Programme agreement signed for the Innovation programme in Portugal

The programme agreement for the Portuguese Blue Growth Innovation and SMEs programme was signed on 15 May 2019


Key information about the programme

Why is the programme needed?

The Blue Growth Innovation and SMEs Programme's objective is to increase value creation and sustainable growth in the Portuguese blue economy. In addition, the intention is to increase research and promote education and training in marine and maritime areas. The Programme will contribute to the overall objective of reducing economic and social disparities and strengthened bilateral relation through funding of different projects within several initiatives under three Programme areas; ‘Business development, Innovation and SMEs’; ‘Research’ and ‘Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeships and Youth Entrepreneurship’.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

The Programme has four main initiatives related to Increased competitiveness for blue enterprises, resource efficiency in the marine sector, research and education in marine and maritime issues. It aims to increase value creation and sustainable growth, including long-term marine and maritime economic growth, social cohesion (in terms of local communities and maritime activities), and marine environmental protection. It will support sustainable growth, new jobs and private enterprises to develop, commercialize and apply blue products and technologies. Four enterprises in the marine sector, will be supported to apply innovative products and technologies that use marine litter as secondary raw material. This initiative will be in synergy with the ’14-21 EEA Grants Environment Programme’. In the area of research, a number of articles will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication. Further, the education component will support improved skills and competences after courses, ocean literacy skills and intellectual outputs created in cooperation projects (studies, curricula teaching materials etc.)

In addition, three pre-defined projects are included in the Programme. The project “Marine training for seagoing courses” will support the acquisition of equipment and also facilitate training on simulators and rescue equipment for students of maritime courses and other maritime professionals that need requalification/additional training for work onboard. The project “Atlantic observatory” will support the establishment of the Atlantic Observatory initiative, an infrastructure with focus on Atlantic research located on Faial island in the Azores. The intention is to increase the number and quality of the monitoring and research systems already available in the mid-Atlantic area. The project “Research Vessel Mar Portugal Hull Mounted Scientific Equipment” will render the existing Mar Portugal research vessel as a fully-fledged multidisciplinary scientific platform equipped with modern hull mounted survey equipment for seabed mapping and environmental, ecology and fisheries research to support marine knowledge and sustainability of blue growth economic activities.

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

The programme contributes to strengthening bilateral relations between Portugal and the Donor States. Donor project partnerships will be facilitated through matchmaking events and activities in conjunction with the launch of calls for proposals.  Synergies between innovation, research and education can provide a unique arena for more frequent policy, administrative and technical dialogue in areas of mutual interest, that will further strengthen bilateral relations between Portugal and the Donor States.

Availability of funding through open calls

Funding in this programme will be available in open calls for proposals, small grants schemes and predefined projects.

There will be two open calls for proposals and one small grants scheme to support blue growth and innovation in Portuguese private enterprises. A small grant scheme on business and management skills will be launched for SMEs and non-profit organisations established as a legal person in Portugal. Furthermore, a call for private enterprises in the marine sector to apply innovative products and technologies that use marine litter as secondary raw material will be launched. This call will be in synergy with the ’14-21 EEA Grants Environment Programme’. The programme will also have one call for proposals for research initiatives by research organisations established in Portugal. Finally, one call for education initiatives and a small grant scheme on Education and ocean literacy will be launched under the programme.

Tentative timeline for calls:

  • Call 1: Increased competitiveness for enterprises in the Blue Growth area - Launched on 12 June 2019
  • Call 2: Increased competitiveness for enterprises in the Blue Growth area - May 2020
  • Call 3: Support to enterprises to develop innovative products, technologies or processes for the Blue Growth sector - July 2019
  • Call 4: Enhanced performance of Portuguese research organisations - November 2019
  • Call 5: Enhanced education, training and cooperation in marine and maritime issues - August 2019
  • SGS 1: Initiatives for business growth in start-ups - June 2019
  • SGS 2: Initiatives for development for business and management skills - June 2019
  • SGS 3: Ocean Literacy - July 2019

Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme

More information can also be found on the Programme Operator's website and on the Donor Programme Partners' websites: Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education, the Icelandic Centre for Research, and the Research Council of Norway.