Women in the Blue Economy projects ready to start: Think Big, go blue!

Following the EMFAF call for proposals on Women in the Blue Economy, CINEA has awarded EU grants to two projects with the objective of bridging the gender gap in the blue economy.

Following the call for proposals on Women in the Blue Economy, CINEA has awarded EU grants to two projects with the objective of bridging the gender gap in the blue economy. The projects, funded under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF), kicked off on 1 May.

Among the key activities, the projects will emphasise women’s participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers while collecting data to evaluate gender inclusivity and address the underlying causes of the underrepresentation of women in various sectors of the blue economy.

This call for proposals follows the adoption of the European Commission Communication “A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025” in March 2020, which aims to advance gender equality across all EU policies and funding programmes. Specifically, the strategy highlights the importance of empowering women in the blue economy through EMFAF for 2021-2027. This call for proposals was part of the effort to achieve that goal.

The call was also announced in the 2021 European Commission Communication on “A new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU“, which outlines plans for the maritime sectors to facilitate green and digital transformations.

The two projects are the following:

WIN-BIG – Women in Blue Economy Intelligence Gathering and Capacity Boosting

The WIN-BIG project seeks to address the current knowledge gaps regarding women’s role and participation in the Blue Economy across Europe. By conducting extensive surveys and data mining, the project aims to provide widespread and accurate information on gender status and the extent of women’s involvement in the blue economy and its six EU sea basins.

Beyond identifying the skills gaps that hinder women’s entry and progress in blue careers, WIN-BIG aims to create female-specific and basin-adapted capacity building opportunities in emergent sectors such as blue bioeconomy, blue sports, sustainable tourism, marine renewable energies and robotics. Furthermore, the project aims to inspire young girls and women professionals by promoting female role models and innovative media formats that portray blue careers as attractive career options.

Ultimately, WIN-BIG seeks to create a roadmap for capacity building that is transferable across regions and countries for women in the blue economy.

Grant awarded: € 1,321,013.54

Duration: 36 months (01/05/2023 to 30/04/2026)

WINBLUE – Empowering Women and Mainstreaming Gender Equality in the Blue Economy

Despite their significant contributions, women remain underrepresented in STEM-related roles and face barriers to advancement in male-dominated sectors. To address this issue, the WINBLUE project aims to empower women in five different blue economy sectors revolving around the conservation and sustainable use of the aquatic resources: circular blue bioeconomy and biotechnology, aquaculture and fisheries, offshore renewable energy, sustainable coastal tourism, cutting-edge enabling technology for protecting and restoring marine ecosystems.

The project will take a multi-faceted approach, including developing gender equality plans, providing training and coaching for female entrepreneurs, collecting data to assess gender inclusivity, and identifying successful practices that can be replicated in other organizations. The goal is to promote gender equality and drive innovation and competitiveness in the blue economy.

Grant awarded: € 1,249,891.19

Duration: 24 months (01/05/2023 to 30/04/2025)

If you would like to know more, a Workshop and a Pitching Session will take place at the European Maritime Day in Brest. The Workshop will take place on 24 May from 12:15 to 13:30, with the title “Women in the blue economy”.

You can attend to discover the role of women in the development of the blue economy and the constraints they encounter in the sector. The workshop will also present strategies and projects that are taking action to build capacity, increase technical cooperation and improve access to financing for women in blue careers through increased gender mainstreaming in sea economies.

Source: European Commission | European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (https://bit.ly/3VEUNPw)