blue economy businesses specific for the conditions of the Black Sea Region 
  • Inter-governmental cooperation for large scale projects as the ferry-line connections between the Black Sea Ports 

 

Sonia KARASAVVIDOU, Project Officer, European Commission (Project Adviser Sustainable Blue Economy) informed about Funding opportunities from European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Agency (CINEA). The key contribution to the Green Deal are:  

The EMFAF action delegated to CINEA will support the EU Green Deal by implementing initiatives in the field of: 

the Union’s Maritime Policy and Sustainable blue economy 

the Common Fisheries Policy 

the International Ocean Governance Agenda 

Budget: €6.108 billion (Shared management: €5.11 billion provided through national programmes; Direct management: €797 million provided by the Commission 

CINEA mission objectives and targets are restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030: 

  • Protect and restore marine and freshwaters ecosystems and biodiversity 
  • Prevent and eliminate pollution of our oceans Seas and waters 
  • Make the Blue Economy carbon-neutral and circular. 

More about opportunities we can find on the next platforms:  

For more detailed information, we invite you to view the recording of the presentation at the link: https://youtu.be/D6sz1mSaSBM 

  

The following organizations were presented during the event: 

Demonstrative center for aquaculture in the Black Sea (ADC), In 2012, at the first meeting of the GFCM Black Sea Working Group (WGBS), NIMRD “Grigore Antipa” Constanta stated its willingness to take over the hosting and coordination of a demonstration aquaculture center in Constanta. At the Meeting on the Establishment of a Demonstrative Center for the Promotion of Sustainable Aquaculture in the Black Sea, in September 2017, Constanta, Romania, it was decided: 

NIMRD “Grigore Antipa” will host and coordinate a demonstration module for the cultivation of mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis). 

SUMAE Trabzon, Turkey, will host and coordinate a demonstrative module of growth and repeated breeding of turbot (Scophthalmus maeoticus) and Black Sea trout (Salmo labrax) 

Central Fisheries Research Institute (SUMAE) The aim of our institute is to investigate aquaculture and seafood in seas especially in Black sea and inland waters in Turkey and to ensure the adoption of research results. Task area of the institute is Black sea, inlandwaters in Marmara and North East Anatolia. Unique studies are being put forth in scientific area by the investigations of the institute as well as practical, feasible information owning economic aspects which contributes to development of the country and the region is presented to those who work in fishing and the cultivation of aquatic products. Also, the institute assists government in incentives for fishing and aquaculture and bans on fishing by the results of investigations; 

Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association (DKiB) is a governmental organization dedicated to catalyzing economic growth in the Eastern Black Sea region of Turkey. Established to address the unique economic landscape of the region, DKiB is committed to enhancing trade opportunities and supporting local businesses.  

LAMAR is fishing farming company floating  net-pen cage structures are located on the North part of Strongyli Islet, West of the Island of Rhodes. Production capacity reaches 300 tones with a processing plant located at Kritinia, Rhodes. LAMAR’s goal is to preserve the integrity of the surrounding ecosystem with environmentally friendly production methods. LAMAR protects the crystal clean blue waters of the area under its mandate, making it not only a sustainable production area but also a unique touristic attraction 

Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea The Common Maritime Agenda (CMA) for the Black Sea is a sea basin initiative to enhance regional cooperation for achieving a sustainable Blue Economy in the Black Sea. It is developed in the broader framework of the Black Sea Synergy. 

The CMA for the Black Sea recognises the need for coordinated approach to address common maritime and blue economy challenges. It is the first initiative of its kind in the region, resulting from a bottom-up process initiated by the countries involved and backed by the European Commission. 

CMA for the Black Sea is a unique cooperation framework for the Blue Economy, reinforcing regional dialogue between participating countries and stakeholders to jointly address the challenges and opportunities of blue economy sectors in the area, ensuring environmental sustainability while fostering growth and promoting blue economy projects. 

The CMA is complemented by its scientific pillar, the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the Black Sea (SRIA), that provides valuable inputs for science-based decision-making.  

With the CMA, the Black Sea region joins the rest of the EU sea basins initiatives in setting a basin-wide initiative for more sustainable, economic growth based on the sustainable use of maritime and marine sectors. 

 

Special attention was paid to funding “Opportunities for business in the blue economy”. The key speaker was Ilze ATANASOVA, Bulgarian Maritime Cluster. 

We suggest you familiarize yourself with some of them:  

 

  1. TRANSITION IN THE FISHERIES SECTOR PILOT PROJECT: FOSTERING ENERGY (Demonstrator of a fishing vessel)

Reference PPPA-2024-FISHVESSELDEMO  

Deadline date 11 June 2024, 17:00 (CEST) 

Budget: EUR 2 200 000, 1 project will be financed Grant: 80% 

In February 2023, the European Commission published the Communication on the Energy Transition of the EU Fisheries and Aquaculture sector, setting a framework for diversification from fossil fuels and improving energy performance. Among the actions identified in the Communication is the need to further test and demonstrate innovations on fishing vessels, including alternative propulsion technologies and other solutions. 

In response to this need, the new call for proposals aims to finance a pilot project that should retrofit a marine fishing vessel to demonstrate the feasibility of the technologies selected and use the vessel as a showcase to promote the results to stakeholders, including fishers, investors, coastal communities, and young people. 

CINEA is organizing a virtual Info Day on this call on 18 March from 14:30 until 16:30 (CET). 

 

  1. EIC ACCELERATOR 2024 The EIC Accelerator is designed for high potential, high risk start-ups and scale-ups developing deep tech. In 2024, the overall budget is €675mn split in Open and Challenge calls.

Grants of max. €2.5mn and /or Equity of max. €15mn 

Short application deadline: Continuous 

Full application deadlines: 13/03/2024 – 03/10/2024 

Open calls are for companies from any industry, while Challenge calls have specific topics you can find below. The EIC Accelerator funding includes a grant component of up to €2.5mn and equity of up to €15mn. 

 

  1. PILOT PRO T: FOSTERING ENERGY TRANSITION IN THE FISHERIES SECTOR (Demonstrator of a fishing vessel)

Reference PPPA-2024-FISHVESSELDEMO Deadline date 11 June 2024, 17:00 (CEST) 

Budget: EUR 2 200 000, 1 project will be financed Grant: 80% 

In February 2023, the European Commission published the Communication on the Energy Transition of the EU Fisheries and Aquaculture sector, setting a framework for diversification from fossil fuels and improving energy performance. Among the actions identified in the Communication is the need to further test and demonstrate innovations on fishing vessels, including alternative propulsion technologies and other solutions. 

In response to this need, the new call for proposals aims to finance a pilot project that should retrofit a marine fishing vessel to demonstrate the feasibility of the technologies selected and use the vessel as a showcase to promote the results to stakeholders, including fishers, investors, coastal communities, and young people. 

CINEA is organising a virtual Info Day on this call on 18 March from 14:30 until 16:30 (CET).  

Ms. Ilze Atanasova also announced the Regional Business Forum «Boosting Black Sea Blue Biz – 4BIZ» on May 9-10 in Varna, Bulgaria 

For more detailed information, we invite you to view the recording of the presentation at the link: 

https://youtu.be/EFteUTHngo4  

 

 

About Funding Support for Cooperative Projects on the Blue Economy in the Sea Basins informed Elpida Besi International Center for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS)  

Regional funding frameworks and programmes in the selected sea-basins: 

  1. Interreg programmes, specific to sea-basins and regions
  1. Other funding frameworks and programmes
  • Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership 
  • Horizon Europe co-funded partnership 
  • Efforts to pool research and innovation investments and align national programmes at pan-European scale, taking into account the sea-basin and Atlantic Ocean dimension 
  • Black Sea: Bulgaria, Romania & Turkey 
  • SwitchersFund 
  • Direct funding & business support services to existing and future green, circular and social entrepreneurs in the Mediterranean region 
  • Mobilizing local investors & enterprise support programmes 
  • European resources to strengthen Mediterranean start-up projects & attract additional funding 

Despite the differences between the sea-basins – a common approach for blue businesses to thrive 

  • Place-based & ecosystem-based approach 
  • Innovation & competitiveness through cooperation between Science, Policy, Society and Business 
  • Need for open and free online database platforms 

For more detailed information, we invite you to view the recording of the presentation at the link: 

https://youtu.be/lmXdLzBpAIM  

   

After Information panel started Brokerage Session on Joint Projects online B2B Meetings. 

Therefore, the Brokerage event gave stakeholders the opportunity to join the B2B cooperation platform, received information about European projects and grant opportunities in the field of Blue Business, including for the purpose of determining new directions that should be followed for successful business activities, and were also able to present their own enterprises at European profile platform.  

Reference: 

The 4BIZ – Boosting Black Sea Blue Biz project aims to develop a collaboration framework that will bring together blue economy stakeholders in EU and eligible non-EU Black Sea countries to identify and tackle local capacity building needs to boost innovation, digitalization and investment in the Black Sea blue economy with the main focus on fisheries and aquaculture, coastal and maritime tourism and maritime transport. 

The project is coordinated by the Black Sea Universities Network and brings together 9 partners directly involved in the implementation Consortium and 17 associated partners from Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Greece and France, including regional development agencies, chambers of commerce, innovative clusters, universities and support organizations. The project is funded by the European Commission, through the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) program, and has a duration of 24 months. 

*This Project has received funding from the European Union’s European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) under Grant Agreement 101077576. 

**Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. 

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