EUR 38 million will be available for Portuguese organizations via the Blue Growth Innovation and SMEs programme aiming to increase the value creation and sustainable growth in the blue economy in Portugal. The programme is to be operated by the Directorate General for Maritime Policy (DGPM), Portugal and donor programme partners led by Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education, the Icelandic Centre for Research and the Research Council of Norway.
As part of the EEA & Norway Grants 2014-2021, the programme focuses on contributing to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and to support the bilateral relations between Norway and the Beneficiary States.
The programme is focused on Business Development, Innovation and SMEs in the blue growth area, with around 70% of the funding allocated. Furthermore, approximately 30% will be allocated to projects in Research, Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeships and Youth Entrepreneurship. Cooperation between research institutions and SMEs will be encouraged to facilitate commercialization of innovative ideas, products and processes. Additionally, the calls for proposals will relate to the following outcomes:
– Increased competitiveness for Portuguese enterprises within the focus area of Blue Growth
– Resource efficiency of enterprises in marine sector
– Enhanced performance of Portuguese research institutions
– Enhanced Education in marine and maritime issues
The projects should fit under 1 of the 3 general areas of support:
- Programme Area 1 – Innovative technologies, processes and services; Sustainable business development; Greening of existing businesses and processes; Development and implementation of innovative products and services; Greening of existing businesses and processes; Development and implementation of innovative products and services.
- Programme Area 2 – Research cooperation between donor and beneficiary countries – Research within the priority sectors and/or Programme areas of the EEA and Norway Grants or in other agreed areas. Application of research results. Participation and cooperation of beneficiary countries in the European Research Area (ERA).
- Programme Area 3 – Institutional cooperation at all levels of education between donor and beneficiary countries. Enhancing the quality and relevance of education and training in the beneficiary countries at all levels of education. Cooperation and partnerships between education, research and the world of work. Traineeships, apprenticeships and work placements. Professional development of teachers. Higher education student learning mobility and staff mobility between donor and beneficiary countries.
In the upcoming months, more information will be published regarding the funding conditions and eligibility requirements. The first call for proposals is expected to launch in spring 2019.