2nd International Meeting on Knowledge and the Blue Economy

InnovAzul is the meeting point for professionals from the Blue Economy sectors to promote innovation, knowledge transfer and the exchange of innovative technological solutions that increase the competitiveness of industry and society.

AquaBioTech Group’s participation allowed for the opportunity to organise B2B meetings, establish strategic alliances and synergies, as well as showcase innovative initiatives, solutions and projects that contribute towards the sustainability of the Blue and Green Economy.

Of relevance was the 9th Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference, having this conference back-to-back with the event brought about essential interaction between various stakeholders (technology demanding companies, administrations, knowledge generators and technological agents) for innovation, socioeconomic development, and employment in the marine-maritime sectors.

The EU Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 was at the heart of the debate, focusing on the political commitments discussed at the Atlantic-Arctic lighthouse event (held in Cork, Ireland) and to implement the agreed mission with concrete measures and actions to protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity, boosting coastal resilience. Subsequently, our project coordinator Ines Boujmil expressed the high interest of SMEs such as AquaBioTech Group in joining the EU Mission, to enhance contributions from different actors and better evolve transdisciplinary efforts.

We also attended the SEA-EU DOC Event, this session included topics related to “Beyond academia: Broadening the career horizons of doctoral students in marine and maritime science in Europe”, allowing us the opportunity to discuss youth engagement from a company perspective. Ines highlighted the possible gaps between the public and private sector, and the inevitable challenges when sustainability scientists simply speak a different language to the private sector. A transdisciplinary approach is therefore essential to involve participatory research with actors outside of the scientific community, in order to address these sustainability challenges.

Last but not least, the SEA-EU and reSEArchEU SUMMIT was a great opportunity to build SEA-EU partnership capabilities and opportunities around the blue economy, showcasing SEA-EU Blue Capabilities, Interconnections in the SEA-EU territories. Attending the last session relating to ‘Research and business relationships’ Ines focused on the importance of being part of the SEA-EU alliance, as this valuable collaboration meets the SDGs specifically related to Life Below Water (SDG 14) and Partnerships (SDG 17), and associated targets for building up multi-stakeholder and public-private partnerships.

Her insights from a scientific and business perspective were invaluable on how to improve company-research centre interaction. Highlighting the need for training, knowledge, and supporting researchers on prioritizing research outside of academia and from a company perspective, the maritime sector has many small and medium businesses, SMEs aligned with blue economy goals that could have a great impact in terms of a bottom-up approach with a strong motivation in shaping the agenda with research bodies and scientists.

Spurring innovation, AquaBioTech Group operates in more than 50 countries driving commercialisation of sustainable aquaculture and fishery technologies thereby successfully bridging the gap between research performing entities and business needs by creating employment and research opportunities for young researchers and ECOPs from all around the world. She concluded that our central corporate unit the Research, Development, and Innovation team is developing and supporting the implementation of internal research projects so as to better shape our contribution to the participatory research and therefor the Blue Economy as a whole.