In every sector of the EU blue economy, except tourism, young people represent less than 10% of total employment. Yet the demand for new skills, entrepreneurship and innovation is high.
The topic was on the agenda of the annual Atlantic Stakeholder Platform conference, the central hub for all those involved in the Atlantic blue economy to meet, cooperate, share information and identify funding and partnerships. The conference was also an opportunity to raise public awareness about the Atlantic Strategy and its action plan.
At this year’s event, political leaders and representatives of maritime clusters, business, academia, donors and investors from across the Atlantic seaboard discussed why a career in the maritime sector matters, how to develop the necessary skills and how to turn ideas into successful business opportunities.
Six innovative entrepreneurs from the Atlantic region proved that the blue economy is actually very attractive for young and dynamic Europeans. They got the opportunity to pitch their projects on offshore renewable energy and clean & digital shipping to potential investors. This is part of “Blue invest”, a successful new initiative from the European Commission to match innovators with potential investors in the marine and maritime sector.
Also at the conference, the Atlantic Project Awards have been awarded to six projects for the outstanding way in which they bring the Atlantic Action Plan to life.
About the Atlantic Strategy
The Atlantic Strategy and its action plan support the marine and maritime economy in the EU Atlantic Ocean area by focusing on a set of key priorities and objectives for the region. The action plan is in its fifth year, having brought forward more than 1200 projects – worth almost 6 billion euros of investment.
Most of the projects target environmental protection and innovation, as well as improved connectivity and social inclusion. The European Union is also allocating over 60 million euros this year and next to research projects in the Atlantic Ocean.
A mid-term reviewSearch for available translations of the preceding link••• of the Atlantic action plan, issued by the Commission in February 2018, showed that the plan could perform even better. The Commission is currently discussing avenues to improve the plan with the Member States and coastal regions by organizing series of workshops in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, UK and France.
More detail about the event
Following the success of the BlueInvest 2018 - a match-making event that brings together innovators and the financial community to boost the economic potential of the ocean while protecting its marine resources - the Commission is now organising a series of Blue Invest events at sea-basin level. The Atlantic basin is the first.
Besides on-stage pitching sessions, the Blue Invest concept covers a business-to-business networking session as well as an exhibition area to showcase the work of key promoters, networks and organizations in the EU Atlantic area.
On day 2 of the event, several workshops presented some of the most remarkable projects currently underway, focusing in particular on blue careers for Atlantic youth. A meeting of the authorities managing EU funds in the Atlantic (ERDF, EMFF, Interreg) highlighted the EU’s contribution to the Atlantic strategy.
With two days devoted to sustainable jobs, competitive skills and careers in the maritime world, the 2018 edition of the Atlantic Stakeholder conference marked another step toward a vibrant blue economy in the EU Atlantic area.