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Launch of EMPORIA4KT Blue Economy Technology Transfer Training Programme

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Press release: 2 March 2021

Sixty researchers from five Atlantic Area countries have begun an 11-month training and mentoring programme to hone their skills for innovation and technology transfer within the Blue Economy sectors.

Organised by the EU Interreg Atlantic Area funded EMPORIA4KT project, the Blue Economy Technology Transfer Programme provides participants with a unique opportunity to simultaneously learn the core concepts necessary for transferring ideas from academia to industry while also networking with fellow researchers, industry experts and senior academic researchers.

Participants for the programme were selected after a competitive application process across the five participating countries: France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the UK. The selected researchers span 31 institutes and include a wide variety of research areas such as ecotourism, marine biology, conservation management, algal biorefining, contaminant tracking, augmented reality for maritime training and many more. These diverse backgrounds highlight the interconnectivity and impact of Blue Economy ambitions.

The programme focuses on training researchers in how to bridge the gaps in knowledge and technology between academia and industry. As programme participant Fernando Pagels, University of Porto, explained,

“The scientific community is trained to research only. It’s hard to communicate science and it’s hard to link the scientific community to stakeholders. It’s all about communication and we are not trained to do this…so when I saw the programme and the topics I got excited because it’s about the whole process and getting the skills to develop research products.”

The programme is divided into two key stages: training and case study development.

The first, training phase will provide the researchers with the critical skills needed for the later case study development. After an introductory meeting on 26 January 2021, participants will use February and March to explore EMPORIA4KT’s Blue Economy learning tool with its suite of training materials, recorded sessions and self-paced exercises. Beginning on 8 March, the researchers will take part in a week-long remote training course that will allow them to interact directly with the project organisers as well as fellow participants. These skills include stakeholder engagement and communication for scientists, Blue Economy research planning, research impact and research funding.

As project manager Ana Sofia Esteves, NOVA School of Science and Technology, explained,

“The EMPORIA4KT training programme will provide researchers with the necessary tools to be more impactful in the future. Working in an inter-disciplinary area like the Blue Economy, it is important for all participants to have a common set of vocabulary, skills and understanding to create an effective, collaborative environment.”

Following this initial training phase, participants will break into national-based teams of four people. Together with the support of scientific and industrial mentors, each team will be tasked with developing routes to market for real case studies of Early Stage Technologies in the Blue Economy.

Three teams in each participating country will present at a national level, and the team with the best performance will represent their country at the EMPORIA4KT final international brokerage event in January, 2022.

For more information about the training programme, please visit https://www.emporia4kt.com/ttprogramme. To learn more about the project participants and follow their progress, please follow us on Twitter

Notes for the editor

Blue Technology Training Programme participant institutions:

  • Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)
  • Konree Innovation
  • University College Cork (UCC)
  • Bantry Marine Research Station Ltd / University College Dublin (BMRS / UCD)
  • Oilean Glas Teoranta
  • Sligo Institute of Technology
  • Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT)
  • National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)
  • Redclaw Foods
  • Aberystwyth University
  • Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)
  • Queen’s University of Belfast
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Ulster University
  • Université Bretagne Sud (UBS)
  • Laboratory of Biotechnology and Marine Chemistry, Université Bretagne Sud (LBCM)
  • Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lôme (IRDL)
  • IFREMER
  • Station Biologique de Roscoff
  • Universidad de Cadiz (UCA)
  • Universidade da Coruña (UDC)
  • Universidad de La Laguna (ULL)
  • Universidad de Huelva
  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (ESTE – USC)
  • Universidade de Coimbra
  • Universidade do Porto
  • Universidade da Madeira
  • Universidade de Aveiro
  • The Centre for Marine Technology and Ocean Engineering (CENTEC)
  • Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (MARE - Madeira)
  • Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA)

The EMPORIA4KT project will run from 2019 – 2022 with an overall budget of approximately €2.2 million. EMPORIA4KT (EAPA_842/2018) is funded by the European Union’s Interreg Atlantic Area European Regional Development Fund.

The views in this press release are the views of the author and do not reflect the views of the European Union.