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Cross-sectoral development of innovative port clusters in the Atlantic: Developing a blue accelerator scheme for Atlantic ports

The overarching objective of this call is to boost entrepreneurship and foster a sustainable blue economy in the Atlantic area by increasing the competitiveness and resilience of Atlantic ports. 

Specifically, this action aims at supporting:

  • The establishment of a network/partnership between at least two EU Atlantic ports in two different EU Member States; and
  • The development of a blue accelerator scheme for Atlantic ports to stimulate innovative businesses in an innovation ecosystem to foster a sustainable blue economy in line with the European Green Deal.

Scope:  Proposals should cover all of the following core activities and include at least one complementary activity, such as those included in the non-exhaustive list of examples below reported.

Core activities​

  • Establishing a network between Atlantic ports

Applicants should identify in the proposal a list of Atlantic ports in EU territories (minimum two from different countries) which will cooperate and participate in the network. Additional Atlantic ports from other EU Member States and eligible countries may be included in the network to facilitate cooperation and cross-learning. The proposal should describe the set-up of the network and how the ports will participate. The ports may be partners in the project proposal.

  • Defining the common challenges

The proposed network of Atlantic ports should identify the thematic challenges for blue economy business innovation that they will jointly target, as part of a joint strategy for a blue accelerator scheme.

  • Bringing together different stakeholders, including start-ups and SMEs

The action will foster an innovation ecosystem that will provide access for innovative blue economy companies to information, ideas, financing, etc. The ecosystem must include investors, ports, entrepreneurs and the public sector. The action should bring together all of these stakeholders to cooperate with the Atlantic ports network, in order to develop a common vision and identify solutions to the thematic challenges, which can be delivered through a blue accelerator scheme.

  • Designing measures to stimulate innovative businesses in the blue economy 

The action will design and set in place a blue accelerator scheme to deliver services such as mentorship, bootcamps, investment and public support to help start-ups to grow and/or to scale up innovative businesses.

  • Designing measures to support access to finance and funding sources

The action will design tools/services to facilitate access to finance for innovative businesses. This should include supporting the identification of, and linking with, complementary sources of funding at national/regional and transnational/EU levels, and matching innovative start-ups with investors.

  • Preparing a business plan

The action will prepare a business plan for the blue accelerator scheme and for the continuity of the Atlantic Ports network. The business plan should include funding, including from the public sector and private investors, to ensure the sustainability of the scheme and the support services for innovative businesses.

Complementary activities

Proposals should include complementary activities (at least one) to support the core activities and the call objectives. Examples of complementary activities are:

  • Wider networking, awareness raising and dissemination activities.
  • Activities that will increase complementarity and synergies with relevant projects funded under other EU programmes as well as with relevant initiatives and transnational programmes or policies. Existing port accelerator initiatives around Europe could be leveraged to transform Atlantic ports into blue economy hubs. Applicants may consider cooperating with existing initiatives.
  • Fundraising activities

This above list of complementary activities is non-exhaustive. Other activities may be proposed, provided they are justified and in line with the call objectives.

Expected Impact:

The expected results should cover each of the following points:

  • creation of new businesses and jobs in the sustainable blue economy
  • increased investment in start-ups and innovative businesses in the sustainable blue economy
  • sustainable cooperation, via a network, between Atlantic ports
  • mobilisation of ports and stakeholders around a common strategy with appropriate solutions to respond to thematic challenges and to support innovative blue economy businesses
  • creation of an innovation ecosystem fostering continued cooperation between businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and the public sector
  • mobilisation of stakeholders towards a blue accelerator scheme offering support to grow/scale-up start-ups and innovative businesses via different methods such as mentorship, bootcamps, support to secure funding and finance, etc.

The list of expected results above is non-exhaustive and applicants may add other expected results if relevant.

Thursday, 10 September, 2020 - 17:00
Geographical Coverage: European
The overall budget for 2020 is 1 100 000.
Sector of Activity:
Transport (port connectivity and accessibility)