Within the framework of the EMFAF-2021-PIA-FLAGSHIP, the project on “DBAN - Digital Blue economy and innovation Acceleration Network” is implementing by a cross – border partnership led by the Burgas Municipality  Partners: South-East Digital Innovation Hub,(DIGIHUB), Bulgaria; N(N)LE International Business and Economic Development Center, as an innovative Business Support Organization, Georgia and the Odessa State Agrarian University, a multidisciplinary institution of higher education, Ukraine.

 The project idea is designed around the concept of establishing a regional Blue growth acceleration network – based ecosystem which supports existing and emerging businesses and initiatives in the Blue economy sectors, building upon their potential for innovation, circular and bio-based solutions, as well as their capacity to contribute to the local/ regional sustainable development performance indicators.

 The project aims at creation of a Digital Blue Innovation Acceleration network that will support and bring to life blue growth initiatives in the three partner regions of Bulgaria, Georgia and Ukraine addressing the need for mobilising resources (knowledge, methodology support, partnership, funding) to support SMEs in the field of traditional and emerging blue economy sectors in their transition to sustainable use of resources and innovation. This intervention is considered fundamental in facilitating and fostering regional investment in Black Sea Economy by first creating supportive and entrepreneurial environment and providing facilities, infrastructures, mentorship and training to nurture existing and inspire potential entrepreneurship in the region in assisting with achieving one of the major goals of the CMA - the transition to a competitive, innovative and sustainable blue economy for the Black sea that fosters investment in innovative blue economy SME’s and start-ups.

 The project elaborates on empowering the triangular interaction between the region specific context which identifies coastal and maritime tourism, maritime transport, prevention of marine litter and preservation of marine resources and protection areas, marine renewable energies sectors among the significant ones to boost the development of blue economy growth, a structured capacity building and co-creation support for SMEs in the region and the opportunities for commercialization and internationalization of sustainable green and blue solutions and innovations at Black Sea Basin level. Most of all, the proposal is centered around addressing the major priority of the call to identify and tackle local capacity building needs and potential for smart blue innovation and specialization elaborated in a regional strategy for Blue Growth. The structure of the project with the Baseline Study, the planned project activities and the impact assessment program are all designed relevant to the scope of the call.

 The project will boost innovation and digitalization in blue economy sectors by organizing local Blue solutions and innovations competitions - Hackathons in each partner region. The selected 3 winning pilot activities will receive financial, technical, digital and administrative support to present, develop and implement a prototype to attract funding and investment and opportunities for commercialization and internationalization of their sustainable green and blue solutions. The participating pilot activities will be conceptualized to align with the European Green Deal objectives, the Digital Agenda and the EU Communication on Sustainable Blue Economy. The winning pilot solutions/activities will contribute to the just and green transition by providing sustainable solutions that green, decarbonize and digitalize the Blue growth businesses and sectors. The winning pilots and other innovative green and blue solutions will be promoted and their impact accessed and communicated during the three regional Blue Innovation expos and smart specialization conferences one in each partner region. Each partner will take part and present its local finalist and winning innovation pilots at each one of the partner Blue Innovation expos. The network and brokerage events that will take place during the expos and conferences will address the specific objective of the call to Improve the visibility of investment opportunities in the Black Sea blue economy and capacity of public/private investors to identify SMEs and start-ups.

 The proposal aims to bring together blue economy stakeholders in the Black Sea Basin region.

 The project will take place in three locations: Burgas, Bulgaria; Odessa, Ukraine; and Batumi, Georgia. These cities are important commercial, industrial and tourisms hubs along the Black Sea Coast.

 The Specific objectives of the project initiative and the indicators used to measure their achievement are:

 SO1 – Identification and improved visibility and participation of potential actors and value chains to advance digital and environmentally sustainable blue economy models at Black sea level within 24 months

  • Indicator 1. a: The organization of one 2-day Hackathon in each participating country. Unit: number, Baseline: 0, Target: 3
  • Indicator 1.b.: 1 winning project will be supported for implementation in each country. Unit: number. Baseline: 0. Target value: 3.
  • Indicator 1.c.: 1 Blue Economy Expo & Conference held in each country promoting identified best practices. Unit: number. Baseline: 0. Target value: 3.
  • Indicator 1.d.: Elaborating regional digital catalogue/portfolio of investment opportunities, available infrastructures, products and services in Blue economy sectors. Baseline: 0 Target value: 1

SO2 – Development of digital tools for enhanced capacity of Blue Economy actors within 20 months

  • Indicators 2.a: Blended courses regarding digital skills and use of the ITC tools developed within the project – 30-hour training modules. Unit: products – training modules, Baseline: 0, Target: 2.
  • Indicators 2.b: BluEcoTour.com mobile app. Unit: ITC product. Baseline: 0. Target: 1.

SO3 – Development of stakeholder capacity to establish/enhance concrete cooperation and networking approaches within 24 months

  • Indicator 3.a: Creation of a Digital Blue economy and innovation acceleration network and platform. Unit number, Baseline:0, Target 1
  • Indicator 3.b: Development of local Blue growth smart specialization action plans following the needs assessment. Unit number, Baseline:0, Target 3

Our Team

Blue growth strategy with smart specialization local action plans - LAP

Blue growth strategy with smart specialization local action plans - GAP

Mob App with Web Portal


Address:  12 Vazha-Pshavela Ave. Block II, Appart. 13, 0186 Tbilisi, Georgia

Tel: +995570506272;
Mob. +995595762276

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Chairman of the Board: David Tsiskaridze