On Monday 11th June 2018, the workshop 'Blue Economy Innovation: Emerging Technologies in Renewable Energy, Marine Robotics and Biotechnology' took place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University (ULPGC). This event, framed inside the ProtoAtlantic project, was organised by lead partner The Innovalia Association, and EMERGE (Asociación Canaria de StartUps, Empresas de Base tecnológica e inversores Ángeles). The event was attended by 43 people who were interested in learning about the project, and unlocking the knowledge of the workshop speakers
This workshop helped to emphasise the crucial role that entrepreneurs should play in today’s knowledge economy and brought together different stakeholders from The Canary Islands innovation ecosystem and beyond (the United States and Israel, among others) to analyse the opportunities and challenges that can be identified in renewable energy, marine robotics or biotechnology. The event started with the contextual presentation of the project, which was carried out by the public and private entities who participated in the event organisation; a ULPGC rector, Rafael Robaina Romero (who hosted the event); the counselor for economic development, energy and R&D of Cabildo de Gran Canaria; the counselor for mobility, economic promotion; the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and; the regional minister for economy, industry, trade and knowledge.
As part of the workshop, a high-level conference entitled "Why Entrepeurneship and Innovation Matters" was held by Michael Goldberg, Professor of Innovation at Casewestern Reserve University (Cleveland). Aridane Gonzalez, Postdoctoral Researcher in University Institute for Oceanography and Global Change (IOCAG) discussed marine issues in relation to ocean innovation. Ayoze Castro spoke about how to position the Canary Islands as one of the reference places for the development and research of innovations. The session also discussed the existing talent in the Canary Islands in relation to this matter through presentations from relevant SMEs such as UTEK, Oceomic, MySmart Beach, Subsea Mechatronics, Ecos Estudios Ambientales and Oceonografía.
The next session of the workshop was conducted by Elba Bueno, who demonstrated the importance of the Canary Islands Maritime Cluster within the blue economy in the Canary Islands and within the project. Jose Joaquin Bethecourt (SODECAN) provided information about the existing possibilities for project participants in relation to financial instruments, while Nir Gartzman, COO and founder of The Dock Innovation Hub in Israel, presented different variables about the present and future challenges of the marine and maritime sector.
In the final part of the event a round-table discussion was organised, during which different stakeholders evaluated and interacted on how ProtoAtlantic could create value and growth in the space of the programme's action through blue economy.