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Italy and Croatia share innovative solutions ideas for a more sustainable Adriatic Sea

InnovaMare EU Project partners gathered in Bari: Blue Growth is no longer an option amongst the others but the high road to Adriatic long-term sustainability

[Bari, July 16 th 2021] – The implementation of an ecosystem approach by sharing new business models and anti-litter technological innovations is the high road to Adriatic’s long-term sustainable growth. This is the message launched by partners and stakeholders of the InnovaMare Interreg Italy-Croatia strategic EU Project gathered in Bari, for a 3-days training workshop on the “Living Lab” methodology applied to robotics and underwater sensors.

Since coastal and marine pollution is still threating the future of the Adriatic Sea, Blue Growth (the EU strategy for sustainability strongest pillar) is no longer an option amongst the others, Italians and Croatians panellists said on today’s last working session. With thousands of kilometres of coastline and economies largely connected to maritime and touristic sectors, this the Adriatic Sea represents much more than a common good: it is a precious resource that cannot be wasted.

“Developments achieved in the field of submarine robotics and sensors will give new opportunities to Apulian private companies while developing better conditions to enjoy marine and landscape resources”, ARTI Puglia president, Vito Albino pointed out while recalling to participants InnovaMare main goals and achievements. “We’re willing to increase our competitiveness by enhancing the EU sustainable Strategy and learn how to correctly use and benefit from our biggest natural resource: the sea”, also said Apulia Region Department for Economic development director, Gianna Elisa Berlingerio.

According to the project manager Mateo Ivanac of the Croatian Chamber of Economy “InnovaMare has already proved to be an effective tool for building an efficient ecosystem based on knowledge transfers and shared innovation that will concretely enhance the two countries’ sustainable growth. Thanks to the collaboration among local authorities and governments, SMEs, universities and research centres of both Italy and Croatia, InnovaMare has already tested the prototypes of some high-tech anti-pollution robots: SWAMP (Shallow Water Autonomous Multipurpose Platform) jointly developed by the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering (FER) of the University of Zagreb and by the CNR – Institute of Marine Sciences (Ismar), and Korkyra-Blueye Pro, a combined and “multipurpose” robot, developed by a team of Italian- Croatian researchers in Zagreb FER laboratories.

Given these outstanding results, InnovaMare could soon turn to be a “model of cross-border cooperation” for others EU countries.

What is InnovaMare Project?
The Adriatic Sea is facing major impacts from overfishing and pollution, which can lead to significant poisoning and death of fish as well as the disappearance of the plant world on which human health also depends. Solid waste, direct discharge of wastewater and oil pollution are key negative factors for the degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems.

InnovaMare strategic project will jointly develop and establish an innovation ecosystem model in the area of ​​underwater robotics and sensors for purposes of monitoring and surveillance sector with a mission-oriented on the sustainability of the Adriatic Sea.

Funded by Interreg Italy – Croatia CBC Program 2014 – 2020 the project is coordinated by the Croatian Chamber of Economy – Sector for Industrial Development and Innovation System, and implemented with 13 partners, from both Croatia and Italy, representing universities, maritime institutes, business support institutions, SMEs, regional and local public bodies.