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Marine Investment for the Blue Economy

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MARIBE (Marine Investment for the Blue Economy)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-08-31

MARIBE is a Horizon 2020 project that aims to unlock the potential of multi-use of space in the offshore economy (also referred to as Blue Economy). This forms part of the long-term Blue Growth (BG) strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole; something which is at the heart of the Integrated Maritime Policy, the EU Innovation Union, and the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable growth.

Within the Blue Economy, there are new and emerging sectors comprising technologies that are early stage and novel. These are referred to as Blue Growth sectors and they have developed independently for the most part without pursuing cooperation opportunities with other sectors. MARIBE investigates cooperation opportunities (partnerships, joint ventures etc.) for companies within the four key BG sectors in order to develop these companies and their sectors and to promote the multi-use of space in the offshore economy. The sectors are Marine Renewable Energy, Aquaculture, Marine Biotechnology and Seabed Mining. MARIBE links and cross-cuts with the Transatlantic Ocean Research Alliance and the Galway Statement by reviewing the three European basins (Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Baltic) as well as the Caribbean Basin.

The project begins with an assessment of the current Blue Growth economy. A socio-economic study of the various Blue Growth sectors will be undertaken. Existing business models will be mapped according to best practice methodology, cognisant of their value chains. The technical and non-technical challenges of the business will be identified and proposals made for their mitigation. Key FP7 projects that focus on multi-use of space and multi-use platforms will also be assessed.

The consortium will draw on this study to identify key opportunities for synergistic collaboration. It will examine 24 sectoral combinations in total and 9 of those with high potential will be developed further. To do this, MARIBE will work with selected EU-funded consortia (particularly those involved in the Oceans of Tomorrow projects) to develop cross-sectoral projects. It will also work with a range of academic and industry partners to develop projects within additional sectoral combinations that present potential for synergistic collaboration. The MARIBE partners will take a hands-on approach to developing collaboration, brokering partnerships where necessary and assisting with the creation of the business plans and implementation plans required to secure investment for these 9 projects.
Within the first reporting period, MARIBE conducted a study of the current Blue Growth environment. Within this, it focussed on multi-use of space and multi-use platforms in order to determine opportunities for synergistic collaboration between sectors. WP 8 identified 24 combinations that were worthy of further study. From these 24 combinations, 12 were selected for further study. Within the second reporting period, the cooperation of industry partners was secured to develop 9 of the 12 combinations as case studies. These case studies investigated the viability of the combinations at commercial and pilot level. Upon completion, the results were used to compare and rank combinations and, as a result, make recommendations to the Commission on how future funding for Blue Growth could be spent.

Within WP 4, a socio-economic review of four Blue Growth sectors was completed and was contextualised by a review of 4 Blue Economy sectors. The findings were used to compile reports (D4.1) that determined the current status of these sectors, their lifecycle and possible future trends. The reports are structured on the following headings, MARKET, SECTOR INDUSTRY STRUCTURE, LIFECYCLE STAGE, WORKING ENVIRONMENT, INNOVATION, INVESTMENT and UNCERTAINTIES. WP 4 also completed a review of policy, regulation, planning and support regimes in each of the four sea basins under study (Atlantic, Caribbean, Baltic & North Sea and Mediterranean) and the possible future trends. This was compiled into a report (D4.3) that contained four separate basin reports together with covering notes identifying commonalities in policy, regulation, planning and support across the basins.
To link with WP 9 & 10, WP 4 also drew information from these studies relevant to the 9 case studies being developed during the second period of the project. These reports capture and combine socio-economic information relevant to the two sectors involved in each of these combination projects and present them in an easily accessible table format (D4.2).

WP 5 was tasked with assessing four key FP 7 projects related to multi-use/multi-platform: Marina Platform, H2Ocean, TROPOS and MERMAID. It conducted a preliminary review of all deliverables produced by these projects within the first reporting period. This resulted in a report (D5.1) that presented a description of each project, its structure, partners involved, main objectives, deliverables summary and a description of the concepts developed. This analysis was expanded in WP 9 to produce an economic assessment of the different designs proposed in each project (D9.3).
WP 5 also focussed on identifying the technical and non-technical barriers relevant to the combination projects being developed in WP 9 & 10. Within a specially created database (D5.2 & 5.3) barriers to the individual sectors within the combination were identified as well as those relevant to the combination. The database is designed to make it is easily accessible to those interested in the barriers to individual sectors as well as combinations. The content of this database was then used to create a report which analysed limitations by basin, by sector and by combination (D5.4).

WP 6 focussed on investment in Blue Growth. They conducted a literature review to gain familiarity with the investment community and to create a database of blue growth investors and investments (D6.4). They also engaged the community directly in order to learn more about the current state of affairs regarding Blue Growth investments and to gain an understanding of the barriers and opportunities relevant to investors in order to increase understanding of how to engage investors in the MARIBE project. Their findings were incorporated into a WP 6 report (D6.3). This report identifies a difficulty faced by the consortium in engaging stakeholders in the investment sphere. It outlines the challenges associated with such engagement and the lessons that can be learned from their efforts.

WP 7 was dedicated to business model mapping and assessment. In order to identify the most promising existing business models, BMI conducted case studies of 30 existing models. Each study describes the company, provides the big picture of their strategic choices throughout the years, and its vision. The case study describes the context in which the company is operating and its shows how its current business model creates, delivers, and captures value (visualized on the Business Model Canvas). The socio-economic context in which the companies were operating were also mapped.
A case study report was created for each model (D7.2) providing an assessment of the business model in terms of its design (the so-called business models mechanics), its Investment Readiness Level (IRL), and its socio-environmental impact. A section on the business model mechanics, its strengths and weaknesses, and social and environmental costs and benefits was included in each case study. Once all the case studies were produced, learnings were synthesised by sector followed by the creation of a map for all BG and BE sectors (D7.3). The map provided insight in sectoral and cross-sectoral links, particularly partnerships that companies have with one another as well as with other companies not included in the mapping. WP 7 also created ‘proposed business models’ which are generic in nature and can be used by new companies as a basis for their own models (D7.4). They also created detailed business model analysis reports, including ideas on innovating from specific business model building blocks.

WP 8 examined possible combinations of sectors that could work together in multi-use of space or multi-purpose platform projects. It undertook an assessment of 69 possible combinations of Blue Growth and Blue economy activities. It identified 24 combinations that have commercial potential (D8.1). 12 of these were identified as having significant potential in the medium to long term. These were deemed Category C projects and strategic roadmaps were completed for each to map steps for their future development (D8.2).
Industry partners were then sought in order to conduct case studies of the remaining 12 combinations. It was possible to secure participation for 9 combinations and these were shared between WP 9 & 10. The consortium collaborated with these stakeholders over the last nine months to develop a report for each case study that included a technical brief, risk assessment, financial model and business plan (D9.1 and D 101 - confidential). Each report followed a set template which then allowed the viability of combinations to be compared. The findings of the comparison (D10.2 - confidential) were then used to produce recommendations to the European Commission on future development of multi-use of space and multi-use platforms in Blue Growth.

WP 1, 2 & 3 are central work packages that support the activities of other work packages. WP 1 has undertaken the management of the project and compiled a report on progress for the European Commission. WP 3 has worked closely with all other work packages to standardize the methodology used throughout the project and ensure consistency in the templates and tools used.
WP 2 is the dissemination WP. It has built a brand for the project which it promotes through conference attendance, the preparation of articles and the management of an active website and social media sites including Twitter and LinkedIn. This has helped to raise awareness of the project and establish communication channels between it and Blue Growth stakeholders as well as the public. Based on this work, all public deliverables have been disseminated via the MARIBE website during the second reporting period. Partners have also worked to disseminate findings through 26 presentations at various conferences. There is also work being done on ten publications at present that will help to disseminate MARIBE findings to a Blue Growth and Blue Economy audience. In addition, work has been done to raise awareness of MARIBE to a public audience. MARIBE has featured in the national media in Ireland (radio and papers) and outreach activities were undertaken as part of the SeaFest celebrations in Ringaskiddy in Cork in July 2015.
MARIBE has produced a range of reports and databases (outlined above under work completed) that will promote a deeper understanding of the Blue Growth arena and, particularly, of the potential for multi-use of space and multi-use platforms (MUP). These documents have been made public on the MARIBE website.
The general information gathered about Blue Growth has been used to develop 9 case studies that plan to share space with another BE sector or develop an MUP. MARIBE has engaged with past EU projects as well as industry and academic partners and has assisted these stakeholders in developing business plans, financial assessments, risk assessments and, in some cases, implementation plans.
All information produced is presented in individual project reports (D9.1 and D10.1) created by the consortium. In addition, two separate reports were created that summarise these findings and compare the projects across various headings.

The key impacts of this work are as follows:
1. Identify opportunities for Blue Growth sectors to combine with other sectors via multi-use of space or in multi-use platforms. MARIBE has identified key opportunities with high potential for success and has assessed these using a case study approach. The findings have been communicated directly to the EC.
2. Groundwork for demonstration activities of 9 promising business models that incorporate cross-sectoral multi-use of space. By developing these projects, MARIBE is strengthening the Blue Growth sectors involved which have a high potential for sustainable jobs and growth.
3. Increase knowledge of investment in Blue Growth and encourage investments by the key European level maritime stakeholders in the BG economy.
4. Support the EU BG and Maritime Spatial Planning policy objectives by increasing knowledge of BG technical and non-technical barriers, socio-economic trends and policies