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Final Report Summary - REMCAP (Resource Efficient Maritime Capacity)

Executive Summary:
The markets for improved maritime resource efficiency are growing, and this growth has been analysed in the REMCAP project in order to identify major innovation opportunities and priorities. Seven categories of growth market have been identified, supported by some key value chains which will also experience strong growth.

An innovation road-mapping methodology has been used to highlight how priority growth opportunities can be enabled by key RTD activities and RTD facilities. The starting point is a recognition of novel applications of products and services where demand is likely to grow, together with the trends and drivers of growth in those specific areas. This then forms a basis for analysing the key technology platforms that would support those innovative products and services, and for identifying critical areas of additional RTD investment in projects and facilities. In this way, the project has analysed the innovation priorities that could fast-track business investment in Blue Growth markets.

Innovation road-maps for the following maritime resource efficiency markets have been created and reported:
• Offshore Wind
• Ocean Energy
• Fisheries
• Aquaculture – Fish & Shellfish
• Algae & Blue Biotech
• Aggregates & Dredging
• Seabed Mining
• Vessels, Propulsion & Fuels (Value-Chain)

The project has also analysed key barriers to innovation, notably the limitation on access to finance, especially for SMEs. A range of options and recommendations have been defined, aiming specifically to facilitate market-led innovation.

In parallel, the project has explored how regional cluster policies and priorities could further promote innovation capacity in maritime resource efficiency. Cluster strengths and weaknesses have been analysed, and each cluster has developed plans for addressing key weaknesses. Part of this regional action planning has included definition of specialist capabilities which could contribute towards the innovation priorities identified. This work provides a vital input into refinement of smart specialisation topics within each region’s Blue Economy.

Project Context and Objectives:
1) Context

Since the global maritime sector is on a strong growth trajectory with an increasing demand for products and services, new challenges have arisen around the sustainable use of maritime resources. There is a need for increased resource efficiency to enable sustainable growth in the maritime sector; its resources have to be utilised in an efficient way, creating economic and societal value while minimising the environmental impact. The Resource Efficient Maritime Capacity (REMCAP) project is based on the principle that regional clusters of maritime expertise can make a significant contribution towards achieving these growth ambitions.

A Regional Research Driven Cluster (RRDC) is a cluster with a strong research base, represented by industry, academia and local authorities within a limited geographical area. Throughout Europe, there are a number of RRDCs active in the maritime sector. They have the potential to increase European innovation capacity within maritime resource efficiency, while creating jobs and improving welfare, as well as enabling sustainable development. The REMCAP project is funded through the European Union’s 7th Framework Program. It is a collaborative project with a consortium consisting of actors from six different European maritime RRDCs, which will be referred to as ‘the REMCAP clusters’.

2) Objectives

The main purpose of REMCAP is to develop the REMCAP clusters’ ability to expand innovation capacity in maritime resource efficiency. Its objectives are to facilitate interaction and knowledge exchange between European maritime RRDCs, increase the understanding of the role of cluster facilitators, develop and implement regional and joint action plans as well as to identify and share best practice for organising and supporting RRDCs. As well as analysing and developing the REMCAP clusters, additional clusters external to the project are examined, aiming to find new partners for collaboration with qualities and strengths complementing the existing RRDCs.

Thus the two principal objectives of the project can be stated:
• To create a market-led action plan which sets out the innovation opportunities, RTD priorities and facility requirements that will enable Blue Growth potential to be optimally exploited through investment and additional employment;
• To understand how regional maritime clusters can best organise themselves to facilitate enhanced innovation capacity in these Blue Growth markets, and to highlight specific ways that each cluster can individually address its weaknesses.

These objectives will be met in the specific context of eight focus markets identified at the start of the project:
• Offshore Wind
• Ocean Energy
• Fisheries
• Aquaculture (Fish & Shellfish)
• Aquaculture (Algae)
• Blue Biotech
• Aggregates & Dredging
• Seabed Mining

It also addresses the major value chains supporting these focus markets, namely:
• Vessel construction, propulsion & fuels
• Monitoring, surveillance & decision support
• Aquaculture feedstock production
• Platforms & autonomous systems

The analysis of these twelve market areas provided the foundation for eight innovation road-maps that could enable development of new products and services across the focus markets and value chains.

3) Methodology

REMCAP is divided into three phases; Analysis, Action planning and Implementation support. The analysis phase comprises work on market analysis, cluster characterisation, and research database development. These activities generate the information to drive the action-planning phase.

The action planning phase operates at two levels: the regional level that focuses on actions that can be implemented by individual regional clusters; and the consortium level that identifies actions that can be implemented by the consortium in a shared manner. Within this phase, the use of innovation road-maps to define priorities has been extensively applied, drawing on the particular expertise within each REMCAP cluster. The initial innovation road-maps have been analysed, and the critical enabling fields of technology across these road-maps have been identified. These are referred to as Meta Technology Platforms (MTPs), and form the basis for identifying priorities for both innovation activities and RTD.

This more detailed analysis is based on sub-reports generated initially by each of the REMCAP clusters, and refined by inputs from external clusters. Most MTPs support innovation in several priority markets, and they can therefore be viewed as strategic areas for investment in research & technology development.

The MTP analyses have been allocated to partners to exploit each cluster’s areas of expertise. They are:
• Autonomous systems
• Seabed anchoring
• Bio-chemical sensors
• Acoustic sensors
• Monitoring & communications
• Materials & processes
• Automation & handling systems
• Physical modelling & simulation
• Biological modelling & simulation
• Habitat systems
• Marine genomics
• Platforms & power train

It is important to acknowledge that in general the innovation priorities in each of the focus markets will require access to know-how and technology from several MTPs; in other words, technology integration will be a critical component of expanding innovation capacity. It follows that some MTP analyses contain duplicated content; this is intentional to highlight the combination of technical advances needed to address REMCAP innovation priorities.

In parallel to the work on priority innovation topics to create a basis for building future consortia, the project has also included work to address key barriers to innovation. These include:
• Access to key facilities that are needed to perform RTD, technology validation and testing, and how such access could be enhanced;
• Access to finance for investment in innovation and novel product/capability development, and new approaches that might be helpful in a marine innovation context.

Project Results:
Main results and outcomes are presented under four headings.

1) Highlighting Priorities for Blue Growth

The report for DG Mare “Blue Growth: Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts” identified the key marine and maritime sectors, distinguishing between mature (established sectors forming a bedrock for diversification); growth stage (young sectors starting to become significant employers); and pre-development stage (embryonic sectors that are expected to become mainstream industries by 2030).

REMCAP has drilled down into these high-level growth markets, to generate an understanding of how that growth can be accelerated through enhanced innovation capacity ‘on the ground’. This understanding falls into two categories: innovation priorities and capacity-building priorities.

2) Identifying & Enabling Innovation Priorities

Results fall into two areas:

i) Creation of a directory of RTD projects and facilities relevant to enhancing maritime resource efficiency, structured in a way that allows mapping onto research and technology needs.

The European Marine Database (published at gathers 699 facilities dedicated to marine sciences projects, 34 maritime clusters and 276 related initiatives/ projects at international, national and local levels which have been identified and detailed, in the following key focus markets:
• Water quality management
• Coastal risk management
• Living Resources management
• Aggregates and dredging
• Aquaculture
• Blue Biotech
• Fishing
• Ocean Energy
• Offshore wind
• Seabed mining

ii) Identification of key innovation priorities and road-maps within the field of maritime resource efficiency and mapping these onto the integrated capacities of regional clusters, taking account of regional strengths & weaknesses

Innovation road-maps for the following maritime resource efficiency markets have been created: Offshore Wind, Ocean Energy, Fisheries, Aquaculture (Fish & Shellfish), Algae & Blue Biotech, Aggregates & Dredging, Seabed Mining, Vessels, Propulsion & Fuels.
These innovation road-maps constitute an important output from the REMCAP project as the knowledge can be used to identify RTD gaps, where insufficient emphasis has been directed in the past, and where additional emphasis in future could unlock powerful innovation capacity. These road-maps can help regional clusters identify specific innovation topics which they are well-positioned to exploit, based on their core research competences and industrial capabilities. These should be important topics of ‘Smart Specialisation’.

3) Capacity Building Priorities

These results focus on preparation for implementation of the Action Plans by initiating new collaborations which can draw on all available financial resources at regional, national, cross-border and wider EU levels; and building new internal links to strengthen the ability of clusters to influence future investment priorities.

Under this heading, four thematic topics have been selected by the REMCAP RRDCs which all have potential to drive innovation and support market growth in several maritime sectors. Projects ideas and potential partners have been identified with:

i) Innovative seabed anchoring solutions that could help increase durability and reduce costs of marine renewable energy installations.

Demand may also come from, for example, the need for offshore aquaculture facilities and different low environmental impact solutions. Project topics could include development of mooring technologies and design/modelling tools for different anchor types and applications. Further innovation can be supported by the formation of special interest groups (SIGs), for example, in the field of mooring optimisation and for marine geotechnical issues, where relevant stakeholders can meet and discuss important development topics.

ii) Novel fuels in marine transport where is a substantial market potential.

The demand for alternative marine fuels is largely driven by new regulations imposed on international shipping. Together with fuel efficiency measures, alternative fuel types could contribute to lower environmental impact and lower operational costs including smaller commercial vessels which are important for a continued development of many REMCAP focus markets. A special interest group focusing on the specific requirements of small ships may help advance the applicability of novel fuels, such as methanol for small marine engines.

iii) The cultivation of fish and shellfish by aquaculture.

This is an attractive alternative when the exploitation of fisheries stocks must be brought to sustainable levels. Efficient and environmentally sustainable aquaculture solutions may also offer an opportunity to reduce Europe's dependency on seafood imports. Potential projects could evaluate different technologies for mitigating the environmental impact of aquaculture systems and increase quality of aquatic products. Projects could also explore offshore aquaculture technologies, and production of algal biomass for energy and other applications.

iv) Innovative autonomous systems that enable cost-effective and safe operation of maritime facilities.

As maritime operations are becoming more complex, sometimes in the most inhospitable locations, the demand for various autonomous systems will grow to reduce the need for expensive manual inspection and surveillance. By adding self-monitoring/adjusting abilities to offshore wind and ocean energy devices, they could automatically react to changing conditions. Other applications of autonomous systems could be for monitoring of fish stocks and exploration of seabed resources. Projects could include, for example, development of smart systems for condition monitoring of marine renewable energy devices, underwater inspection & surveying, and seabed mining systems.

4) Overcoming Innovation Barriers

Understanding of emerging market opportunities is only the first step (albeit an important one) in the innovation process. A number of key innovation barriers must be overcome before real business investment can take place. These barriers fall into four categories:
• Knowledge of (and access to) new customers
• Capabilities along the innovation value chain
• Availability of the right skills in the workforce
• Access to finance for investment by firms

These four topics have also been recognised as the key enablers of innovation within the LeaderShip report by the Waterborne Technology Platform.

Regional research-driven cluster organisations have a role to play in helping to ensure that these enablers are in place within their regions' marine sector infrastructure. Within REMCAP, critical capabilities along each value chain have been defined, and potential new customers in each focus market have been identified, focusing on the memberships of each regional cluster. Furthermore, measures to meet requirements for innovation support and access to finance have been addressed, looking both at regional and national/EU perspectives. A variety of recommendations have been identified, to enable new financing channels or to facilitate access to existing channels.

The mechanisms for addressing skills gaps in each region’s workforce are being addressed in a variety of parallel initiatives including ERDF-funded projects. They are largely region-specific and are identified in the regional analysis of REMCAP.

Potential Impact:
As envisaged in the project plan, the impacts due to REMCAP will be achieved in the months and years after the project, as the priority actions are taken forward and implemented. Project impacts can be described under three headings:
• Consortium-building to take forward innovation projects in each of the priority topics
• Cluster strengthening actions to enhance the role of clusters within their regions
• Outreach to clusters within and outside Europe, to create a foundation for international trade.

Wide stakeholder engagement is crucial to achieving all of these impacts, and so communications and dissemination have played a dominant role within the project (see table below).

At a headline level, the REMCAP partners have developed or participated in the following:
• 8 workshops/ conferences where first contacts with EU and International clusters have been made
• 35 Maritime Clusters identified as key strategic partners for cooperation at EU and International levels in the following “high potential” sectors: Offshore wind, Fishing, Fish & Shellfish, Blue biotechnology, Aggregates and dredging and Seabed Mining.
• 6 project ideas for consortium building were prepared and drafted by REMCAP partners on Geotechnics & contaminated sediments; Mooring and anchoring optimization; Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) for monitoring offshore wind & MRE facilities; Study of novel (bio-) fuels for marine propulsion; Seabed Mining
• 21 direct interactions with EU and international clusters (including USA, Canada and South Korea) to discuss cooperation opportunities using REMCAP knowledge developed.
These are described more fully below.

1) Building Innovation Consortia

The project has highlighted a number of priority technology platforms, each enabling a range of innovation themes addressing specific market opportunities in maritime resource efficiency. These opportunities can be exploited by groupings of businesses and research centres, and with engagement of stakeholders including public authorities.

Based on the analysis and stakeholder interaction carried out in the project, the following potential areas for consortium building have been advanced:

A. Seabed Anchoring
• Floating energy devices
• Tethering of aquaculture facilities
• Low impact solutions (zero noise emissions etc)
• Mooring line developments for durability
• Optimisation for different seabed geotechnics

B. Novel Fuels
• Low-carbon energy farm support fleets
• Local non-fossil fuels for fishing fleets
• Algal harvesting for fuel biomass
• Fuel processing & distribution

C. Aquaculture
• Low impact mariculture
• Offshore facilities
• Algal genomics
• Artificial reefs for ecosystem quality

D. Autonomous Systems
• Smart structures for condition monitoring
• Underwater inspection & surveying
• Aquaculture ecosystem monitoring
• Seabed mining systems

Early-stage consortium building activities have been implemented, with the intention that these will be taken further towards active investment in the period after REMCAP project completion. Workshops and other communication actions carried out in the project have helped to establish and validate specific innovation goals and key stakeholders within such consortia. The following consortium proposals have been submitted during the final 9 months of the project:

• NewMARE and Smart-Portunities consortia – twelve European cluster partners are involved in these two consortia that have submitted second-stage project proposal to the H2020-INNOSUP-2015-1 call, under the topic: Cluster facilitated projects for new value chains. Both consortia are targeting innovation in priority areas identified in REMCAP.

• SeaMICI (Seabed Mining Internationalisation Cluster Initiative) – four clusters formed a consortium to focus shared interests and capabilities in the emerging seabed mining industry. A proposal has been submitted to the COSME, to form this consortium into a European Strategic Cluster Partnership.

2) Regional action plans to strengthen cluster roles

Each cluster developed a regional action plan which could enhance the effectiveness of the cluster organisation as a catalyst for increasing innovation capacity. These action plans included:
• Selection of the priority improvement areas where there were identified gaps or weaknesses (3 areas were prioritized);
• Evaluation of initiatives and actions that would improve the cluster capability within these priority areas;
• Evaluation of whether lessons from other clusters within the REMCAP consortium provide insight and provide options relevant to selected priority areas ;
• Select priority innovation themes from the Meta Technology Platforms (MTPs) defined earlier in the project (3 MTPs were identified).
• Work with cluster stakeholders (across the triple helix - industry, research and authority and across regional / national levels) to build consensus for the action plan. Some cluster actions cross into policy influence and strategic planning which may also need engagement at national and EU levels.
• Detail the action plans (e.g. interventions / actions, ownership and potential actors, potential timescales and drivers) based on the above analysis where there is support identified by key stakeholders.

The action plans were also designed to align with (and avoid duplication of) existing strengths and initiatives already taking place. This maximised the impact and added-value of the action plans, by identifying:
• Key strengths in each REMCAP innovation priority area, including research facilities, university departments/teams and major companies.
• Plans for using/creating any new facilities relevant to the priority topics, or any new access channels to these facilities.
• Specific actions that can increase regional innovation capacity in the Smart Specialisation priorities identified by the REMCAP project.
• Alignment of the above actions with regional strategies and goals, and measures to increase stakeholder strategy engagement.

One small consortium proposal was generated as a result of this work:
• MARCLEX (Maritime Cluster Excellence) - This project proposal, gathering Pole Mer Bretagne Atlantique, Fórum Oceano and Marine South East, under the COSME “Cluster Excellence Programme” Call, aims at establishing a consortia of maritime clusters that will be trained to promote cluster excellence at the European level in view to offer better business services to SMEs active in the maritime sectors as well as to showcase European maritime cluster excellence worldwide.

3) Forging International Relationships

A wider range of EU and non-EU clusters can also play a role in these consortia, by bringing a knowledge of the global market, and access to organisations offering relevant know-how or market access. The project included a range of activities designed to broaden the engagement with EU clusters outside the REMCAP beneficiaries, and to build relationships with key clusters outside the EU.

A total of 35 clusters outside the REMCAP consortium were identified, with a strong relevance to maritime resource efficiency, of which 6 were outside the EU. During the course of the project, these clusters were invited to participate in events (outlined above) in order to establish more concrete relationships with them.

As a result, links with four clusters external to the EU have been developed deepened during the project; in the US, Canada (2 clusters) and South Korea. These relationships can extend the reach of the REMCap consortium both by bringing new areas of capability and maximizing the available channels to market.

In this way, REMCAP has achieved impact on international competitiveness under three headings:

• Collaborative projects including international partners
The project has created a platform for development of collaborative project proposals with international partners. Such projects will be able to address more robustly the wider global market for maritime resource efficiency. They will also be able to exploit synergies in capability, market access and financing.
By way of example, three REMCAP regional clusters (Solent Cluster, SW Ireland cluster and French Poles Mer) participated in the Maritime Summit event held in San Diego immediately after the end of REMCAP. The EU and US clusters recognise the benefits of more concrete relationships, to target solutions in strategic growth markets such as aquaculture and autonomous systems.

• Increased credibility with ESA
The European Space Agency (ESA) has an expanding portfolio of maritime projects, and foresees further growth in this portfolio. CINMarS (Combining Innovation Networks in Maritime & Space) is an ESA funded project which aims to identify and scope priority areas for joint space-maritime innovation. The CINMarS project team comprises of six partners, representing three world renowned maritime innovation clusters including two REMCAP clusters IMERC and Fórum Oceano who will work with Norut, a Norwegian Cluster organisation.
ESA wants to see its projects achieving application across the global market for space-derived information services. Pre-existing relationships between EU partners in ESA projects and a variety of international partners can only assist this wider commercialisation of ESA-funded capabilities.

• Enhancement of regional strategic priorities
Regional Government authorities attach a high priority both to expanding international trade and to attracting inward investment particularly from outside the EU. Strong relationships between regional clusters in EU and internationally, aligned with the market for maritime resource efficiency, can help address both of these goals.
For example, REMCAP is recognised as a strategic project for Fórum Oceano and contributed to increase the visibility of the Portuguese cluster at international level, contributing also to increase the skills of the team itself in cooperation and internationalization processes. This experience has contributed to the design of the new strategy of the Portuguese sea cluster for the coming years.

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