The economy of the sea represents for the AA a key factor for its socio-economic development. The EU sectors related to the exploitation of the seas represent between 3% and 5% of the EU’s GDP. Some sub-sectors of the maritime economy are facing tough times (global crisis experienced by both, fishing and shipbuilding sectors), while others offer strong opportunities for economic growth and employment (i.e. biotechnologies, nutraceutical, energy or nautical leisure, among others), but are still under-developed or underexplored in the Atlantic regions.
HARVESTATLANTIC’s objective is to identify and exchange good practices and sustainable solutions, based on innovation, diversification and marketing for economy related with maritime resources, with the aim to improve the socioeconomic situation of the Atlantic coast. In particular, it will contribute to the enhancement of competitiveness and innovation capacities in four specific subsectors of the maritime economy: biotech and nutraceutical, RDT in navigation and gliding technologies, halieutic industry and green maritime energy. It also tackles the transversal issues of the value added of the Atlantic products, natural resources and of the human capital.
The project will study how the Atlantic maritime economy is adapting to the reduction in traditional activities, by adding more value to the remaining fish and natural resources (protection, sustainable fishing, labelling, marketing, with a special attention to protected natural areas), adapting the existing halieutic industrial base to new realities, diversifying the industrial base to innovation-based activities connected to new technologies and know-how in biotech and nutraceutical (sea products), navigation and gliding technologies (maritime tradition) and energy (sea power).
The approach will be done by carrying out five sectorial analyses and benchmarking, assessment on existing human capital and know-how in order to lead and implement innovation processes in the maritime economy sector, identification and adoption of policies and measures to support the innovation, diversification and marketing with the creation of AT-OME, the Atlantic Observatory for Maritime Economy.
Among all these activities, that will include different tangible outputs, the creation of the AT-OME is without doubt the most important and sustainable result of this project. It will be of transnational interest, covering the five countries of the programme, and with benefit not only to the partners, but to the potential members of this initiative.
Through this project the link between research entities and companies related with the economy of the sea is a key factor enabling scientific research in these fields based on partnerships with common goals, a significant added value to the AA development.