Following the WestMED Stakeholder Conference, held on June 22, 2023 in Malta. AquaBioTech Group hosted a side-event titled the “Aquaculture Collaborations in the Mediterranean – Malta” held on June 23, 2023, at AquaBioTech Group premises in Mosta.
This conference was an opportunity to establish various synergies with the AquaWest Working Group (part of the WestMED Initiative). We have presented our on-going projects & initiatives aligned with the WestMED’s Priorities, including FishEUTrust project (Horizon Europe), CIPROMED project (PRIMA-Circular and Inclusive utilisation of alternative PROteins in the MEDiterranean value chains), SwitchMed (UNIDO project), in particular training and capacity Building activities and we had the honour to invite our colleagues from MCST, partners in the BlueMissionMED Mediterranean Lighthouse consortium CSA of the Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030.
A special focus will be dedicated to the Early Career Ocean Professionals ECOP Programme in terms of bridging (Ocean) Research, Innovation and Diversity across Generations of Experts and Stakeholders, in particular shaping a collaboration between the established AquaWest Working Group and ECOPs across the Mediterranean region, in a two-way expertise-sharing. One of the major raised challenges for non-EU is Mobility. To this respect, the ECOP Programme coordinator at the Mediterranean level, Ines Boujmil, established a collaboration with the AquaWest WG to bridge the gap between the two Med shores and facilitate a balanced flow of knowledge and expertise between Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) and Experienced Ocean Professionals (EOPs).
AquaWest partners have presented the objectives and goals of the working group, mainly spinning around promoting knowledge sharing, facilitating policy development, encouraging stakeholder cooperation, creating an information sharing platform and identifying funding sources.
The main outcome of this side-event addressed the specific challenges of the Mediterranean sub-regions, the innovation perspectives, and the partnerships between business ecosystems, academia, research performing organisations, regulatory frameworks and ECOPs.
By the end of this event, a tour of AquaBioTech Group facilities was conducted, followed by a networking session to design future business-research-policy collaboration frameworks.