The European Interreg program for the North Sea region (NSR) brings together 49 regions from different countries around the North Sea to address the key challenges facing the region. The PERISCOPE project is part of this program and focuses on creating new opportunities in the field of Blue Growth.
The NSR is a crucial area for Europe’s Blue Economy with marine resources, technologically advanced industries, major port areas and increased offshore activities. Due to global drivers, the wider maritime, marine and offshore economies are exposed to profound challenges with some industries undergoing significant changes, including increased production (offshore wind in Denmark and Germany), as well as stagnation and decrease in production (oil & gas in UK and Norway) – the NSR is experiencing a period of considerable restructuring. Fragmented, diversified and specialised expertise and capabilities are key attributes for the NSR and fostering sustainable business developments must unlock this potential.
However, change and preparing for the future always contains ambiguity and uncertainty, and new market opportunities represent unchartered territory for players and stakeholders. To understand and open up emerging market opportunities with sustainable innovations, an entrepreneurial discovery process is called for to reinforce the knowledge base, identify and valorise innovation ideas, and open up an ecosystem to stimulate industry-driven action on concrete opportunities. These new cross-border and cross-sectorial prospects generate new challenges, and ask for trans-national and inter-sectorial solutions supported by incentives to break out of existing silos.
To address territorial challenges, the NSR needs a long-term, open innovation platform to further an ecosystem for Blue Growth. Periscope thus targets active cross-sector/cross-border participation by clusters/networks, businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers, universities, incubators, investors & funds, customers/users, regional/local authorities and development agencies to share insight and trigger new innovations and business in emerging blue markets. At its core, it establishes a targeted entrepreneurial discovery process grouping fragmented and specialised knowledge from ecosystem players to foster cross-sector Blue Growth discoveries which trigger new and sustainable products, services and solutions developed by trans-regional partnerships. Focus is on identifying and opening up new opportunities (technological/market) within areas such as renewable ocean energy, seabed mining, offshore technologies, marine biotechnology & aquaculture, specialized vessels & infrastructures, and servicing of emerging coastal & offshore activities. Concrete focus areas will be determined by ecosystem’s players in the entrepreneurial discovery process.
PERISCOPE is led by the South Norway European Office and counts eleven other project partners from the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom. One of these project partners is Maritime by Holland, which, in collaboration with NMT, is carrying out part of the work for the project. The project started on 1 October 2017 and has a duration of three years.
If you want to know more about PERISCOPE, please check out this website: www.northsearegion.eu/periscope.