Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hubs Meeting

(February 7, 2023)

The kick-off meeting for the “Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hubs” (BCThubs) consortium was held on February 7, 2023, in Larisa, Greece.The Balkan Heritage Foundationis one of the leading organizations in the project BCThubs, from the Bulgarian side. This project receives funding from the European Union through the Horizon Europe Program. The meeting was broken into two sessions, morning and afternoon. The morning session was dedicated to management issues, when EU representatives presented financial/administrative guidelines for the smooth implementation of the project, while a presentation was made regarding policy aspects of the Excellence Hubs. The afternoon session included an overall project presentation by the Project Coordinator, brief consortium partners’ individual presentations, and presentations of the WPs by the responsible partner for each one of them.

More about the project:

The project aims to build in the participating Widening countries (i.e. Greece, Bulgaria, and Malta), Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hubs, as permanent structures, supporting new innovative solutions and products, the sustainable protection, restoration, valorization, management, accessibility, and promotion of UWCH. 

Although the new Hubs will be scoped regionally, they will be interconnected and oriented towards national and international synergies (i.e. beyond regional borders), pursuing cross-border collaborations on common strategic goals and alongside value-adding chains. 

Each Excellence Hub will bring together all regional/national actors related to Blue Culture and UWCH, including research/academia, businesses, public sector, and societal actors (i.e. 4-helix approach), which will mutually reinforce their capacities and effectiveness, towards raising innovation excellence in sustainable Blue Economy/Culture in respective regions.

The envisioned Excellence Hubs will provide:

  • improved access to excellence for R&I actors (e.g. trend watching, technology scouting, brokerage, and value-chain reinforcement);
  • reinforce knowledge transfer (e.g. training, secondments) and development of entrepreneurial skills (e.g. new competencies and skills for researchers, entrepreneurs, and professionals in Blue Culture R&I, new business opportunities for SMEs and new employment);
  • promote the uptake of innovative technologies; and
  • offer a paradigm of a new European strategic value chain in the domain of BCT within the Blue Economy.

Furthermore, BCThubs aims to develop an improved R&I business environment and strategy utilizing Blue Culture technologies related to UWCH:

  • Research Development & Innovation;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Technical Facilitation of Scale-up; and
  • Validation.