On 28 September and 3 October, three “Blue labs” were organised in Trieste and Monfalcone for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which are active in traditional and emerging sectors of Blue Economy in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region. Interested MSMEs working in the fields of Coastal protection, Boatbuilding and Maritime transport, met to discuss innovation needs of targeted MSMEs as a first step towards finding appropriate technological solutions.
The three gatherings were organised in the framework of the BLUE_BOOST project by the Central European Initiative – Executive Secretariat, in cooperation with the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS), ARIES and Mare FVG.
These thematic events allowed for presenting the overall opportunities provided by BLUE_BOOST, as well as for launching a coaching programme specifically designed for MSMEs, which represent the final beneficiaries of project activities. Indeed, Blue labs succeeded in identifying some of the innovation challenges operators active in coastal protection, boatbuilding and maritime transport are facing.
These will be tackled in the context of upcoming events, namely three Blue workshop scenarios and one Blue Hackathon, where MSMEs will have the chance to find suitable Knowledge Providers (RD&I bodies and “new innovation agents” such as fablabs, innovation hubs, living labs, etc.) to jointly address pre-identified challenges in an international setting. As an additional opportunity for MSMEs, in 2019, the BLUE_BOOST transnational Call for innovation vouchers will provide small grants (9.000 EUR) for co-developing innovation projects with Knowledge Providers. Furthermore, the project will offer the possibility of participating in international cross-field visits and in a brokerage event taking place in spring 2019.
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BLUE_BOOST is funded under the Interreg ADRION Programme. It aims at stimulating, coaching and funding innovation within traditional and emerging Blue Economy sectors in the Adriatic-Ionian region. It is intended to enhance territorial cohesion among 7 ADRION maritime regions of Italy, Croatia, Albania and Greece, and to boost quadruple-helix potential through an open source, knowledge sharing, and community-based approach, resulting from cooperation between MSMEs, new innovation agents and RD&I bodies.