Exploring the Future of the Sustainable Blue Economy 30 September 2021

Group photo during the Blue Economy event

Photo Insert: Participants from the SEA-EU alliance universities, together with expert panel members: Prof. Alan Deidun (University of Malta); Dr Simeon Deguara (Aquabiotech Innovia); Prof. Tonio Sant (FLASC/University of Malta); Dr Stephanie Vella (eCubed Consultants) Mr Karmenu Vella (Pro-Chancellor, University of Malta); and Dr Leonie Baldacchino (University of Malta, panel moderator). Photo credit: University of Malta

The oceans and coasts are facing multiple challenges – we must be prepared to build and shape the future of the oceans through knowledge, innovation and sustainability. This was the subject of a three-day international futures boot camp organised by the University of Malta as part of the ‘European University of the Seas’, an alliance of six partner universities based in Brest, Cádiz, Kiel, Gdańsk, Malta and Split. Marine scientists, researchers and PhD students from the SEA-EU universities met at the University of Malta’s Valletta Campus to discuss new perspectives on the sustainable use of the marine environment and the role that science and research can play in achieving future trajectories for sustainable blue growth.

In his welcome address, Professor Frank Bezzina, Pro-Rector for International Development & Quality Assurance, emphasised the pivotal role that research and innovation play in transforming the blue economy towards sustainability and circular economy principles. This also means investing in research and innovation that address the concerns of coastal communities and societal actors.

“Foresight and futures approaches enable us to identify novel ways of responding in an effective and timely manner to the imminent challenges that the oceans and coastal areas are facing”, said Dr Lisa Pace, Senior Lecturer at The Edward de Bono Institute and technical coordinator of the futures boot camp. The participants explored alternative futures for ocean sustainability and discussed research directions that could contribute to achieving these futures. Professor Godfrey Baldacchino, Coordinator of the SEA-EU Programme at the University of Malta praised the close ties established among the SEA-EU alliance universities and stressed that this prepares the groundwork for new and fruitful collaborations.

The futures boot camp was organised by the Edward de Bono Institute for Creative Thinking & Innovation at the University of Malta, in collaboration with the University of Split. The Edward de Bono Institute coordinates a Masters in Creativity & Innovation and students who successfully complete this programme are eligible for tax credits through the Get Qualified Scheme offered by the Ministry for Education. For further information on the Institute’s courses visit this webpage.