Banking on the blue economy – How to accelerate impact-oriented investments in Blue Growth

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30 January, 2019
Brussels, Belgium

The blue economy is changing rapidly. Traditional activities such as transport, fishing and shipbuilding still employ over 5 million people but the fastest growth is in activities and value chains that did not exist ten years ago – renewable energy, biotechnology, biorefinery etc.

Coming from small businesses, accelerators and research spin-offs, these ventures create new jobs, boost local economies and drive the transition to high-value added activities, while helping to meet EU goals such as emissions reduction, circular economy, energy transition or food security.

Many firms and start-ups active in such high potential but risky activities have received EU financial support for their research, including from the EU's Horizon 2020 programme. Nevertheless, they often find it difficult to obtain sufficient private investment funding to move towards commercialisation or to scale up their business operations.

The session will provide an overview on investment gaps and opportunities in the blue economy and financial sources available, with a particular focus on financial instruments. It will also present a new DG MARE initiative (‘BlueInvest platform’) to facilitate access to investment readiness support and investment to blue growth SMEs and start-ups.

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