BlueInvest: Investing in Blue Innovation

Are you an SME looking for funding to a get your innovation to the market? The European Maritime and Fisheries fund wants solutions that can contribute to the European Green Deal’s objectives – to radically and positively impact the blue economy, for a profitable people and planet.

Get ready to trial, validate, deploy and demonstrate; and dive into the market. Do you have the time and skills to score the highest marks from the reviewers? Can you then speak with flair, enough to get the approval from panellists? See the details below to learn more about the BlueInvest: Investing in Blue Innovation grant and get in touch today to start preparing and to learn how we can help.

What is meant exactly by Blue Economy?

Everything from cultivation to digital transformation of coastal activities, to tourism to renewable energy to cleaner shipping, waste management, it is really about the circular blue economy and helping Europe achieve the ambitious goals that have been set. Sustainability needs a business case, and this grant is ready to fund profitable solutions that can make the difference. They may include deploying, demonstrating, or scaling-up new solutions for the blue economy including technologies, service applications.

Subsidy: open, usual budget requested – €700,000 – € 2,500,000
Total budget: €20,000,000, with a potential increase by a maximum of 20%
Funding rate: up to 70%,
Deadlines: 16 February 2021 – no new deadlines announced
Project duration: up to 36 months depending on the scope of the project

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Who can apply?

Single applicants (profitable SMEs) or a multi-partner consortium thereof, located in EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories). Applicants from the UK are eligible.

Specific Challenge:

Your application should aim to tackle a specific challenge, such as helping to advance market-readiness of new products services and processes. It could also aim contribute significantly to European Green deal objectives and the transition towards a climate-neutral economy. Finally, it may help communities and/or industries hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic or migration of key workers, in order to recover thorough a more resilient economy with reduced carbon/ environmental footprint that is competitive on a global scale.


This call aims to help achieve the goals of the EU’s Green Agreement. The focus is on economic activities in the marine environment and other related products or value chains. The applied projects are expected to enhance SMEs’ profitability and growth performance.
The call aims at:

  • Bringing to market new products, services, processes, and business models in blue economy value chains and help advance their market-readiness;
  • Developing sustainable and innovative blue economy in Europe’s sea basins;
  • De-risking investment in these projects to facilitate their access to other financing schemes for the next stages of their activities.

Expected Impacts:

  • Enhance profitability and growth of SMEs;
  • Generate a measurable social and environmental impact, contributing to EU policy priorities;
  • 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;
  • 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.

Particular attention should be paid to Intellectual Property protection and ownership; applicants will have to present convincing measures to ensure the possibility of commercial exploitation (‘freedom to operate’).

Example activities covered:

  • Trials
  • Market replication
  • Validation
  • Testing in situ
  • Prototyping
  • Demonstration
  • 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.

Additional Information:

See below for a non-exhaustive list of relevant areas for the blue economy:

  • The blue bioeconomy — the cultivation, husbandry or capture of living material from fresh or saltwater and activities based on the use or processing of this material
  • 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
  • Production of new products from living or non-living resources that would otherwise be wasted
  • Cleaner shipping
  • Pollution monitoring, clean-up or management
  • New facilities that support the diversification or energy efficiency of ports
  • Sustainable tourism aiming at reducing its carbon footprint or enhancing biodiversity, or efficiently managing resources (e.g. water, food and waste) or tourist flows (e.g. diversifying offer, addressing seasonality and safety)

Excluded areas are:

  • Exploration or extraction of gas and petroleum

About BlueInvest: Investing in Blue Innovation

The BlueInvest Fund is a European Commission initiative that was launched in February 2020, with the aim of improving access to finance and investment readiness for start-ups, early-stage businesses and SMEs active in the Blue Economy. The BlueInvest Fund provides financing to the BlueInvest Grants: Investing in Blue Innovation.

Visit the BlueInvest website

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