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Towards a Blue Economy: The Influence of Policy Strategies in the Research and Technology...

ABSTRACT

The “Blue Economy” was strategically identified as a driver of European growth, through the development of new competences and activities that enable a sustainable exploitation of ocean resources. Research and innovation policies oriented to the Blue Economy, at both European and country levels, can be described as attempts at “mission-oriented” policies, which seek to influence the direction of growth towards sustainable transformative change in the ocean area. The objective of this paper is to analyse the directions followed by the research and technological development (RTD) activities conducted by Portuguese firms in order to understand whether the strategies and policies aiming at the development of the Blue Economy are being effective in their endeavour of steering such development in certain directions, thus creating conditions for a sustainable transformation in ocean related areas. The results provide some evidence of the role being performed by RTD promoted by these policies towards a transformative change in ocean related activities. Particularly, they show that they are contributing to: i) the generation of new areas and the revitalisation of existing sectors, through the creation and exploitation of new technological opportunities; and ii) a sustainable use of resources and the mitigation of negative environmental effects created by previous activities. Moreover, the results show intense interaction between different types of organisations. Particularly, they show that new technology intensive firms and industries are working together with existing firms from traditional sectors to exploit the new opportunities and technologies. The evidence suggests processes of cross fertilisation and technological upgrading of traditional activities, through the interaction in the RTD projects funded by clearly targeted public policies.



 

​​HIGHLIGHTS

  • Transformative role of challenge-led policies 

  • Investigate effects of strategies and policies aiming at the creation of a Blue Economy in Portugal 

  • Some evidence of sustainable change in ocean related RTD activities 

  • Cross fertilization between new and established sectors/firms that can uphold industrial transformation 

  • Effects localized in some industries while others still left behind 


 

Sousa, C., Fontes, M. & Conceição, O. (2020). Towards a Blue Economy: the influence of policy strategies in the research and technology orientation of Portuguese firms. Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, pp. 632-641. (ISBN 978-1-912764-67-9).


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