BLUEAIR project was presented at the conference ECOMONDO 2022 which was held in Rimini, Italy on November 11th 2022, organized by Ecomondo Scientific Technical Committee & Interreg ADRION Programme and APRE. The goal of the seminar was to exchange knowledge, good practice experiences and showcasing results of transnational cooperation in the field of circular economy and the transfers of its principals of reuse and sustainability into blue economy. The special focus was on Western Balkans in relation to the opportunities and challenges for innovation in the field of blue economy. The event was opportunity for project partners to present the BLUEAIR project as well as project results and achievements at the current stage, through communication with stakeholders, target groups and final beneficiaries to ensure fruitful synergies and collaborations with other relevant partners and transfer project results and outputs to other ADRION players.

The conference was consisted by two sessions, the first was “Innovation on Circular economy in the Western Balkans”, and second was “Blue Economy in the Western Balkans between challenges and opportunities”.

Session 1 “Innovation on Circular economy in the Western Balkans” was opened by Mr Lodovico Gherardi, ADRION Programme Coordinator and Mrs Serena Borgna from APRE – Agency for the Promotion of European Research, who explained The Programme’s impact on circular economy in the Western Balkans. Mr Marco Affronte from Municipality of Forlì, Italy and Mr Slavisa Jelisic from Municipality of Laktasi, Bosnia-Herzegovina, through the case of the project Circle, presented the relation between Circular Innovation and Resilient City Labs. Following, Mrs Laura Ribotta from Municipality of Turin, Italy, introduced the challenges of post-industrial regeneration. The session was closed with the topic Biobased economy: challenges and progress in the Mediterranean region within which spoke Mrs Chiara Dall’Aglio from Sviluppumbria S.p.A. Società Regionale per lo Sviluppo Economico dell’Umbria, Italy, Mrs Milica Vracaric from Regional Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Size Enterprises Alma Mons Ltd. – Novi Sad, Serbia and Mr Stefano Valentini from ART-ER, Italy.

Mr Nikolaos Ventikos from National Technical University of Athens opened a session 2 “Blue Economy in the Western Balkans between challenges and opportunities”, introducing the challenges of Blue economy in marine pollution. Mr Tibor Besenic from University of Zagreb, Croatia and Mr Artan Leskoviku from Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy – National Agency of Natural Resources, Albania, presented the sustainable solution of cooling buildings with seawaters. The presentation „Exploring the potential of the Blue Economy in the Western Balkans, an outlook of the Blue Air project” was the closing one of the Session 2. The outline was divided into two parts with two invited speakers. First, the general information on BlueAir project was given by Mr Christian Springer – Croatian Chamber of Economy. It included information about the duration, budget, partnership, focus areas, main activities of the project as well as what has been achieved so far and what is expected from upcoming tasks. The special attention was given to the ongoing Pilot Blue Growth EDP and the importance of EDP tool for policy makers in the Adriatic Ionian area. The focus of the second part of the presentation which was presented by Ms Natasa Bojkovic – University of Belgrade, was on potential of the Blue Economy in the Western Balkans.

The conference, which brought together a large number of participants from the region, ended with a mutual networking and further exchange of experiences on this topic.