Commission announces massive investment fund for the blue economy

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have announced on Tuesday the launch of the BlueInvest Fund, a 75 million euro equity investment fund for the blue economy. The blue economy includes economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts.

During the BlueInvest Day conference in Brussels, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, launched a EUR 75 million equity investment fund for the blue economy.

he BlueInvest Fund will be managed by the European Investment Fund and will provide financing to underlying equity funds that strategically target and support the innovative blue economy.

"This sector can play an important role in the transformation to a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, an ambition announced in the European Green Deal," the European Commission said in a statement. The new programme is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The blue economy includes economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts. It ranges from companies in the marine environment to land-based businesses producing goods or services that contribute to the maritime economy. The blue economy harbours many promising early-stage ventures and companies – often emanating from EU-funded R&D programmes. These companies develop solutions for renewable energy, sustainable seafood, blue biotechnology, maritime IT and much more.

The new fund is complemented by the European Commission's BlueInvest platform, which supports investment readiness and access to finance for early-stage businesses, SMEs and scale-ups.

Through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Commission also funds an additional EUR 40 million grant scheme, to help blue economy SMEs with developing and bringing to market new innovative and sustainable products, technologies and services.

Oceans are the first in line to be hit by climate change, but they also hold many solutions to tackle climate emergency in every single marine industry, from fisheries and aquaculture, to offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, blue biotechnology and many other innovation-related fields

, commented Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans & Fisheries.

"A EUR 75 million equity investment fund is a tool to unlock the potential the blue economy holds both in contributing to the European Green Deal and ensuring economic growth of European SMEs developing innovative and sustainable products and services,” he added.

"The investments in the Blue Economy sector we signed today show how public funds in the EU can be deployed to attract private investment and catalyse the development of this sector," said EIF Chief Executive, Alain Godard.

BlueInvestis a European Commission initiative that aims to improve access to finance and investment readiness for start-ups, early-stage businesses and SMEs active in the Blue Economy. Its features include an online community, investment readiness assistance for companies, investor engagement, events, an academy and a projects pipeline.More informationhere.

Cover photo by: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


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