“Blue Mission” Training Course

Training course for young professionals on blue growth in the Mediterranean

With the focus on the maritime transport sector and ports

13 - 17 November 2017 | Piran, Slovenia

Objective of the course | Course outline | Topics covered | Speakers and Instructors

Who can apply? | What is included? | Partners | About Blue Mission

A 5-day professional course, where participants will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience from a wide range of experts from policy-making, research and private sector communities from across the Euro-Mediterranean region. This is an interdisciplinary learning experience and relies on active participation of students.

Objective of the course

The objective of this training is to enhance the knowledge and capacity of young professionals on the concept and applications of blue growth initiatives in the Mediterranean Sea basin with a view to contributing to the creation of new and qualified “jobs of the sea”.

Course outline

The course is designed in part as a general introduction to the issue of ocean economy and blue growth, and in part as an investigation of the potential in that context of the specific sector of maritime transport. Maritime transportation accounts for about 80% of global trade by volume and it is expected to continue growing in size. There is an urgent need to maintain the benefits of the maritime transport for the economy and society while diminishing the pressures on the coastal environment and high seas. Innovation, technology and coordination play a promising role to accomplish that goal. Focused sessions of the training, including a visit to the largest container port in the Adriatic, Luka Koper, will explore the state of the art and the potential of the ports and maritime transport related to blue growth.

The training is highly interdisciplinary, involving aspects of physics, chemistry and biology, marine biology, geology, geophysics, geochemistry, environmental engineering, ecological modelling, climatology, economics and governance.

Topics covered

  • Blue growth policy framework
  • The biological status of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Marine environment monitoring services
  • The role of the BlueMed initiative
  • Opportunities offered by blue growth to the Mediterranean countries
  • The ecological impact of fisheries in the Mediterranean
  • The use of seabed: risks and opportunities
  • Sustainable marine and coastal tourism/cultural heritage


Special focus: Smart maritime transport, logistics and ports

  • The multi-layered significance of the transport sector
  • Future ship powering options
  • The role of ports in transitioning to blue growth

And more.

Speakers and Field Trips

A range of experts coming from policy-making, research and private sector communities from across the Euro-Mediterranean region will interact with the participants.

On the policy end, speakers from the European Commission and BlueMed initiative have been invited, and a host of experts from substantive challenges have been approached to deliver interactive sessions.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Ambassador Ihab Fahmy, Deputy Secretary General for Transport and Urban Development, Union for the Mediterranean
  • Ahmed Hamdy Moursy, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport
  • Prof. Fabio Fava, Chair, BLUEMED Initiative Strategic Board
  • Prof. Maria Cristina Peddichio, President of OGS Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale
  • Dr. Mounir Ghribi, Director, Sustainable Blue Growth Initiative at OGS Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale
  • Assoc. Prof. Rodolfo Taccani, Università di Trieste
  • Dr. Angelo Carmelenghi, OGS Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale
  • Dr. Simone Libralato, OGS Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale
  • Ms Vesna Kolar Planinšič, Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Slovenia
  • Ms Katarina Goli, Ministry of Infrastructure of Slovenia

Field trips:

  • Strunjan nature reserve
  • Fonda fish farm
  • Port of Koper
  • Škocjanski zatok nature reserve 

Who can apply?

Young professionals, researchers and PhD students with a background, relevant to the blue growth topics and have good knowledge of the English language (level B2 or higher).

Apply here

What is included?

All the activities in the training programme are fully covered for the participants. EMUNI will also provide and cover accommodation to all participants.

A limited number of travel allowances is available, especially for participants from the South Mediterranean countries on a first-come-first-serve basis.


  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia
  • Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
  • Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), Italy
  • Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Slovenia
  • The Port of Koper

About Blue Growth and Blue Mission

Blue growth is a strategic orientation of global and regional relevance, aiming at underpinning activities in the marine and maritime sectors in the direction of sustainable development. It is based on the recognition of both the potential and the vulnerabilities of the oceans. In the context of the EU, the Blue Growth concept was launched by the Commission in 2012, noting that the sea and the coasts are the drivers of the economy, and that ports and coastal communities are a potential for innovation and new ideas due to their outward-looking geography. The advances in technology and improved citizens’ awareness offer opportunities for diminished pressures on the marine environments. These advances should be taken advantage of in pursuing sustainable development, as our future social and economic development critically depend on them.

In the Mediterranean, the relevance of blue growth was recognised in 2014 with the launch of the Bluemed initiative. This multi-stakeholder initiative is led by Italy and jointly developed with other eight Mediterranean EU Member States (Cyprus, Croatia, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain). It seeks to coordinate research and innovation activities to support a new sustainable approach to manage and exploit the potential of the Mediterranean marine and maritime sectors. The European Commission supports the blue growth concept through both its Research & Innovation and its Maritime Affairs & Fisheries arms, but the theme is pertinent also to the discussions on EU’s competitiveness.

The political support to blue growth has substantively increased with the endorsement of the Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Blue Economy of 17 November 2015. The ministerial recognised the importance of the blue economy to promote growth, jobs and investments and reduce poverty, whilst safeguarding healthy seas and developing a clear vision for the sustainable and integrated development of marine and maritime sectors at national and sea basin level. In the declaration, Ministers recognised the importance of supporting human capacity building to promote the creation of blue jobs and supported cooperation between relevant education, training and research institutions, boosting skills and employability in the Mediterranean Sea basin. This event is perfectly aligned with and attempts to implement the conclusions of the UfM Ministerial. The main theme of Maritime Transport was chosen as it represents a vital sector, which has hitherto not been tapped upon, owing to its great potential for fostering new & innovative skills, employability and sustainable development in the southern rim of the Mediterranean.

In parallel to policy discussions on “blue growth” or “blue economy”, a number of initiatives have been developed in the past years to implement and operationalize the agenda in sectors such as aquaculture, coastal tourism, transport, marine biotechnology, ocean energy and seabed mining. To make blue growth a reality, a close interplay of practice and policy remain crucial. This stands at the heart of EMUNI’s agenda for the advancement of blue growth through the young experts in the region.