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The Atlantic Maritime Ecosystem Network project -MarENet- launches a Blue Entrepreneurship Programme 2021

Within the framework of the MarENet project which is co-financed by the European Commission’s European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the consortium led by the University of Vigo - Campus do Mar, is made up of Ireland’s Munster Technological University (MUT) and the Irish Maritime Development Office, Vigo Port Authority, Naval Cluster Association of Galicia (ACLUNAGA), Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA), Institute for Sustainable Business Growth (ICSEM) in Spain and the University of La Rochelle in France, has launched a Blue Entrepreneurship Programme to foster innovative business ideas in the Blue Economy sector across the Atlantic Frontage including Ireland, France and Spain. 

Following an application process during February 2021, the MarENet consortium will select 30 applicants with business ideas related to the marine environment to be part of the blue entrepreneurship programme. This training and mentoring programme for entrepreneurship will commence from March and continue to October 2021, and aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of participants, as well as provide them with the necessary tools to pursue their business ideas and turn them into projects with real potential.

Through this programme, selected candidates will have access to an online training plan that will allow them to improve their entrepreneurial and business skills, expand their knowledge in the blue economy sector, as well as interact with real entrepreneurs to learn about their experiences and share knowledge. With the support of specialists, participants will also have the opportunity to design their own business plan. 

Ensuing the training and mentorship phase, fifteen project proposals from across Ireland, Spain and France will be selected to participate in a BLUE HACKATHON event in Cork, Ireland. This event, provisionally planned to take place in June 2021 (subject to change due to COVID restriction guidelines), will give participants the opportunity to interact with industry, academic and research institutions, confederations, associations, as well as other entities related to the marine environment.

At the final stage, the three winners at the Blue Hackathon will receive close assistance to identify potential funding opportunities and will be guided to create synergies with the industry to put their ideas into practice.

Speaking about the programme, Yvonne O’ Byrne from Munster Technological University said “it is a fantastic opportunity for budding entrepreneurs in the maritime sector to receive guidance and training to assist them in pursuing their business ideas. I think during the last 12 months, lots of us have taken some time to reflect on our careers and I’m sure there are many people out there working or interested in the maritime industry with a great idea for a new business but not sure what to do next. This programme, which is completely free of charge is a great first step.”

To learn more about what the MarENet entrepreneurship programme includes and how you can get involved, download the brochure here: http://www.marenet.org/home/index.php/blue-entrepreneurship-programme-2021-open-call-for-proposals/

If you have a business idea that responds to some of the challenges of the marine environment or maritime industry, don’t hesitate and apply today by filling out the online application form. Registration closes February 28, 2021.

Initial Publication Date: 
Monday, 15 February, 2021