BLUEAIR project: The right path to innovation – cooperation between universities, industry, public administration, and the publi

19.11.2021

IEC Tehnopolis is currently implementing a project in the field of a blue economy worth 2.44 million euros, which is co-financed by the INTERREG VB ADRION 2014-2020 program.

The BLUEAIR project (Blue Growth in the Adriatic-Ionian Region) monitors the Adriatic-Ionian Smart Growth Strategy (3S) on blue growth and strengthens the region’s institutional capacity by building a specialized innovation community and ensuring the coherence of local initiatives with the EUSAIR macro-regional strategy.

BLUEAIR brings together eleven partners from eight countries: Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, and Greece.

At the web conference on November 16, the project was presented by the leading partner Science and Technology Park Area from Trieste and project partners Technology Park Ljubljana, Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Technopolis.

Iztok Škerlič, director of the Public Institute for Entrepreneurship Promotion and Development Projects of the Municipality of Izola, said that the project brings together many universities, chambers of commerce, scientific agencies, public administration, and technological institutes, as well as the ports of Koper and Thessaloniki. “In this way, it proves in a very tangible way that the right path to innovation is really the quadruple helix of the university, industry, administration, and the public,” said Škerlič.

Gorazd Jenko from the Slovene Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy presented the opportunities for smart specialization. The representative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Eleni Hatziyanniplaced blue growth within the framework of European development and macro-regional policies.

What do the partners expect from the project, which will unite them by May 2023?

Christian Springer from the Croatian Chamber of Economy answers: “We will create a strong regional innovation community, strengthen human resources and prepare an action plan for investments in the field of innovation in the Adriatic-Ionian Region.«

The results of the BLUEAIR project will be felt most concretely by people on the shores of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas in better coordination of marine surveillance and more careful management of marine ecosystems, but also in seemingly detailed but in fact fatal matters as high-sea level forecasts due to climate change. At the web conference, Matjaž Ličer from the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of Slovenia vividly described how artificial intelligence can help with these forecasts. The participants learned that “the sea level in Koper has been rising 4-5 mm a year since 1990!

Donato Lacobucci, a professor at Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, presented possible synergies between smart specialization and the Adriatic-Ionian Region strategy. Professor at the Department of Maritime Studies at the University of Piraeus (Greece) Fani Sakellariadou presented water desalination and mariculture as two best practices that support a sustainable blue economy and Peter Medica from the Ljubljana Technology Park sees the greatest potential of the BLUEAIR project in the “strategic network of key actors in the innovation community and better coordination of joint activities.”

More information about the project is available at the link https://blueair.adrioninterreg.eu/.

You can find presentations from the event HERE.

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