Maritime Forum

First ways forward for the blue bioeconomy

Published on: Tue, 02/07/2019 - 17:17
Table of Contents
    Around 140 stakeholders were spread around the 10 table-topics set up for the three-rounds of World Café exchanges on the BBF’s proposed Roadmap for the Blue Bioeconomy. By necessity, participants were chosen for their vast experience and diverse backgrounds in the blue bioeconomy, including policymakers, national/regional bodies, industrial platers, and the researcher community.

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    Around 140 stakeholders were spread around the 10 table-topics set up for the three-rounds of World Café exchanges on the BBF’s proposed Roadmap for the Blue Bioeconomy. By necessity, participants were chosen for their vast experience and diverse backgrounds in the blue bioeconomy, including policymakers, national/regional bodies, industrial platers, and the researcher community.

    Delegates were asked to explore and comment on the ways forward in each of the 10 topics from the draft Roadmap, indicating a timeframe and any obvious gaps. Feedback from the sessions will be reported on in more detail in the coming weeks, but what follows is a very brief snapshot of some comments and key words picked up by BBF News during the World Café.

    1) Licences/Permits: Clarify salt- versus fresh-water-related permits and licences; real data and how to scale it is key, provide true perspectives; zoning of seas is an issue especially in terms of harmonisation; so many players/stakeholders involved in sensitive areas, it needs wide acceptance and involvement

    2) Novel food: Need international-level insights (FAO and WHO); global cooperation to help with transitions in the EU; need overview of existing EU-level research, including ensuring the sustainability of novel food; funding and support are key (estimated timeframe = five years); invest in regional specialties (deal with fragmentation/overlap)

    3) Ecosystem services: Better clarification of what’s covered; identify projects and examples as building blocks because so many different ways to approach it; concrete upscaling of innovation needed; agreements on consumer indicators and for monitoring impact; conflicting interest; improve policy cohesion between agriculture and marine

    4) Understanding finance/skills and qualifications: Communication gaps and raise awareness of the needs, with more participation by industry; poor industry understanding on what/how to market innovative products; clearer technical skills; leadership and data in different sectors needed; new professions, training and education for ‘all ages’, not just young people, linked to awareness; Erasmus+ and other programmes could be tuned to blue bioeconomy topics; importance of lifelong learning and vocational training

    5) Funding mechanisms: Co-investment important; blended finance discussions; a lack of or very poor information on funding especially for SMEs; EMFF and regional sources of funding to be explored; restrictive national rules; cross-over with need for permits before applying for funds

    6) Consumer acceptance: Improve understanding of benefits; better inform consumers and listening to what they want (bilateral); policy tools to support/implement consumer awareness: too light on dialogue, trade fairs/conferences not enough; efforts need subsidies, it can’t be mainstreamed without support; role of advocacy groups

    7) Side products: With greater clarity, one-stop-shops will follow; research is key for innovative products; issue of underutilised aquatic resources; calls for balanced benefit cases, profit and sustainability go hand in hand; need to manage genetic improvements

    8) Seasonality and logistics: Breeding techniques need everyone together (European, global, industry, research and users); cross-over with many other topics; cases to build better understanding of the topic; investment needs to focus on the private sector; storage of by-catch a major logistical issue; fishing vessels not equipped for storage or value-added processing

    9) Production costs: Sharing ideas, equipment, knowhow (something for clusters to develop on); some production costs are higher because the technology is not developed (R&D therefore key); economies of scale not mentioned in roadmap, yet important to drive production costs down; collaboration is key, need clusters and priority forming

    10) Research-industry dialogue/Research infrastructure: Coherence of exploration efforts is important; business want to share data but always ask what’s in it for them; access to data and overlapping/fragmentation is important (huge amounts available but what to do with it); constructing new databases not advised (takes time to set parameters for so many different users, geologist wants x, biologist wants Y).

    Around 140 stakeholders were spread around the 10 table-topics set up for the three-rounds of World Café exchanges on the BBF’s proposed Roadmap for the Blue Bioeconomy. By necessity, participants were chosen for their vast experience and diverse backgrounds in the blue bioeconomy, including policymakers, national/regional bodies, industrial platers, and the researcher community.

    Delegates were asked to explore and comment on the ways forward in each of the 10 topics from the draft Roadmap, indicating a timeframe and any obvious gaps. Feedback from the sessions will be reported on in more detail in the coming weeks, but what follows is a very brief snapshot of some comments and key words picked up by BBF News during the World Café.

    1) Licences/Permits: Clarify salt- versus fresh-water-related permits and licences; real data and how to scale it is key, provide true perspectives; zoning of seas is an issue especially in terms of harmonisation; so many players/stakeholders involved in sensitive areas, it needs wide acceptance and involvement

    2) Novel food: Need international-level insights (FAO and WHO); global cooperation to help with transitions in the EU; need overview of existing EU-level research, including ensuring the sustainability of novel food; funding and support are key (estimated timeframe = five years); invest in regional specialties (deal with fragmentation/overlap)

    3) Ecosystem services: Better clarification of what’s covered; identify projects and examples as building blocks because so many different ways to approach it; concrete upscaling of innovation needed; agreements on consumer indicators and for monitoring impact; conflicting interest; improve policy cohesion between agriculture and marine

    4) Understanding finance/skills and qualifications: Communication gaps and raise awareness of the needs, with more participation by industry; poor industry understanding on what/how to market innovative products; clearer technical skills; leadership and data in different sectors needed; new professions, training and education for ‘all ages’, not just young people, linked to awareness; Erasmus+ and other programmes could be tuned to blue bioeconomy topics; importance of lifelong learning and vocational training

    5) Funding mechanisms: Co-investment important; blended finance discussions; a lack of or very poor information on funding especially for SMEs; EMFF and regional sources of funding to be explored; restrictive national rules; cross-over with need for permits before applying for funds

    6) Consumer acceptance: Improve understanding of benefits; better inform consumers and listening to what they want (bilateral); policy tools to support/implement consumer awareness: too light on dialogue, trade fairs/conferences not enough; efforts need subsidies, it can’t be mainstreamed without support; role of advocacy groups

    7) Side products: With greater clarity, one-stop-shops will follow; research is key for innovative products; issue of underutilised aquatic resources; calls for balanced benefit cases, profit and sustainability go hand in hand; need to manage genetic improvements

    8) Seasonality and logistics: Breeding techniques need everyone together (European, global, industry, research and users); cross-over with many other topics; cases to build better understanding of the topic; investment needs to focus on the private sector; storage of by-catch a major logistical issue; fishing vessels not equipped for storage or value-added processing

    9) Production costs: Sharing ideas, equipment, knowhow (something for clusters to develop on); some production costs are higher because the technology is not developed (R&D therefore key); economies of scale not mentioned in roadmap, yet important to drive production costs down; collaboration is key, need clusters and priority forming

    10) Research-industry dialogue/Research infrastructure: Coherence of exploration efforts is important; business want to share data but always ask what’s in it for them; access to data and overlapping/fragmentation is important (huge amounts available but what to do with it); constructing new databases not advised (takes time to set parameters for so many different users, geologist wants x, biologist wants Y).

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