Focusing on topics such as water management, biodiversity, and smart ports
Promoting and developing the potential of the blue economy and encouraging the preservation of marine and ocean resources as an engine for economic growth. This is the aim of Tomorrow.Blue Economy, that will gather experts from all over the world from 7 to 9 November at Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via venue to address the opportunities and challenges of this sector, which is key for the future of the planet.
The event, organized by Fira de Barcelona with the collaboration of Barcelona City Council, through Barcelona Activa; Port de Barcelona; the World Ocean Council (WOC), the leading international business organization in the field of sustainable maritime economy; and Smart Ports: Piers of the Future, an alliance comprised of the Ports of Antwerp-Bruges, Barcelona, Busan, Gottemburg, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Montreal and Rotterdam that promotes the digital and sustainable transformation of ports, will highlight the importance and potential of the responsible use of ocean resources.
In its second edition, the congress will be attended by experts, scientists, companies, startups and institutions that will share solutions and experiences to advance along this path based on innovation, in an interdisciplinary approach and through public-private collaboration. The program will address key issues such as climate change, finance, offshore energy, water management, biodiversity, green shipping, smart ports, recreational boating, tourism and careers in the blue economy sector.
Among the experts speaking at the conference feature Aurora Catà, Vicepresident, America’s Cup Events Barcelona; Michael DiBernardo, Deputy Executive Director Marketing and Customer Relations, Port of Los Angeles; Vasileios Latinos, Head of Climate Resilience and Adaptation, ICLEI's European Secretariat; Jens Meier, Chief Executive Officer, Hamburg Port Authority; David Pino, Managing Director of Port Vell, Port of Barcelona; Jordi Valls, Deputy Mayor for Economy, Tax, Economic Promotion and Tourism; and Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, Port of Antwerp Bruges.
The founder and president of the World Ocean Council, Paul Holthus, stated that "Barcelona is a global hub for the Blue Economy, making it the perfect place to engage the global ocean business community worldwide to generate new business opportunities in support of smart and sustainable coastal cities and maritime industries”.
The Deputy Mayor for Economy, Finance, Economic Promotion and Tourism, Jordi Valls, highlighted the importance of "Tomorrow.Blue Economy being held in Barcelona, a city with a historical link to the Mediterranean, and which has placed the blue economy as one of the main drivers of its economic diversification strategy. This industry offers huge potential opportunities for companies and the development of talent, innovation and technology, while reinforcing the city's commitment to sustainability and the fight against climate change."
The President of the Port of Barcelona, Lluís Salvadó, explained that "after organizing four editions of Smart Ports: Piers of the Future, an event that places Barcelona as the world capital of port innovation, our commitment to lead the smart transformation of ports is now backed by a broader and more powerful strategy that includes the themes of the blue economy, which goes beyond ports and cities and takes the sustainable ocean as a reference to turn it into an economic powerhouse and a source of wealth".
According to data from the United Nations, the blue economy is estimated to contribute US $1.5 trillion in value-add to the global economy, it generates over 30 million jobs and supplies a vital source of protein to over three billion people. In addition, a report by the OECD forecasts that the ocean economy may double in size to $3 trillion by 2030.
Tomorrow.Blue Economy, Tomorrow.Mobility, Tomorrow.Building and PUZZLE X, are being held alongside Smart City Expo World Congress 2023, the world's largest event on cities and urban innovation. All the events together are expected to gather more than 1,000 exhibitors, representatives from over 800 cities and 140 countries, and 600 speakers.