Research and Innovation in the Black Sea: Empowering the next generation for a healthy, resilient and productive Black Sea

The Blue Growth Initiative for Research and Innovation in the Black Sea successfully conducted a two-day event dedicated to Black Sea Day with the participation of more than 200 stakeholders from academia, funding agencies, industry, policy, and society.
The first day, 29 October, started with the opening remarks of Sigi Gruber, Head of Healthy Oceans & Seas Unit, DG Research and Innovation. After a brief presentation of the status of implementation of the Black Sea Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) held by Baris Salihoglu and Mustafa Yucel, coordinator and co-coordinator of Black Sea CONNECT CSA, roundtable discussions took place on fruitful national SRIA consultations workshops which were held to define national research and innovation priorities of Black Sea riparian countries. As far as collecting further insights and potential input to feed into the SRIA, on the first day discussion on COVID-19 impacts on Ecosystem and Blue Economy in the Black Sea was held with the participation of Diana Tase, Policy Officer, EEAS, Sigi Gruber, Head of Healthy Oceans & Seas Unit, DG R&I, Isabelle Viallon, Deputy Head of Sea Basin Strategies, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Black Sea countries representatives Milen Baltov (Bulgaria), Tea Tarielashvili (Georgia), Adrian Stanica (Romania), Viktor Smirnov (Russia), Melike Ergun (Turkey), Viktor Komorin (Ukraine).
On the second day, 30 October, Black Sea Young Ambassadors Programme was officially launched by the European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. In the event, Commissioner Gabriel shared new plans towards increasing support of youth, education, and science. 17 Young Ambassadors from 7 Black Sea riparian countries shared their plan for making the Black Sea more visible. They made an emphasis on the missing links in the Black Sea and how to re-connect and create those links for Blue Growth in the Black Sea implementing the SRIA and last but not least, they mentioned the importance of being CONNECT’ed for sustainable futures.