Këshilli i Qarkut Vlorë

BLUE CROWDFUNDING

BLUE CROWDFUNDING – Capacity Building of BLUE Economy Stakeholders to Effectively use CROWDFUNDING.

The “Blue Crowdfunding” project aims to improve the skills of stakeholders in the blue growth — economy sector in the Mediterranean region by boosting innovation through participatory funding. In particular, it seeks to improve the competitiveness of blue economy SMEs through participatory funding and develop the operational capacity of the Regions to use participatory funding.

Vlora Region participates as partner in the “European Territorial Cooperation Program Interreg MED 2014–2020” project entitled “Blue Crowdfunding – Developing the skills of blue economy players to effectively use participatory funding”. The “Blue Crowdfunding” project aims to improve the skills of stakeholders in the blue growth — economy sector in the Mediterranean region by boosting innovation through participatory funding. In particular, it seeks to improve the competitiveness of blue economy SMEs through participatory funding and develop the operational capacity of the Regions to use participatory funding.

“Blue Growth” is the long-term strategy to support the sustainable growth of the maritime sector. This strategy recognizes that the seas and oceans are drivers of the European economy and have a great potential for innovation and growth. It is the contribution of the Integrated Maritime Policy to the achievement of the “Europe 2020” strategy goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Innovative actions within the context of blue economy in the Mediterranean region have not been developed as in other regions of Europe (e.g. Northern Europe), thus negatively affecting access to innovative solutions in the market. The lack of adequate funding is one of the main reasons for this situation. It should be noted that the EU Member States in the Mediterranean are having difficulty attracting funding and investments for innovation in the context of blue economy and growth. Crowdfunding can bridge the gap between developing an innovative idea through research and accessing it as a commercial product or service. It can be an appropriate lever for the commercial testing of innovative solutions on the market, thus reducing the need for government funding or loans. It should be noted that the amount of participatory funding globally is more than € 30 billion per year while this amount is expected to increase to € 300 billion per year by 2025.

The project aims to develop the skills of SMEs active in the blue economy sector, by focusing its actions on the use of participatory funding tools, and create a transnational cluster with participatory funding services, implement training programs targeted at entrepreneurship-supporting organizations and support the adoption of new policies that recognize the importance of participatory funding in Regions. The long-term goal of the project is to support innovation mainly through participatory funding resources by fostering the development of innovative products and services in the blue economy sector. In this way, the blue economy SMEs will gain better access to funding, which will enable them to develop better and more competitive innovative solutions.

The partnership consists of 13 entities from Slovenia, Greece (Region of Central Macedonia, the Network of the Insular Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the European Union in Chios island, Crowdpolicy in Athens), Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, Belgium, Albania, Italy and Croatia.

Project duration: 11.2019-06.2022
Project value: 2,112,691.00 €
The project is supported by the INTERREG MED Programme of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).