BlueInvest: new investor report features an ocean of investment opportunities in the sustainable blue economy

The European Commission unveiled a new investor report, on the occasion of the BlueInvest Day 2023. The report provided investors with an overview of investment activities and opportunities in the EU blue economy. Moreover, it featured the key innovative technologies and a sample of investment-ready companies across 10 sectors of the sustainable blue economy from the BlueInvest pipeline. The report was part of an investor capacity-building programme that aims at guiding investors all the way – from understanding where the sector opportunities are, to setting up their financial product and investment strategy. The report aimed to further mobilise private capital for clean tech in the blue economy, including groundbreaking solutions that can help fight climate change and support the objectives of the EU Green Deal.

Key findings

  • The ocean economy is projected to grow over the coming decade, and there is a growing interest of investorsacross all sectors of the blue economy.
    Out of a survey sample of 87 investors, 76 plan to invest an average of €124.5 million in the blue economy by 2030.
  • The main drivers for investment, apart from economic return, are innovation, impact and sustainability.
  • However, some barriers remain and there is still a bigfinancing gapfor start-ups and SMEs in the blue economy.However, some barriers remain. Respondents quoted high risk perceptions, a lack of investment-grade projects at scale, as well as their own lack of awareness and technical knowledge of the emerging blue economy sectors and concrete investment opportunities.

A clear analysis of investment opportunities

The report contributed to closing this knowledge gap by offering a clear analysis of where the investment opportunities are, which dedicated financial products exist, and what investment strategies could be.

Specific investment opportunities are highlighted, along with an overview of key innovations and technologies in 10 sectors.

The report showed examples of companies from the BlueInvest pipeline, the BlueInvest service showcasing innovative projects and entrepreneurs who are shaping the blue economy.

In the coming months, the report will be extended to include a deeper market analysis for each sector.

Clean tech: an ocean of opportunities

Investments in clean tech doubled in value between 2020 and 2021 alone. Investors who get in early are better positioned to reap the rewards.

New clean tech products and services across the blue economy sectors are forecasted to become ever more appealing to investors, with blue renewable energy, water management and blue biotechnology standing out as associated with highly attractive investment opportunities.


BlueInvest Day is the main blue economy matchmaking event in the EU since 2019, bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs and investors.

The EU blue economy encompasses all economic activities based on or related to the oceans, seas and coasts. This includes fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, shipping and ports, offshore renewable energy and biotechnology. In 2019, the EU blue economy employed close to 4.5 million people and generated €184 billion in gross value added (an increase of approximately 20% compared to 2009) and around €667 billion in turnover (up 15% from €578 billion in 2009).

The European Union helps drive investment flows not only through enabling policies and initiatives, but also by allocating public funding to foster green and blue innovation.

BlueInvest is an EU initiative supporting sustainable and innovative technologies and solutions for the blue economy. It provides investment and market readiness assistance to innovative SMEs and start-ups, promotes them to its growing investor community and helps them to raise finance. BlueInvest also builds investor capacity and helps investors to expand their portfolio into the blue economy. Through its work with the investor scene and dedicated financial instruments such as the InvestEU Blue Economy Fund with the European Investment Fund, it is boosting the finance ecosystem needed to nurture and scale up our blue champions, offering the support they need to be successful and to grow in the European Union and beyond.

Source: European Commission | Ocean and fisheries (