Goals of the project

Enhancement of commercial exploitation of Blue Energy research and innovation competencies of Mediterranean actors across the integrated value chain : Marine renewable energy (Wave energy, Tidal stream energy, thermal gradient power, salinity gradient power), presents the EU and in particular Mediterranean with an opportunity to generate economic growth, enhance the security of its energy supply and foster competitiveness through technological innovation. The position of European industry in the global ocean energy market is currently strong since most of the technology developers are based in Europe. Innovation through R&D can allow the EU to generate export opportunities for both technologies and know-how and ensure that the EU can maintain its industrial leadership. With public support for early stage development, the blue energy sector may be able to play a critical role in the future. Blue energy currently is at an infant stage with most of the existing technologies still in need to demonstrate their reliability in the seas and innovative SMEs often short of the necessary resources to deploy their prototypes. PELAGOS addresses the above mentioned challenges by engaging actors from the various industries involved, in order to play a facilitating and coordinating role in the exploitation of this emerging technology. The commercialisation of the blue energy sector certainly needs both technical and non-technical advancements. However, given the long investment time horizons for new technologies this project considers blue energy a promising new technology and considers how the EU could usefully support its development.

Increase of transnational cooperation amongst Mediterranean maritime Clusters in Blue Energy offering support services to all relevant actors : The project will establish a Mediterranean Innovative Cluster in Blue Energy sector (MRE) property designed to enhance innovation capacities of all key actors involved, with emphasis on SMEs. This cluster will deliver a consolidated mix of innovative transnational services and will foster linkages and collaborations among all the stakeholders of the Quadruple Helix Innovation Model of Blue Growth, in order to achieve the necessary engagement and coordination for the successful deployment of this emerging industry. In particular, PELAGOS cluster will increase SMEs’ innovation capacities, support research and innovation in MRE sector, improve the linkages both at regional and transnational level and generate the critical mass that is essential for the deployment of this emerging technology. Cluster actors from the seven participant countries will exchange in a coordinated manner and define common objectives and plans of action. More specifically, with regards to SMEs, the Cluster will support them to identify opportunities for diversification of their products, identification of new markets and trends, cooperation with companies that operate on supplementary products and joint R&D activities. Furthermore, the cluster will assist SMEs to better network with large enterprises and RTOs, connect them with potential investors and financing institutions and expose them to regional authorities and NGOs that act in the local communities.

Accelerated deployment of Blue Energy solutions in key Mediterranean maritime industries by engaging private, government and social sector : Despite its immature stage of implementation, it appears that blue energy is well suited to the Mediterranean. Moreover, blue energy is a cross-cutting issue that involves other relevant sectors such as tourism, aquaculture, shipbuilding and ship repair, transport activities etc., from which synergies shall be enhanced through the operation of PELAGOS cluster. PELAGOS is expected to ensure that a robust marine renewable energy industry can help create jobs, revitalize abandoned shipyards, and improve the economies of coastal and insular communities. The project will demonstrate that new technologies used in the blue energy field can generate positive externalities and help traditional maritime industries to align themselves with regulations and market pressures. Like other renewable energies, blue energy will benefit from a clear, stable and supportive policy framework to attract investment and secure social acceptance in order to develop its full potential. Complex licensing and consenting procedures can delay projects and raise costs, while uncertainty about the correct application of environmental legislation may further prolong consenting processes. Integrating blue energy into national maritime spatial plans and exchange of information on the environmental impacts, is required to understand and mitigate any adverse effects blue energy installations may have on marine ecosystems.