SAFER, or Smart Atlantic Seafood Clusters, is a transnational innovation project co-funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme 2014-2020.

Aim and objectives
The project aims to improve the innovation performance of the seafood industry by increasing technology adoption and transnational cooperation. SAFER will work to achieve the following objectives:

  • Create an innovation platform to sustain an effective transnational network of seafood clusters by putting in place the means that the network needs to effectively drive innovation in a fast-moving network of SMEs and 3rd level and Applied Research Centres distributed across the Atlantic area.
  • Promote technology transfer and collaboration methods within the seafood sector by jointly implementing and evaluating Living Lab pilots. Partners will monitor the activity and share and discuss the results.
  • Serve as empirical input for the Regional Innovation Smart Specialization Strategies (RIS3) of Atlantic regions where the seafood industry is a priority. SAFER will work to become a reference for the promotion of these kind of clusters.

Main outputs
SAFER wants to develop a transnational network of smart seafood clusters able to drive innovation across the Atlantic area. The partnership will initially pilot actions in 5 Atlantic regions to test the network and its suite of innovation services in real living labs within the seafood sector. Results and recommendations resulting from the assessment of pilots will be presented and disseminated to other Atlantic Area regions with a clear view of extending the network and capitalise project’s results.  

SAFER is led by ERNACT (Ireland) and brings together 11 partners from the Atlantic regions of Bretagne (France), Border, Midland and Western (Ireland), Northern Ireland (UK), Norte (Portugal) and Cantabria (Spain). The partnership is formed by a balanced mix of organisations including interregional networks, sea clusters, public institutions, universities, SMEs and maritime economy associations.

Duration and budget
SAFER was originally a 3-year project started in October 2017 and that received approval for extension and additional activities until June 2023 overall budget for the project is €2,237,188.18 with a 75% ERDF co-funding rate.