The Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) co-organised the event “We are building innovation community for the sustainable blue economy!”, in cooperation with the Technology park Ljubljana, Municipality of Izola, National Institute of Biology and University of Ljubljana.

Joining forces under the key projects in the area of sustainable blue economy, these institutions have demonstrated important potential in this sector. This event represents a milestone in setting up a successful community of stakeholders from the marine and maritime sectors in Slovenia.

The event

The event brought together companies, research institutions, policymakers, NGOs and the public at large. Its aim: map capacities, identify risks and opportunities, and leveraging on the opportunities in the near future.

The event took place in a hybrid format, with the majority of participants on-site. Its structure included dynamic panels, discussions and a workshop.

Goals for Better Governance

Jerneja Penca spoke in the first panel discussing Enablers of blue economy, referring to EMUNI’s projects “BLUES” and Jean Monnet Centre Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Blue Economy.

For instance, she explained the need for greater attention and stronger governance of the seas, as a result of the increased environmental pressures and increased exploitation of marine resources over the past decades.

While important, avoiding conflicts between actors and orchestrating multiple methods of exploitation is not a sufficient goal. Therefore, the ultimate goal of governance and innovation efforts across the sectors needs to be sustainability, conservation of the seas and their peaceful use. This necessitates cooperation across borders, cooperation among sectors and stakeholders, and interdisciplinary approaches. All of which are exemplified in the Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Blue Economy, and its activities of research, education/capacity building and stakeholder dialogue.

Cooperation is the way forward

Throughout the day-long discussions, actors in the country and in the region manifested a strong willingness to collaborate, not only in principle but also on a number of concrete cases.

Ultimately, the event fully accomplished its goal of setting off the process of community-building, especially since it was but the first of a series of events that the new partnership will organise.