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EU-Funded EMPORIA4KT Project Trains Researchers on Mapping Routes to Impact for Early Stage Blue Economy Technologies

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By Milthon Lujan

The EMPORIA4KT Blue Economy Technology Transfer Programme is an EU-funded initiative that supports researchers to improve their innovation and technology transfer skills. Since the programme’s launch in February 2021, research teams from France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the UK have been developing the understanding and skills needed for the scientific community to map and encourage effective pathways to commercial use for early stage technologies (ESTs).

Funded by the EU Interreg Atlantic Area Programme, the teams have been developing their own ESTs under the guidance of two mentors with an academic and industrial background respectively. In the first phase of the programme, the goal was for the teams to understand potential avenues to market for their technologies through the creation of value maps and customer profiles.

As part of the training, researchers were tasked with developing collaborative, innovative approaches to identify four distinct potential applications for their assigned EST. The diverse technologies are all derived from marine research and applicable to the Blue Economy. They include novel off-shore renewable energy devices, sustainable materials for maritime infrastructure, applications of 3D virtual mapping, future systems modelling and applied proteomics.

Speaking about the training, programme leader Pierre Roudaut, (Technopole Quimper-Cornouaille), said, “The teams and their mentors have made excellent progress with developing value propositions for their respective early stage technologies. This involves adapting and highlighting the main features of the technology and generating some quite interesting results regarding new ways in which they could be used. At the end of June, each team presented these results and chose the best of their respective four tentative applications for further development through market analyses with the goal of presenting their updated proposals in December.”

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As a collaborative programme, ongoing Covid-19 restrictions have presented a significant challenge. However, as Mr. Roudaut explained, “Despite the challenges posed by Covid, on top of all the usual challenges researchers face, every team has so far met their objectives and this is very good to see. Some of our teams have been able to meet in person while others have collaborated online, but all have managed to collaborate and successfully produce good outputs. For us as organisers, this progress demonstrates that our methodology is truly effective.”

The next stage of the programme is for each of the nationally based teams, together with their scientific and industrial mentor, to complete the development of the route to market for their Blue Economy EST over the second half of 2021. Each team will present their final pitch at an event organised for their respective country. Teams with the best performance at each of the regional events will present their initiatives at the EMPORIA4KT final international public 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 @EMPORIA4KT.

Source: AquaTT

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