“To be truly green, we must also think blue.”
“BIRKENHEAD MERSEYSIDE” by Terry Kearney is marked under CC0 1.0
On Monday, the European Commission proposed a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU for the industries and sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts. In order to ensure inclusive and holistic recovery from the pandemic while also achieving the goals set out in the European Green Deal, the focus on a sustainable blue economy is crucial. As per the recently published communication, the Commission is aiming to achieve the objectives of climate neutrality and to switch to a circular economy. It also aims at improving management of space at sea as well as ensuring sustainable food production. In addition, the Commission along with the European Investment Bank will also be increasing cooperation on a sustainable blue economy.
Who are we looking for?
DigiCirc is looking for European SMEs/Start-ups that can use digital tools and apply cutting-edge solutions in the circular economy by addressing specific challenges in the domain of Blue Economy.
How does it work?
With the second open call, DigiCirc will select a minimum of 15 consortia, composed of at least 2 SMEs/Startups, that will develop innovative solutions focused on digital technologies by addressing the Blue Economy challenges presented below. SMEs will be given the opportunity to use the DigiCirc Matchmaking Platform to look for other SMEs in case they need a partner to build a consortium.
The selected consortia will get a direct funding of up to €20.000 and the opportunity to integrate a highly intensive and innovative 12 weeks-long innovation support programme, divided in two phases, where they will be able to develop their business plans and adapt their solutions for the targeted area (Phase 1); and demonstrate their solutions in relevant environment as well as shape their commercial strategy (Phase 2).
At the end of the accelerator programme, the 5 best ranked consortia will be selected to receive further funding of €100.000. They will have up to 6 months to develop their prototype and make tests in an operational environment in view of a commercial launch.
What’s in it for SMEs?
What are the minimum requirements to apply?
● Being a consortium of at least 2 SMEs or Startups (visit the Matchmaking Platform)
● Being based in one of the EU Members States or an H2020 Associated Country
● Addressing one of the Blue Economy challenges (see below)
What is the duration of the programme?
DigiCirc Blue Economy Accelerator Programme (Phase 1 & 2) will run from December 2021 to March 2022.
Demoday will be held in March 2022. The 5 consortia selected at the Demoday will then have up to 6 months, from April to September 2022, to deliver final outputs.
Applicants must submit their proposals for one of the following challenges:
#1 Challenge: Develop solutions, products and services based on digital technologies to increase sustainability, circularity and competitiveness in the aquaculture and fisheries sectors by facing specific needs and challenges of these sectors.
#2 Challenge: Create solutions, products, services and apps to empower circularity and sustainability for coastal tourism using digitalization and digital technologies by facing specific needs or by making citizens and tourists conscious about their impact in the ecosystem to improve their habits.
#3 Challenge: Develop solutions, products, tools and services to increase efficiency, sustainability and circularity in ports activities applying digitalization and digital technologies.
#4 Challenge: Develop solutions based on digital technologies to optimize Ocean Renewable Energies operations, increasing their circularity and sustainability.
#5 Challenge: Create solutions based on digital technologies to address sustainability challenges in Maritime Transport in matters of fuel consumption and pollution, route simulation, among others.
#6 Challenge: Solutions, products and services based on digital technologies to make shipbuilding and repair more sustainable and circular.
#7 Challenge: Solutions, products and services based on digital technologies and related to the circular economy for climate change mitigation and marine ecosystems protection.
Make sure to read carefully the open call documentation kit (includes the programme guidelines) before applying.
We are looking forward to tackle these challenges together!