Science fuelling the growth of European private companies – Meet the winners of the BlueBRIDGE Competitive Call for SMEs

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By Milthon Lujan

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe’s economy. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU. The European Commission considers SMEs and entrepreneurship as key to ensuring economic growth, innovation, job creation, and social integration in the EU. The H2020 BlueBRIDGE project shares the commitment and for this reason it launched its Competitive Call for SMEs.

The BlueBRIDGE Competitive Call for SMEs was designed to support small and medium enterprises in improving their data management practices thus paving the way for enhanced data products and services. The 5 winners of the call AquaBioTech Group, Flyby, Kamahu, Sinay and StatnMap were selected based on strict criteria, prioritising the business growth potential for the blue sector all 5 winning companies belong to.

The companies selected are very diverse in terms of business areas and they represent a perfect sample of the variety of applications that BlueBRIDGE can support. Meet the companies that have started collaboration with BlueBRIDGE as of July 2017:

1. AquaBioTech Group, an international research and development, engineering, technology provider and consulting company located in Malta. The AquaBioTech Group undertakes a variety of aquaculture, fisheries, marine surveying, aquarium and aquatic environmental projects through its regional offices and partners throughout the world. With the data and the models made available by BlueBRIDGE, AquaBioTech wants to study the nutrition dispersion and retention in the environment surrounding a local fish farm. The results of the collaboration with BlueBRIDGE will be also analysed in the context of the TAPAS – Tools for Assessment and Planning of Aquaculture Sustainability – H2020 project, in which the SME is involved, to widening the scope of the collaboration.

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2. Flyby, an independent Italian company, specialised in the development of Decision Support Systems exploiting edge technologies in the field of Remote Sensing, Signal Processing and Big Data Analytics. Currently, Flyby is developing a new commercial solution to monitor and provide advice on the sustainability of fish resources: the work going on in BlueBRIDGE related to fisheries stock assessment could enhance the solution under development.

3. Kamahu, a French start-up created to conceive and market farm control Software as a Service solutions for the aquaculture industry. Kamahu is interested in exploiting the BlueBRIDGE services related to aquaculture to offer innovative benchmarking services to its clients, mainly aquafarms based in France.

4. Sinay, a French Environmental Consulting company specialised in underwater acoustics, maritime surveillance and fishery science. Sinay aims to exploit the BlueBRIDGE resources to study the impact of man-made underwater noise on different key marine species in the Mediterranean area. Sinay is already working on these kind of assessments, therefore BlueBRIDGE will be useful to compare the results of the different models used and to assess an alternative solution to explore eventual cost-efficiency benefits.

5. StatnMap, a French micro-enterprise providing tutorials and expertise in statistics, modelling, spatial data analyses and mapping for beginners or advanced users from universities, research laboratories and companies. By exploiting the data, the models and the computational resources made available by BlueBRIDGE, StatnMap aims to build species distribution models in a more efficient way and enhance its offering.

What’s next? As a first step in the collaboration, BlueBRIDGE set up 2 Virtual Research Environments – VREs, web-based applications fully equipped with the necessary resources, allowing AquaBioTech and StatnMap to start using the BlueBRIDGE services already in the summer period. The remaining three VREs are planned to be set up in September 2017 as further requirements analysis is performed over the upcoming months.

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Source: CORDIS

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