On March 21st and 22nd Learning event of BLUEAIR project, was organized in Berlin, with support of SUBMARINER Network, Centrum Balticum Foundation and the Baltic Institute of Finland.

During the opening remarks Mr Peter Medica, on behalf of Technology Park Ljubljana, emphasized that Adriatic-Ionian region shares important characteristics with the Baltic Sea region. The Baltic Sea region have a rich tradition in S3 based collaboration among different regions in the macro-region, he said. He expressed his conviction that the participants will learn a lot in the next two days from top level representatives of the Baltic Sea Region.

Ms Angela Schultz-Zehden, managing director of SUBMARINER Network, announced a brief overview of the SUBMARINER Network, with information what kind of funding opportunities they are using, and which opportunities are opened for present partners and for joint collaboration in the future.

While Mr Juhani Ailio, project manager from Centrum Balticum Foundation, presented the Foundation and the activities it works on. Additionaly, he presented EUSBSR, the first of the four official strategies, which was created in 2009, as well as the Action plan. He said that Baltic Sea region might be one of the most governed sea areas.

After that, Mr Esa Kokonnen, director at the Baltic Institute of Finland, said that they are supporting Baltic Sea region subregions to develop their strategies, to learn from each other, to understand better and analyze value chain opportunities in the joint smart specialization priority areas.

Also, he presented Policy Area Innovation (PA INNO) and pointed out that this Policy Area promotes a globally competitive position within innovation for sustainable economic growth in the Baltic Sea Region. He also emphasized key Policy Area achievements so far.

The second day of the Learning Event started with the introducing the participants to SUBMARINER Accelerator by Ms Angela Schultz-Zehden. It was pointed out that SUBMARINER brings actors from the whole Baltic Sea Region together to actively promote innovative and sustainable uses of marine resources. Also, that it operates across the whole knowledge triangle integrating perspectives from local to international scale, different science disciplines as well as policy and economic stakeholders.

Mr Alberto Terenzi, senior project manager from SUBMARINER Network, spoke about BlueBioCluster, project which focuses on supporting and increasing the uptake of sustainable Blue bio-economy business opportunities by European regions, companies, and citizens, to contribute to regional development and the EU Green Deal by improving the services of Blue bioeconomy clusters throughout Europe to both public as well as private actors. He also presented how to foster sub-regional Blue Innovation and economy development.

Ms Annette Heiß, senior project manager from SUBMARINER Network, presented BalticMUPPETs, project that brings together 12 partners from 5 countries with expertise in multiple sectors of the mussel supply chain, from mussel production to processing, product development, marketing, and financing, among others. It was pointed out that the project will enable a new circular economy in the Baltic Sea Region as well as provide support to mussel farmers across Europe to develop, diversify, and scale their existing businesses. Also, during the event participants discussed about the future of the Baltic Sea Region support to innovation in the sustainable blue economy.

The second day of the Learning Event ended by fruitful interactive discussion between participants and speakers on the topic how to transfer Baltic Sea Region experience to the Adriatic-Ionian context.

The BlueAir project is financed under the Interreg ADRION program, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the IPA II Fund.