The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund launches a new call to support the sustainable development of the blue economy SMEs across the European Union. The call for proposals constitutes one of the many stepping stones to the European Union’ Green Deal goals. Under the Blue Economy Window call, the SMEs can apply as single entities or consortia. The overall budget is €20 million.
The Blue Economy call 2020 works on the same logic as the EIC-Accelerator (ex-Instrument PME), with a focus on the maritime sector: dedicated to SMEs (alone or in consortium), for projects with high TRL (6 -8), up to € 2.5M per project, evaluation in two stages (submission of file then interview in front of a panel of investors).
The Executive Agency for SMEs will organise an information day about this call on Tuesday 24 November. The event will be webstreamed.
Contact WEAMEC if your project targets Marine Renewable Energy.
Grants supported under the Blue Economy Window call for proposals 2020 will address the challenge of developing and bringing to market new products, services, and business models for SMEs that could ultimately create profitable activities.
This will be part of a new comprehensive service package offered by the ‘BlueInvest platform’ that supports investment readiness and access to finance for early-stage businesses, SMEs and scale-ups in the blue economy. Hence the branding of the grants as ‘BlueInvest Grants’. For more info on the platform services: www.blue-invest.eu
These grants will support projects that accelerate innovation in the blue economy, demonstrate high potential in terms of company competitiveness and growth underpinned by a strategic business plan and which aim to create and maintain high quality jobs in the blue economy. Projects need to involve in particular the sustainable use of marine resources for innovative and/or circular economic activities and contribute to healthy oceans and Europe’s ‘Green Deal’. They may include deploying, demonstrating, or scaling-up new solutions for the blue economy including technologies, service applications.
The objectives of this call for proposals are to:
a) Bring to market new products, services, processes, and business models in blue economy value chains and help advance their market-readiness;
b) develop sustainable and innovative blue economy in Europe’s sea basins;
c) de-risk investment in these projects to facilitate their access to other financing schemes for the next stages of their activities.
Scope and activities that can be funded
In order to achieve the objectives above, proposals should aim to:
- establishing new product and/or service and/or processes and/or business model in the blue economy value chains that contributes to one or more Commission political priorities, with a particular focus on the objectives targeted by the European Green Deal11, including e.g. biodiversity, circular economy, digital earth and farm to fork strategies and the transition to a climate-neutral economy with reduced carbon and environmental footprint that is competitive on a global scale.
- shifting existing products and/or services and or processes and/or business model in the blue economy value chains towards the above mentioned political priorities and objectives.
A non-exclusive list of relevant areas for the marine renewable energies includes:
- digital transformation of ocean and coastal activities
- renewable energy — including energy from wind, sun (floating), tide, wave and thermal gradients; logistic or supporting activities in that area are covered
- enabling technologies such as sensors, corrosion or biofouling resistant materials or coating, digitisation, electricity transmission equipment, multi-purpose platforms
- new facilities that support the diversification or energy efficiency of ports
Activities could, for example, include trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real– or close to real environment conditions, and market replication.
Applicants must explain how their proposals will advance towards the commercial phase by improving the market-readiness of innovative products and services and demonstrating their benefit to potential clients.
The expected impacts of the project have been identified as follows.
- Enhance SMEs profitability and growth performance,
- Generate a measurable social and environmental impact contributing to EU goals such as decarbonisation, circular economy and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. SDG 14),
- Seize new market and business opportunities in the EU and beyond,
- Increase private investment in blue innovations, notably by leveraging private co-investment and/or follow-up investments,
- Demonstrate European added value, by contributing in a concrete way to EU growth, creation or maintenance of high quality jobs and, where relevant, to the EU’s sea-basin strategies
- Help communities and industries hit hard by the coronavirus or migration of key workers to recover through a more resilient economy with reduced carbon and environmental footprint that is competitive on a global scale.
Applicants should justify how they address some or all of the expected impacts listed above.
The expected impact should be clearly described in qualitative and quantitative terms (e.g. on turnover, employment, market size, IP management, sales, return on investment and profit).
Key dates in the call for project
- 12th November 2020 - Opening of the call
- 16th February - Deadline of the call