NEPTUNE Blue Growth accelerator supports the emergence of innovative solutions

A new European Union funded innovation action, NEPTUNE (New Cross Sectoral Value Chains Creation across Europe Facilitated By Clusters for SMEs’ Innovation in Blue Growth) was successfully launched in July 2016. The NEPTUNE Blue Growth accelerator brings together the expertise of 8 clusters, 2 cluster and entrepreneurship support organisations, 1 engineer school and 1 consultant company from 7 European countries: France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden. The accelerator will run for 30 months until December 2018 under the coordination of Aerospace Valley.

The overall objective is to develop new cross-sectoral and cross-border industrial value-chains led by SMEs to foster the development of three key aspects for the Blue Growth industries in Europe and beyond: (1) the water management in urban and rural environment, (2) the fluvial and maritime transport and port logistics; (3) and the environment and renewable marine energy. This development will be allowed by the integration of new technologies and know-how between Water, Aerospace, ICT and Agriculture cluster actors/industries.

To reach this objective, the NEPTUNE accelerator is designed around 2 main concepts:

An innovative Open Space Platform to support emergence of cross-sectoral and cross-border solutions led by SMEs

A collaboration space and networking for SMEs and cluster organisations, using both virtual and remote environment and physical meetings.

An innovative method to stimulate innovation will be implemented.

After having stimulated the emergence of SME driven project ideas, the most promising ones will be supported.

Entrepreneurship and innovation support toolbox to leverage the innovation potential of SMEs

A mix of measures to directly support SMEs cross-sectoral product or service for Blue Growth with a complete coaching, mentoring and voucher system:

·         Up to € 60,000 grant (incubation and entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, Scalability and internationalization, large scale demonstrator, etc.)

·         Support services provided by the NEPTUNE accelerator partners (business model development, search of funding opportunities, etc.)

·         Launch of calls for expressions of interest in November 2016 with two cut-off dates: February and August 2017

NEPTUNE will receive €4,1 million grant from the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework programme of which 75% will be dedicated to the direct support of SMEs either through vouchers (2,68M€) or services provided by NEPTUNE accelerator partners (550K€). NEPTUNE expects to support at least 100 European SMEs for the development of 40 new innovative solutions from the company creation to the reinforcement of the SMEs beneficiaries.


Mrs. Hanna-Kaisa SAARI, Coordinator +33 (0)5 56 84 53 85 

Mr. Colin RUEL, Communication contact +33 (0)4 94 03 89 03          

Neptune consortium

8 Innovative clusters and 2 cluster and entrepreneurship support organisations : Aerospace Valley (France), Agence de Développement et d’Innovation Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes (France) Corallia Clusters Initiative/Research Center Athena (Greece), Fundació Eurecat (Spain),  Asociación Clúster de Movilidad y Logística de Euskadi (Spain),  Agentia de Dezvoltare Regionala Nord-Vest / North-West Regional Development Agency (Romania), Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano (Italy),  Pôle Mer Méditerrnée (France), Polish Space Industry Association (Poland), WIN - Water Innovation Accelerator (Sweden).

1 Engineer School and reseach center : Ecole Supérieure des Technologies Industrielles Avancées (France).

1 Consultant Company: INNO TSD (France).

Published on
July 07, 2016