EU DG MARE Workshop on strategic cooperation on Blue Growth in the North Sea

The workshop sought to identify the need for and potential priority areas for strategic public - private cooperation harnessing Blue Growth economic opportunities in the North Sea. The day-and-a-half programme addressed the challenges of identifying joint priorities, mobilising and involving businesses, cooperation tools and forms of assistance (other than finance), investment platforms, etc. to support and accelerate strategic cooperation.

The Marine Training Platform was present at the workshop as UGent representative together with the Greenbridge incubation centre. As educational institute and knowledge centre we assisted in generating the priority themes for future transnational cooperation. One of those was focussed on skills & technologies with multi-use applications for Blue Growth value chains. It is by exploiting the potential for applying new methods (e.g. big data applications), land - sea technology and economic ‘cross - overs’ and renewing the skills base that Europe will maximize the entrepreneurial potential of the blue economy.

Several ideas were put forward to mobilise business in transnational cooperation

  •    Intern-ship programme (ERASMUS type) for young employees in blue growth sectors
  •     Summer schools for businesses in blue growth topics (e.g. University of Ghent Blue Growth summer school)
  •     Develop a knowledge and innovation community type model for triple helix cooperation in blue growth for the North Sea