Photo: Illustration/CorPower wave energy farm co-located with wind farm (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)

EU launches €3.9 million call for multi-use offshore renewable energy projects

A new €3.9 million call for proposals has been launched under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund for innovative multi-use projects combining offshore renewable energy with other activities in the blue economy space.

Illustration/CorPower wave energy farm co-located with wind farm (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)
Illustration/CorPower wave energy farm co-located with wind farm (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)

The call will support pilot strategic initiatives – flagship projects – that strengthen sea basin-level collaboration in the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Western Mediterranean to achieve the goals of the relevant sea basin strategy.

Open for applications from 28 September 2021, the call covers three topics.

The first is designated for innovative multi-use projects combining offshore renewable energy with other activities and/or with nature protection in the Atlantic.

Projects under this call topic will advance multi-use, integrated offshore renewable energy solutions in the Atlantic towards the commercial phase.

Multi-use can be understood in the sense of two or more activities operating at the same place and/or one or more activities operating within a nature protection area.

Projects and their activities must focus on the Atlantic and include at least two EU Member States in the Atlantic Maritime Strategy (France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain).

According to the call guidelines, the maximum grant amount for this topic is expected to range between €700,000 and €1 million per project.

The second topic under the call is related to Black Sea blue economy investment and innovation capacity building.

Projects under this call topic will identify and tackle local capacity building needs to boost innovation, digitalisation and investment in the Black Sea blue economy.

The scope of the call encompasses traditional and emerging blue economy sectors with high potential for the development of the sustainable blue economy in the Black Sea. Proposals should primarily focus on sectors identified as priorities by the CMA Steering Group which include coastal and maritime tourism, fisheries and aquaculture and maritime transport.

However, proposals may also consider other blue economy traditional sectors, such as shipbuilding, as well as emerging ones such as blue biotechnology, and marine renewable energies. Proposals may also explore the potential for SMEs/start-ups in the development of ports as blue economy accelerators.

The maximum grant amount per project for this topic ranges from €300,000 to €500,000.

The last topic under this call is reserved for recovery of coastal and maritime tourism in the Western Mediterranean.

Projects under this call topic will develop a multidimensional and integrated approach to re-building coastal and maritime tourism (including cruise tourism) in the Western Mediterranean through innovation in destination management and/or design of smart eco-tourism packages.

The call is open for applications until 12 January 2022.

In May 2021, the European Commission adopted a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU that sets out a detailed and realistic agenda for the blue economy to play a major role in achieving the European Green Deal objectives.

The optimal development of all sea-related activities in a sustainable manner calls for a coherent policy framework based on proper involvement of all stakeholders. Seas are shared among different countries so regional cooperation, including with non-EU countries, is important.

To that end, the European Commission has developed three sea basin strategies in the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Western Mediterranean.

The flagship projects, that will be supported through this call, are expected to contribute to the implementation of sea basin strategies and to the development of a sustainable blue economy in the EU, in line with the European Green Deal objectives.