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On June 16, 2020, the Interreg MED project Blue Deal held its first virtual Blue Deal Testing Lab which involved 1 participants from 37 Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Croatia, and Malta). Participants were coming from universities, sectoral agencies, business support organizations, SMEs, interest groups and national public authorities.

The Blue Deal Testing Labs are 2 virtual workshops where partners cooperate to develop and test Blue Energy (BE) design and planning processes and implement open innovation initiatives for BE deployment in the Mediterranean Area. The first Lab focused on Malta with the partners discussing the possibility of including BE in maritime and coastal spatial planning.

The Blue Deal Labs, on the other hand, are events conceived to increase the knowledge related to the possibilities offered by the exploitation of marine energies and include participatory activities to develop concrete cooperation mechanisms between SMEs, public authorities, knowledge institutions and civil society, in line with MED investment priorities.

Blue Deal is cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for the Pre-Accession Assistance Fund, with a budget of 2,8 million euros. It is made up of 13 partners coming from the Mediterranean countries mentioned above.

According to the University of Siena professor and project coordinator, Simone Bastianoni, the Blue Deal is a continuation of the Interreg MED projects MAESTRALE and PELAGOS and aims to use the results obtained during the implementation of these projects, in order to show that the energy transition taking into account GEs is possible.

This European project tries to increase innovative networks in the BE sector, establish links and synergies between SMEs, public institutions, universities, research centers, etc. and the general public to establish transnational and regional alliances. Its main objective, though, is to create a favorable environment for BE investments and to develop sustainable actions in the Mediterranean economy.

To do this, over 32 months, the 13 project partners will carry out different actions for the inclusion and deployment of Blue Energy in maritime planning and governance, as well as overcoming technical and administrative restrictions in this area.

In addition, 3 Blue Deal Labs are planned (virtual or face-to-face when current circumstances allow it) to increase knowledge related to the possibilities offered by the exploitation of marine resources through the different technologies available; 9 Open Days to present the results of the project in a non-technical way to the general public, an International School Contest and 2 Business Forums.

Therefore, various Open Innovation activities will be carried out to support innovative companies and organizations in this field, through "challenges" that will allow them to present their possible solutions to a series of real challenges.

To learn more about the project, please click hereor contact the following e-mails: