My name is Jade, and I have been volunteering as an IVY for the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) for 2 months (already!) in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Marseille. More specifically, I work with the Inter Mediterranean Commission (IMC) of the CPMR on two projects funded by the Interreg MED program: Blue Growth Community and Blue Bio Med.
These two projects are both related to Blue Growth and the Blue Economy, but as I was starting my volunteering, I soon realised that their scopes were quite different:
- Blue Growth Community is a horizontal project aiming at capitalising on the results of other projects that are part of its community. In other words, it wants to make sure that the work of Interreg MED projects is visible and exploited to their full potential. On top of capitalisation, the Blue Growth Community also produces its own results related to Blue Growth, such as the Interreg Med Academy, a MOOC on Blue Growth that was launched on May 16 for a duration of 5 weeks.
- Blue Bio Med is a strategic project focusing on the niche sector of blue biotechnologies that recently launched a Mediterranean Innovation Alliance for Sustainable Blue Bioeconomy. This Alliance is special because it is co-designed by many different stakeholders during dedicated workshops. To be fair, I had never heard of the field of blue bioeconomy before starting my volunteering, so I am learning a lot!
I feel extremely lucky be an IVY for the CPMR for several reasons. First, the IMC-CPMR team is very supportive and inclusive, and I am learning new things every day. Second, I started this IVY mission during a “momentum” of the Interreg MED programme: many projects (including the ones I am working on) are closing, while the first call for the new programming period (2021-2027) was just launched. Third, since the sanitary measures have slackened, I was able to travel for work two times already: first in Bari for the final event of the B-BLUE project, then to Barcelona for the capitalisation event “Fostering Circular Blue Economy in the Mediterranean” co-organised by my host organisation.
The diversity of projects, stakeholders, and initiatives around the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean is impressive. Before my volunteering, I did not realise that so many actors and people were working daily to make the sea and coastal areas more sustainable places.
Working in our Marseille office makes cooperation projects feel more “real” since our offices are part of the premises of Région Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur located at the heart of the euro-Mediterranean district. Before volunteering here, I thought that the programme officers of the Interreg MED programme were in Brussels. In fact, we are in the same building.
Jade, IVY Project Parter at Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR/CRPM), for the Interreg Project BLUE BIO MED