Promoting and developing the potential of the blue economy and encouraging the preservation of marine and ocean resources as an engine for economic growth. This is the aim of the Tomorrow.Blue Economy congress, which will gather experts from all over the world from 7 to 9 November at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue to address the opportunities and challenges of this sector, which is essential for the future of the planet.
The event, which will highlight the importance of the responsible use of ocean resources for economic growth, is organized by Fira de Barcelona with the collaboration of Barcelona City Council, through Barcelona Activa; Port de Barcelona; the World Ocean Council (WOC), the leading international business organization in the field of sustainable maritime economy; and Smart Ports: Piers of the Future, an alliance that promotes the digital and sustainable transformation of ports.
In its second edition, the congress will be attended by experts, scientists, companies, startups and institutions that will share solutions and experiences to advance along this path based on innovation, in an interdisciplinary approach and through public-private collaboration. The program will address key issues such as climate change, finance, offshore energy, water management, biodiversity, green shipping, smart ports, recreational boating, tourism and careers in the blue economy sector.
The Port of Barcelona, leading Smart Ports: Piers of the Future, a network that connects some of the world’s most innovative ports such as Antwerp-Bruges, Busan, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Montreal and Rotterdam, will once again host a space dedicated to the future of ports, both from the point of view of digitalization and the environmental and economic opportunities offered by looking after our seas and oceans.
The founder and president of the World Ocean Council, Paul Holthus, stated that “Barcelona is a global hub for the Blue Economy, making it the perfect place to engage the global ocean business community worldwide to generate new business opportunities in support of smart and sustainable coastal cities and maritime industries”.
The Councillor for Economic Promotion and Employment of the Barcelona City Council, Raquel Gil, stressed that “it is very good news that a benchmark event on cities incorporates the sea as an active agent of the blue economy. Barcelona has a huge potential full of opportunities for people and companies through the maritime environment. The smarts cities take on the challenge of including the sea and this is possible thanks to the public-private collaboration with the Barcelona City Council, Fira, Port and WOC. It is along these lines that we have a roadmap to make the blue economy grow with the possibility of creating quality jobs and more organizations in the blue sector“.
The President of the Port of Barcelona, Lluís Salvadó, explained that “after organizing four editions of Smart Ports: Piers of the Future, an event that places Barcelona as the world capital of port innovation, our commitment to lead the smart transformation of ports is now backed by a broader and more powerful strategy that includes the themes of the blue economy, which goes beyond ports and cities and takes the sustainable ocean as a reference to turn it into an economic powerhouse and a source of wealth“.
Along these lines, the European Report on the Blue Economy 2023 published by the European Commission with the latest available data, corresponding to the year 2020, points out that the contribution of the Blue Economy to the GDP of the European Union in 2020 was 129.1 billion euros with a gross profit of 43.6 billion euros, generating 3.34 million jobs.
In recent years, Barcelona has made a firm commitment to the blue economy. According to data from Barcelona Activa, the blue economy generated a turnover of 3,938 million euros in Barcelona in 2019 and provided employment for more than 16,000 people. In this same line, entities such as the Port of Barcelona and Port Olímpic are developing projects to attract startups that have the blue economy at the core of their activity.
Tomorrow.Blue Economy, together with Tomorrow.Mobility and Tomorrow.Building, is part of the Smart City Expo World Congress 2023, the world’s largest event on cities and urban innovation, which this year is expected to have more than 1,000 exhibitors and representatives from more than 800 cities and 140 countries.