The first results of the project on skills and the state of the art of Blue Growth in the region were presented in a webinar

TRIESTE, March 2nd, 2023 – A rich and articulated discussion on the skills of the Blue Economy and on the first results of the BLUEAIR project activities: this is the result that today’s webinar provided to the players in the Blue Growth system of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The meeting, which was widely attended by the members of the regional quadruple helix, was promoted by BLUEAIR, a project financed by the Interreg ADRION 2021-2027 Program which sees Area Science Park as the lead partner and involves 31 partners, representing the 8 countries of the Adriatic-Ionian area, with the aim of promoting a common smart specialization strategy focused on Blue Growth in the Adriatic-Ionian region.

The first session of the webinar was dedicated to an exhaustive panel among the various actors of Friuli Venezia Giulia in the field of Capacity Building: representatives of governance, training institutions, education at all levels (high schools, universities and Masters) and regional companies have outlined the fertile framework of the ongoing development of skills for the Blue Economy, highlighting the formation of a rich value chain in the area which, through attention to new educational formulas and student involvement of students and willingness of training institutions to network, has produced in Friuli Venezia Giulia a virtuous system of high efficiency.

Today, an articulated chain of innovation and awareness on the issues of lifelong learning and the involvement of corporate best practices in the field of training operates in this territory, which places the individual at the center of the system, on one hand, with his/her demands for constant professional updating and attention to sustainability and safety issues; on the other hand, the ability to network which, at all levels, allows for a growing diffusion of the commitment to develop internal skills in the Blue Growth sector.

Among the many ideas collected, of particular interest is the project called “Dirt Hunter”, developed by the I.S.I.S. Enrico Mattei of Latisana, which involved his students in the creation of a submarine robot for monitoring the lagoon ecosystem, also obtaining, for its value of innovation and promotion of environmental awarenessa among young people, the financial support of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region.

All these activities find a favourable growth environment within the framework of promotion and development promoted by the governance of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, which with the launch of the PIAzZA (Zonal Action Plan for Learning), based on the European Social Fund, and GOL (Guarantee of Employability of Workers), based on the P.N.R.R., programs has created the premises for the creation of a very broad and flexible catalogue of offers, with more than 400 training courses, to invest in the skills of the human and professional capital of the territory.

The second part of the meeting provided a preview of the results of two key tools of the BLUEAIR project.

Thus, the conclusions of the BG-EDP (Entrepreneurial Discovery Process), a tool aimed at identifying the main drivers and barriers to innovation and growth in the Blue Growth sector, the most important producers of innovation in the Adriatic-Ionian Region and the complementarities of the actors in the blue value chain, were presented.

The research, developed through an online questionnaire disseminated among the actors of the quadruple helix both at regional and national level as well as at macro-regional level, has provided a series of wide-ranging indications – of a quantitative and qualitative nature – useful for the development of the S3 and for the creation of the Macro-regional Blue Growth Innovation Strategy, in order to harmonise the objectives with the resources available in the area.

Subsequently, the first results of a foresight (currently in the completion phase) created with the aim of developing common action policies related to the Blue Economy in the Adriatic-Ionian area and to stimulate the debate on its possible technological scenarios, with a 2050 horizon, were presented. In particular the highlights of the analysis developed in two specific areas were displayed: that of sustainability and decarbonisation, with a focus on the development of alternative fuels and the use of robotics, and that of traditional sectors, with the prospects provided by aquaculture, expected to grow rapidly (+22% by 2030).

The BLUEAIR project will continue its activities in the coming months with the final drafting of the foresight and a closing event to be held in Trieste on 15 June 2023, involving all national and foreign stakeholders.

The BLUEAIR project is funded under the Interreg ADRION programme, financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the IPA II Fund.