The pandemic has affected many industries, and the maritime sector was not spared. Despite the slowdown and challenges ahead, the shipping industry will have to make new investments in the new year, to comply with existing but also emerging environment-driven regulations, such as those imposing limitations on greenhouse gas emissions. New investments and funds will be needed to reach these thresholds as well as to remain competitive, and thus interest for innovation remains as strong as ever.
While the Blue Economy presents us with a plethora of opportunities, the marine and maritime economy is also facing a number of challenges. This includes, among others, pollution from e.g., plastic waste and transport; unsustainable management of waters and aquatic resources including overfishing; and lack of investments and innovation in new technology.
The Programme “Business Innovation Greece”, which is part of the EEA Grants 2014-2021, supports projects which fall within one of 3 focus areas: Blue Growth, Green Industry Innovation, and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT). The financial support offered takes the form of non-reimbursable grants; and the funding is awarded through Open Calls for Proposals. The Programme is operated by Innovation Norway, the main body for business development in Norway.
Business Innovation Greece could close a funding gap to kick-start investments or R&D activities, which will enable businesses to become more competitive and increase value creation and sustainable growth.
Projects supported are co-financed, with the Programme offering grants of up to € 1.5 million per project. The remaining funds will have to be covered by the applicant through their capital or ongoing operations, while they may also decide to apply for a guarantee scheme under the responsibility of the Hellenic Development Bank.
What can be financed?
One of the main aims of the Programme is to ensure that our oceans, rivers and lakes are safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed, while remaining an important part of our economies.
Activities that could receive financing include the following:
- Development of innovative solutions for marine cyber security and maritime/marine safety
- Development and investment in maritime supra-structures
- Development and investment in coastal and maritime tourism
- Development and investment in blue biotechnology
- Development and investment in seabed mining resources
- Development of products and solutions related to maritime transport
- Development of solutions on blue energy
- Development of innovative products and solutions within fisheries and aquaculture
- Development of innovative solutions related to marine litter and waste
- Development of innovative technologies for water supply, including desalination.
The three focus areas of the Programme are sectors that are critical to the future of the Greek economy and represent areas where Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (the Donor States) have significant expertise to share. Previous experience shows that project partnership could be the gateway to new expertise and modern technology. This funding opportunity could bring out the solution that your company is looking for to diversify and grow your business.
The 2nd Call is now open and the deadline for applying is the 18th February 2021.
Applications are submitted online.