Commission proposes Action Plan on "Innovation in the Blue Economy"
On Thursday 8 May 2014, the European Commission presented an Action Plan on “Innovation in the Blue Economy". The general aim of this Communication is to realise the potential of job creation and growth in our oceans and seas. It proposes a series of initiatives to gain better knowledge of the ocean, improve the skills needed to apply new technologies in the marine environment, and strengthen the coordination of marine research.The following measures have been proposed:
• Delivering a digital map of the entire seabed of European waters by 2020;
• Creating an online information platform, to be operational before the end of 2015, on marine research projects across the Horizon 2020 programme as well as nationally funded marine research, and to share results from completed projects.
• Setting up a Blue Economy Business and Science Forum, which will involve the private sector, scientists and NGOs to help shape the blue economy of the future and share ideas and results. A first meeting will take place in the margins of the 2015 Maritime Day event in Piraeus, Greece.
• Encouraging research, business and education players to map out the needs and skills for tomorrow's workforce in the maritime sector by 2016.
• Examining the possibility of major players from the research, business and education community to form a Knowledge and Innovation Community (or KIC) for the blue economy after 2020. KICs, part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) can stimulate innovation in multiple ways, for example by running training and education programmes, reinforcing the path from research to the market, and setting up innovation projects and business incubators.