HORIZON 2020 ECOEFISHENT

GENOA, NOVEMBER 25th, 2021

 THE HORIZON 2020 ECOEFISHENT PROJECT ON FISHING CLUSTER APPROVED BY THE EU PRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC

GENOA. Just before the kick-off meeting, the Horizon 2020 “EcoeFISHent” project was presented to the public today. Thanks to a 15 million EUR EU funding, it will contribute to the creation of a territorial cluster in Northwest Italy, centered on Liguria Region, for the development of a circular economy project in the fishing domain.

“This is a great result, and I am particularly pleased that the European Commission believed in Liguria – declared the President of the regional Administration Giovanni Toti, commenting on today start of the project – showing that when good ideas, skills and networks are present, even “smaller” regions may prove themselves competitive at international level. The project will support growth of the fishing domain through innovative development models based on the principles of circular economy, therefore in line with the European Green Deal, and will involve public and private partners for the next 5 years for studying all the features of waste originated by fishing and their potential for use in other domains, laying the foundations for new processes of industrial symbiosis with companies capable of processing these materials or transforming them into other goods”.

EcoeFISHent, (full reference: “Demonstrable and replicable cluster implementing systemic solutions through multilevel circular value chains for eco-efficient valorization of fishing and fish industries side-streams”) is one of the only 4 projects approved out of the 92 presented in response to the latest European call for proposals on circular economy of the Horizon 2020 – Green Deal Program, and will benefit from a direct contribution of 15.1 million euros against an overall investment plan of over 18.5 million euros. EcoeFISHent partners are 34 among companies and research institutions from 7 different countries (Italy, Spain, Israel, Norway, France, Bulgaria, Kenya) and belonging to various thematic and industrial domains.  “The economic and institutional fabric of our territory worked like clockwork as a team. This project is a territorial challenge but also a great opportunity for the economy at EU level, and its funding underlines that working together, public and private entities, brings results, helping to consolidate FILSE role as a public entity nourishing development opportunities for the Ligurian economic system – commented Lorenzo Cuocolo, FILSE President, project leader and coordinator. EcoeFISHent is of the utmost importance, not only for the introduction of circular economy models, which represents one of the cornerstones of all the new programming of European funds and the National Plans for Recovery and Resilience, but also as a new growth opportunity for one of the most important domains for our regional economy, helping to fuel new economic and job opportunities.

“The University of Genoa is investing effort and resources in actions related to the blue economy and sustainability – commented Federico Delfino, Rector of the University of Genoa – Participation in this project, which combines both instances, is an example significant. Furthermore, it is a project focused on one of the primary resources for Liguria, such as fishing, and therefore allows our researchers to contribute with their studies to identify future developments for the growth of our territory and the protection of its environmental heritage. Aim of the project is the creation of a territorial cluster in Northwest Italy, with main focus on Liguria region and extension in Piedmont and Lombardy, for the development of new supply chains based on principles of circular economy and valorization of industrial waste, in the fish sector. Thanks also to the support of international research centers, innovative technologies and processes will create sustainable products in the cosmetics, nutraceuticals and packaging sectors.  Furthermore, the EcoeFISHent partnership, thanks to the involvement of WWF Italy and the Portofino Marine Protected Area, will set up a program for the protection of the marine environment, through the collection, recovery and recycling of abandoned fishing nets and the implementation of a sustainable fishing program in the Ligurian territory. The project will contribute to the creation of new jobs in the area, also aimed at disadvantaged categories and will represent a unique model in Europe to be replicated internationally.

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