Contributing to the Mission Arena for regional discourse on North and Baltic Seas

BlueBio engaged in the first Mission Arena in Gothenburg on 14-16 November and shared our experience as a network of R&I funders and with commercialization support of R&I projects.

First meeting for Baltic and North Sea stakeholders

The Mission Arena gathered some 500 participants from across the Baltic and North Sea regions for engaging discussions on how to pave the way for an innovative blue economy and contribute to the success of the Mission Ocean. JPI Oceans and the BlueBio ERA-Net were actively involved in the event as co-organiser of multiple workshops. 

At the opening session of the Mission Arena, Frode Dal Fjeldavli, Science-policy advisor at JPI Oceans, highlighted the event’s ambition of producing tangible recommendations for how policy, regulation, funding, and business incentives can help achieve the objectives of the Mission Ocean. As a partner in the PREP4BLUE Coordination and Support Action, JPI Oceans is committed to supporting the rollout of the Mission as a mobilisation initiative to restore our ocean and waters by 2030.

Photo: Anna Edlund

Enabling research uptake in industry and society

The 1st Mission Arena in Gothenburg provided the perfect space to share and get input into the work on research uptake in society and the industry, a topic central to the work in BlueBio, since the BANOS mission lighthouse has a special focus on blue food, bioresources, biotechnology, low-trophic aquaculture & products and ocean and coastal plans in the region, which are all particularly relevant for the European blue bioeconomy.

The BlueBio session entitled “From research solutions to disruptive innovation – tools and gaps,” addressed the gap between a “research project” and a “start-up,” seen from a research funder perspective (BlueBio), a venture capital perspective (BlueInvest, DG MARE), and a research-performing perspective (GU Ventures, Chalmers Innovationskontor and Innovatum Science Park). The interactive session gave the participants an opportunity to express what they find to be the biggest hurdles or solutions, and then a few tools (Horizon Results Booster, Blue Bio Match) that bridge the gap were presented for those who need concrete help.

Photo: Anna Edlund
Photo: Anna Edlund

Action points to ensure Mission Ocean deployment

The Mission Arena in Gothenburg acted as a Mission Stakeholder Assembly for the region, in which the participants voted on action points to ensure Mission Ocean deployment in the region. There were multiple actions which should be taken to ensure Mission Ocean deployment in the Western Baltic that are relevant to the actors in the blue bioeconomy and the Blue Bioeconomy ERA-Net Cofund. To increase sustainable blue biomass production, we must create long-term financial incentives for aquaculture akin to the Common Agricultural Policy. To realise the potential of multi-use solutions, we must clarify permitting processes and provide suitable regulatory incentives and consider the socio-economic and environmental benefits of multi-use. To support local sustainable blue businesses, we must treat aquaculture farmers similar to the traditional food sectors, fast-track approval processes and support collaboration and co-creation between academia, startups and private sectors. To increase the number of people with the skills needed for the blue economy, we must build direct collaboration between academia and industry via internships or project-based classes and integrate pupils into current research projects, to spark interest and pave ways into careers in the sector.

Photo: Anna Edlund

The next Mission Arena will take place in Tallinn, Estonia on April 25-26th 2024.

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