Brussels , 1 December 2016

On the 16th November 2016, MEP Eva Kaili , Vice Chair of the STOA Committee hosted in Brussels a private discussion for the winners of the “Blue Growth Innovation Competition”, an organization that supports innovative concepts related to blue economy and provides incubation services by the AEPHORIA hub and under the auspices of the City of Piraeus, Greece.

Among the group of the young start-uppers (ENALEIA, NOSTIMO SALT, XYZ, HOPWAVE, INSTAYACHT, RECISLE, FIXGUARD) , scientists, angels-investors and entrepreneurs from Greece were also invited to meet representatives of public Institutions of the EU. They were all given the opportunity to have a one-to-one discussion about the issues of maritime development, start-up and SMEs funding openings, research and innovation perspectives.

Specifically, Ms Miriam Dalli, MEP and member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee highlighted the priorities of the Europe 2020 Agenda for the environment, energy, innovation and growth as well as the need to encourage the maritime research and education.

Mr. Luca Marangoni, Team Leader of the Unit D1, of DG MARE, explained which sectors in the Mediterranean region can help with the jobs creation and how the difficulties of the environmental morphology can affect investments on “clean-tech” infrastructure in a negative way.

Mr. Bogdan Ceobanu, Policy Officer for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the European Commission praised the value that the startups add to the growth in EU. He also shared his knowledge on the visibility and access to the EU funds, the One Stop Shop for Start-Up Europe, and encouraged the young entrepreneurs and explained how to search and apply to the numerous on-line tools and platforms that are available.

Lenard Koschwitz, Director of European Affairs at the Allied for Startups organization underlined the need for more efficient regulation and informed the attendants about the developments around the ‘Scale-Up” Manifesto of Start-Up excellence.

Mr. Kostas Komninos, Director of the DAFNI Networks of Sustainable Aegean Islands, presented the project that supports the rising of synergies that support the foundation of new technologies investments to the islands.

Mr. Konstantinos Ntantinos, Communication Officer of the Network Technologies Unit of the DG Connect shared valuable insights about the funding opportunities and the prerequisites that define the outcomes of an application as well as the expansion of space of the IoT sector.

Mr. Ioannis Sakiotis, Communications Officer at DG MARE, gave an overview of the activity of the DG MARE.

From the side of the guest investors, Mr Nikko Frangos of the OpenFund organization said that start-uppers from Greece have to have the confidence of a clear vision in order to engage wealthy partners that can support their business development.

Mr. Petros Kokkalis Deputy Mayor of the City of Piraeus expressed his concerns regarding the process of localizing the EU funding and pointed out the need for further support of the development of smart cities.

Ms. Eva Kaili, in her closing remarks, stated that the European Union is focusing on growth and job opportunities through the enhancement of innovation and research: “ EU promotes the development of initiatives. Particularly, it encourages innovation and smart solutions for networks, city development, energy, health, shipping and transportation, farming and education. All EU citizens will benefit through such innovation.”