Want to know more about the Blue Growth Matchmaking Models? Read this interview with the ART-ER team!

The communication team had an explanatory discussion with the partner responsible for the implementation of this important task.

Stefano Valentini, MISTRAL local coordinator for ART-ER, and Lucia Cortelli, the person working on the matchmaking models provided us with details about the implementation of the Pilot Action 2 of Work Package 4.

What is MISTRAL’s Blue Growth Matchmaking Models? 

MISTRAL’s Blue Growth Matchmaking models are one of the main project tasks for WP 4 involving 4 partners (CMMA, CCE, ADRAL and ART-ER). The term matchmaking refers to a kind of networking activity also known as a brokerage event. During these events, participants attend a series of short 1:1 meetings that have been arranged in advance based on participants’ interests, requests or offers related to business or technology. Within the framework of MISTRAL, we plan to organize five such events. Four of these events focus on engaging national companies, startups, research centers and universities, whilst the one we are organizing at the moment called International Cluster to Cluster meeting is an international event aiming to involve clusters from across Europe in dedicated meeting sessions.

What is the main goal of this pilot action?

International Cluster to Cluster meeting will take place on the 10th  June within Research to Business ON AIR event (https://www.rdueb.it)/ and it aims to bring together clusters from different regions and countries to explore common areas of interest, activate new partnerships with clusters and other innovation actors, and exchange  innovative models for cluster collaboration. The event aims to reach high-level representatives of clusters and cluster experts to prepare the ground for cluster international cooperation and innovative projects on the topic of Blue Growth with a specific focus on Marine Renewable Energy, Maritime Surveillance, Fishing and Aquaculture, Blue Biotechnologies, Coastal and Maritime Tourism, Leisure Boating, Yachting and Cruising, O&M and Decomissioning of O&G platforms, Port infrastructures.

More details: https://innovatmatch-2020.b2match.io/page-2121

Which partners are involved and how they collaborate?

For this specific action we are asking all partners to get involved. Amongst MISTRAL partners we count many clusters who can take part in the Cluster to Cluster meeting sessions. Many of them have already registered and are promoting the initiative to their contacts in order to widen our reach and impact. Those MISTRAL partners that aren’t clusters have been invited to take part in Innovat&Match 2020 (https://innovatmatch-2020.b2match.io/page-1421), which  will see companies, startups, universities and clusters take part in bilateral meetings over the 11th and 12th  June. This event is being organized by ART-ER and shares with International Cluster to Cluster meeting a focus on Blue Growth. 

How this pilot action will contribute to the development of Blue Growth in the Mediterranean?

We already have around 40 Clusters with an interest in the Blue Growth topics registered for the event. This figure makes us positive that the event will be successful in involving different actors in the Blue Growth ecosystem and help to increase participants’ networking skills. The meetings taking place during the event will encourage durable collaborations and partnerships between Clusters on the 10th of June and amongst a wider range of actors from SMEs to larger companies on the 11th and 12th of June. We believe the event will overall contribute to reinforce the innovation capacity of the Mediterranean community and stronger promote the development of innovative projects. 

How did COVID19 affect the implementation of the Pilot Action and how did you manage to adjust?

The current emergency has deeply affected the pilot action which normally foresees direct one-to-one meetings. Since the end of February 2020 it was clear that a new way of implementing the meetings would have been necessary. We did not hesitate in accepting this new challenge. We are firmly convinced that in this dramatic circumstance, MISTRAL project and MED programme offered us a great opportunity to show that a new way of implementing tasks and reaching our objectives is not only possible but also safer and even more sustainable.   Thanks to the new features of the event’s matchmaking platform we were able to quickly adapt and transform the event into and online brokerage event. We are already finding that this decision has had a positive impact on the event in that it allows for a greater participation of international clusters. It will be our first 100% online event and this experience will be essential for the organization of  the three remaining MISTRAL brokerage events: Italy (Sealogy: http://sealogy.it/home-eng.html), Croatia and Portugal.