Blue Living Labs initiators meeting, setting the grounds for circular innovation on the fisheries and aquaculture sector

MedCities will act as Blue Living Lab initiator at the Barcelona Metropolitan Area and leads the Capitalisation component. Both entities will address different parts of the value chain of the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Last 14th and 15th June the 13 partners of Interreg MED project BLUEFASMA met in an hybrid meeting (partly face to face partly online) hosted by the Balearic Maritime Cluster in Palma. The objective was to update each other on the progress of activities with special focus on the implications of the sanitary crisis on the testing phase of the project and the presentation of the methodological approach for the Blue Living Labs which will start running in all project territories next October.

The aim of the Living Lab approach is to support innovation process with a usable solution (product or service) as a result of the innovation process. Different stakeholders are involved in the Living Lab, from researchers, developers and end users aiming to co-create innovative products and services in a real-world environment. Its role is likewise deployed within BLUEfasma project to change the position of actors and civil society towards CE in blue growth sector of fishing and aquaculture. With setting up eleven Blue Living Labs (BLLs) in nine different countries the project triggers behavioural changes of actors in MED area and beyond in favour of blue CE growth and eco-innovation with deployment of a user-oriented innovation approach.

While the partnership prepares for the launching of the Blue Living Labs, we have advanced in many other fronts as the launching of the BLUEFASMA Knowledge Platform which provides access to all information and tools developed by the project, including the Self Assessment Tool to measure the readiness of the sector to implement circular economy innovations. Register for free and give it a try! Moreover, the BLUEFASMA Newsletter is now available in 9 languages!! Register and stay tuned to all project developments.

Some keys about the project: MedCities role

BLUEfasma- "Empowering innovation capacity of SMEs, maritime clusters and networks in MED islands and coastal areas to support blue circular economy growth in fishing/aquaculture" - integrates and implements Circular Economy (CE) principles in the key blue growth sectors of fisheries and aquaculture to benefit Mediterranean insular and coastal areas in a novel/innovative way. The project team of 13 interdisciplinary institutions tackles the transnational challenge of continual depletion of natural resources and the below-EU-average MED CE innovation performance in fishing and aquaculture. Its overall objective is to empower innovation capacity of SMEs, maritime clusters and networks, and public authorities to boost blue CE growth in coastal areas.

This project will be a good opportunity for the AMB to improve the industrial symbiosis and the CE with regard to the blue economy sector as well as to contribute to and adopt the technical and policy recommendations arising from the project to adapt this economic sector to circular economy practices. For doing so, the team will analyse the current situation of related SMEs as to circular economy practices and their readiness to undertake innovation on this area. Those who are willing to do so will be accompanied in the process through Blue Living Labs providing support to implement innovation and the search of financing mechanisms.

MedCities and AMB will address different parts of the value change of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, focusing especially on the phases especially relevant to the territory namely distribution, commercialization and generation of byproducts. 10 other territories in the Mediterranean will undergo a similar exercise and all developed methodologies, tools and experiences will be accessible through an open platform.

The project BLUFASMA will run till June 2022. AMB and the municipality of Larnaka are associated partners to the project.