Project Data:

The project receives funding from the Horizon Europe program of the European Commission.

Call: WIDERA-2022-ACCESS-04-01: “Excellence Hubs”

Acronym & Title: BCThubs: Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hubs in EU Widening Member States

Duration: 1/1/2023 – 31/12/2026

Budget: 4.997.562 €

Partners & Countries involved: 15 partners from Greece, Malta, Bulgaria and Italy

Project description:

BCThubs aims to build in the participating Widening countries (i.e. Greece, Bulgaria and Malta), Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hubs, as permanent structures, supporting with new innovative solutions and products, the sustainable protection, restoration, valorisation, management, accessibility and promotion of UWCH. Although the new Hubs will be scoped regionally, they will be interconnected and oriented towards national and international synergies (i.e. beyond regional borders), pursuing cross-border collaborations on common strategic goals and alongside value adding chains. Each Excellence Hub will bring together all regional/national actors related to Blue Culture and UWCH, including research/academia, businesses, public sector, and societal actors (i.e. 4-helix approach), which will mutually reinforce their capacities and effectiveness, towards raising innovation excellence in sustainable Blue Economy/Culture in respective regions.

The envisioned Excellence Hubs will provide:

(a) improved access to excellence for R&I actors (e.g. trend watching, technology scouting, brokerage and value-chain reinforcement);

(b) reinforce knowledge transfer (e.g. training, secondments) and development of entrepreneurial skills (e.g. new competencies and skills for researchers, entrepreneurs and professionals in Blue Culture R&I, new business opportunities for SMEs and new employment);

(c) promote the uptake of innovative technologies; and

(d) offer a paradigm of new European strategic value chain in the domain of BCT within the Blue Economy.

Furthermore, BCThubs aims to develop an improved R&I business environment and strategy utilizing Blue Culture technologies related to UWCH:

(a) Research Development & Innovation;

(b) Infrastructure;

(c) Technical Facilitation of Scale up; and

(d) Validation.