Held from 29th of November to 2nd of December at the Cadiz Conference Centre, the II International Meeting on Knowledge and the Blue Economy, Innovazul 2022, once again placed Cadiz and Andalusia at the epicentre of the European strategy for the Blue Economy. The figures achieved in this second edition confirmed its consolidation and even exceeded the expectations of the organisation itself, which wanted, in the words of the Rector of the University of Cadiz, Francisco Piniella, to thank “the more than 2,200 people registered, the more than 250 national and international speakers, the almost 90 professionals and the more than 570 participating researchers, the more than 200 companies involved and the more than 30 institutions” that supported this “ambitious initiative to continue leading the construction of a blue and green future”.
The Port Authority of the Algeciras Bay (APBA) actively participated in several of the activities scheduled during the four days of the meeting. Firstly, within the panel entitled “Opportunities for Collaboration in Public Procurement of Innovation in the field of the Blue Economy”, included in the Open Innovation section and moderated by Daniel Escacena, Project Manager at the Andalusian Knowledge Agency (Andalusian Ministry of University, Research and Innovation of the Andalusian Regional Government), Juan González, Project Manager of the PROAS project of the APBA, was one of the speakers together with Arturo Fernández-Palacios, Technical Advisor in the Area of Analysis, Planning and Promotion of Sustainability in the General Secretariat of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy (Department of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy of the Andalusian Regional Government) and Ángel Blázquez Carrasco, AGAPA Technician in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.
On the other hand, within the “Ports and Port Logistics” section, Luís Núñez, Head of European Affairs of the Port Authority, was in charge of moderating the round table entitled “Decarbonisation in the maritime port sector”, with the participation of international experts such as D. Samuel Furfari, Professor of Energy Geopolitics at the ESCP Business School Europe, Mr. Miguel Núñez Sánchez, Head of the Regulations and International Cooperation Area at the Directorate General of the Merchant Navy and Mr. Alberto Camarero Orive, Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering. Transport and Territory, of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Subsequently, Jesús Medina, Head of the Technological Development Area of the Port Authority, was one of the guests at the round table “Innovative technological solutions in port-city relations”, moderated by Óscar Pernía, Technical Director of Next Port Moffatt & Nichol, and which was attended by Mr. Pablo Cortés Achedad, Secretary General of the Port Moffatt & Nichol, Pablo Cortés Achedad, Secretary General for Research and Innovation at the Department of University, Research and Innovation of the Andalusian Regional Government, Mr. José Antonio González Florido, Head of Digital Transformation in the Southern Territory for Telefónica Spain and Mr. José Miguel Pérez Sánchez, Head of the Port Development Department at the Bay of Cadiz Port Authority (APBC).
Organised by the UCA and CEI-MAR in coordination with the Andalusian Regional Government, the collaboration of the City Council of Cadiz and the Bay of Cadiz Port Authority and the sponsorship of Iberdrola, InnovAzul was once again established as the great forum of reference to lead strategic planning focused on the Blue Economy in Europe and, throughout the week, was attended by experts, professionals, researchers and institutional representatives; whose scope of action is especially linked to the most relevant sectors related to the Blue Economy: Shipbuilding and Offshore, Blue Tourism, Blue Territory, Marine Renewable Energies, Ports and Port Logistics, Marine Resources and Sustainability, which had parallel sessions of presentations and round tables where their present and future were analysed and proposals for action were made to define in each of them the European strategy in Blue Economy from the south of the south of the continent.
This new edition had more days and more activities programmed (around 150) and also broadened its horizons with proposals such as the Students Blue Space (where almost 500 students passed through to present their final degree, master’s and doctorate projects focused on marine and maritime studies to companies), Open Innovation (a meeting point between researchers from the UCA and CEI-MAR and companies to synchronise scientific production with the innovation needs of the different sectors linked to the Blue Economy), Blue Territory (with the participation of the mayors and representatives of most of the coastal municipalities of the province to design a joint strategy based on all the opportunities offered by the sea), SpinAzul (an entrepreneurial space for young people with the participation of 450 secondary school students from the province and with forums with entrepreneurs, experts, agents and promoters of the sector) and the Sea Fair (located on the city quay of the Port of Cadiz and attended by more than 500 schoolchildren from the Bay of Cadiz).