Skip to main content
Maritime Forum

Eight EMFAF projects kickstarted their work to develop the next generation of blue skills

The “Blue careers for a sustainable blue economy” call made available nearly EUR 7.5 million to contribute to the development of the next generation of blue skills and to provide opportunities for attractive and sustainable maritime careers.

Eight projects were selected out of 36 proposals received and officially kicked-off their work on 22 September 2023 in CINEA.

The European Year of Skills in 2023 has been giving an enhanced focus on skills in the European Union including in the blue economy. It has been pointed out that blue economy is a vast sector and a ‘one size fits all’ approach cannot cope with the different needs. The European Commission therefore relies on bottom-up proposals and solutions – with a clear perspective of legacy and continuation. This new call has also been emphasising the need to address gaps in terms of green and digital competences, which are sometimes neglected in the skill gap analysis.

The eight projects are:


The BLUE-PORTS project will support the development of blue skills of ports’ human capital and cover the gap between current services and targets of the European Green Deal, including Sustainable Blue Economy Strategy until 2030 and 2050. It will offer a professional advantage to the staff and port authorities with: practical tips and smart tools on zero-emission port; integrated waste management; offshore green power generation; sustainability assessment; and a training programme for young graduates.

Duration: 24 months
EU contribution: EUR 937,327.00

  • BOUTCAR - Blue jobs through blue careers

The BOUTCAR project will generate highly qualified and skilled professionals to achieve European coasts and seas’ economic growth. It aims to develop a training pathway for young people and adults in blue economy; develop competences and skills needed to support EU Green Deal initiatives promoting sustainable blue economy; develop opportunities for fishermen through professional qualification and skills development to operate in the different contexts of offshore wind areas; create strong collaborative networks at EU level, and; raise awareness and attractiveness of "blue careers" among students and young professionals.

Duration: 36 months
EU contribution: EUR 772,037.52

  • Turning Blue - Integrating young offenders through the blue economy

Bringing together nine partners from five EU countries, the overall aim of the Turning Blue project is to create new cooperation mechanisms and training materials on sustainable blue economy to inspire and engage disadvantaged young people serving time in prison (between 16 and 30 years old) to pursue a sustainable ‘blue career’ in one of the Blue Economy sectors. In total, it will engage at least 30 blue economy employers and lead to a minimum of 25 job retentions. In between, the project is expected to deliver capacity-building actions to more than 88 professionals in the different targeted sectors (prison staff, career counsellors and industry professionals).

Duration: 36 months
EU contribution: EUR 706,654.53

  • BlueBioTechpreneurs - Unlocking Transversal and Entrepreneurial Skills for the Blue Bioeconomy

BlueBioTechpreneurs aims to boost collaboration between academia and the private sector, encourage students, young graduates and professionals to embrace blue careers, and support companies in accessing cross-sectoral talent, fostering innovation and closing the skills gap in the blue biotech sector. Specifically, BlueBioTechpreneurs will create a learning and leadership programme around the blue biotech sector, uncovering its wide range of applications in different subsectors of the blue bioeconomy.

Duration: 30 months
EU contribution: EUR 924,736.80

  • BlueAquaEdu - Blue Career Centre for Aquaculture Education supported by a gamification approach and distance learning platform

BlueAquaEdu will explore gamification as a pedagogic approach to engage and motivate teenagers (15-18) and students (18+) in aquaculture, post-harvesting value chain and valorisation of the processing by-products sectors education. The project will enhance digital, green, soft, transversal, inter- and multi-disciplinary, managerial, entrepreneurial and project management skills of the next generation aquaculture graduates. It will fill in the gaps of lack of structured, continued collaboration between industry and educational/vocational training institutions and lack of “skills ecosystems” at sea basin level bringing together education, industry and public authorities.

Duration: 30 months
EU contribution: EUR 999,494.70

  • NextBlueGeneration - The Next Blue Generation

The Next BlueGeneration project will bring together the Blue Economy industry and the education sector and target young people by transferring information in form of tools directly from the experts to teachers. It will deliver educational content, training and tools on five sectors of the Blue Economy (nautical tourism, maritime transport, marine biotechnology, aquaculture, marine conservation) in form of an interactive Blue Career Pathway Tool, a BlueGeneration Game, and a MOOC for teachers to enhance the skills of teachers and students. The project will put a strong emphasis on implementing the tools into the environment of the target group (teachers) and uses for that its already established networks with schools and the education sector.

Duration: 36 months
EU contribution: EUR 998,566.80

  • uBlueTec - Training framework on Underwater Technologies as key enabler for blue careers development

The uBlueTec project aims to set up, test and validate a triple transition training and skills development model (green, blue, digital skills). The model is based on a participatory approach with durable partnerships among universities, VET providers, clusters and SMEs; all active members of blue economy value networks; and all valuable links in the foreseen value-chain of the uBlueTec skills-development model.

Duration: 30 months
EU contribution: EUR 914,404.88

  • COASTAL PRO - Game-based Learning of Entrepreneurship and Next-Generation Skills in Coastal Tourism

The main objective of the COASTAL PRO project is to create cutting-edge learning tools, provide top quality training courses and support, and develop a framework for next-generation skills in coastal tourism. This will give people the knowledge and skills they need to create innovative, eco-friendly, and sustainable tourism experiences that will bring life back to neglected coastal communities and make the most of natural and cultural maritime heritage as a tourist attraction.

Duration: 36 months
EU contribution: EUR 1,171,710.00


More information about the projects:

General publications26 September 2023
BLUE PORTS project presentation
General publications26 September 2023
BOUTCAR project presentation
General publications26 September 2023
Turning Blue project presentation
General publications26 September 2023
BlueBioTechpreneuers project presentation
General publications26 September 2023
BlueAquaEdu project presentation
General publications26 September 2023
Next BlueGeneration project presentation
General publications26 September 2023
Coastal Pro project presentation
General publications3 October 2023
uBlueTec project presentation