On the 20th of September Interreg Atlantic Area funded SAFER project final conference was held online in the framework of the CPMR Fisheries Working Group. More than 100 participants attended to the conference and understand the crucial role of seafood sector for regional economies, the challenges faced by the sectors and how innovation can solution them.
Georges Alexakis, Vice-Governor of Crete, Vice President of CPMR in charge of Maritime Affairs and Claire Hugues, Regional Councillor of Pays de la Loire, Chair of the Fisheries Working Group opened the meeting dedicated to the future of the seafood sector.
He was followed by Jose Manuel San Emeterio, SAFER project lead partner from ERNACT, that gave an overview of the main outcomes and lessons learnt from the project. Among others, he reflected on the potential for improvement that the seafood sector has and the importance of working closely with the companies to implement new technologies and solutions. He acknowledged the work done by the SAFER partners, approaching a significant number of companies, and succeeding in engaging with some of them to implement real solutions.
Miguel Fernandes, General Manager of Foodintech, presented the Manufacturing Execution System pilots. This is a great example of a true transnational collaboration with a solution implemented by a Portuguese partner in 3 seafood companies from different countries: Irish Fish Canners (Ireland), NorteSea (Portugal) and Mytilimer (France).
Jorge Muyo, Director General in charge of Innovation from Gobierno de Cantabria, presented how the SAFER project and its results have served to directly input into the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) for the Region of Cantabria in Spain for the period 2021-2027.
After SAFER project partners presentations, attendees had the opportunity to discover inspiring initiatives from Flevoland (Netherlands), Norrbotten (Sweden), Galicia (Spain), Marche (Italy) and Western Greece. Perspectives of CPMR regions where shared encouraging transformation and innovation in the seafood sector.
The conference also served to discuss how to make use of the legacy of the SAFER project and seek to expand this model and results into other regions by implementing a possible SAFER 2.0 project.
Claire Hugues, Regional Councillor of Pays de la Loire, Chair of the Fisheries Working Group closed the SAFER final conference addressing the need for regions to cooperate for a sustainable future of seafood, calling for an extension of SAFER project to strengthen its strategic approach in transfer of innovation in the Atlantic and beyond.