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The study “Facilitating and fostering the design and implementation of EUSAIR flagship actions and projects in the Adriatic – Ionian macro-region” (Acronym: Ideal EUSAIR) was carried outin the framework of the project “Monitoring and Evaluation of the  EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region (EUSAIR)”, which was assigned, after an international call for tenders, to the Greek consortium comprising LKN ANALYSIS Ltd. and the University of the Aegean. The study was approved by the contracting authority (Greece, Ministry of Development and Investments, National Coordination Authority for the Partnership Agreement, Special Service for Strategy, Planning and Evaluation).

AIM AND OBJECTIVE: The overall objective of the study is to identify important information gaps, needs and opportunities to facilitate and foster the design and implementation of EUSAIR Flagship actions and projects in the Adriatic – Ionian macro-region relevant to Pillar 1 “Blue Growth”.

The methodological approach included a combination of tools such as desk research (literature review) and fieldwork including the organisation of an online survey, addressed to the relevant Blue Growth stakeholders operating in the region, and four thematic focus groups (Blue Technologies, Fisheries, Aquaculture, Maritime and Marine Governance and Services).

The main outcomes and findings of the study are as follows:
According to the research carried out, there are currently 579 relevant stakeholders operating in the Blue Growth sector in the Adriatic – Ionian macro-region. Those stakeholders can be classified according to the quadruple helix model, as follows: Government (148), Academia (250), Industry (99), and Civil Society (82).

KEY POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS: The survey results combined with the outcomes of the Focus Groups allow drafting brief key policy recommendations, which could be used in order to provide guidance to the Managing Authorities and other bodies involved in the design of the programming period 2021-2027. Those recommendations summarize the main directions for the approval, under the new programmes, of projects relevant to the EUSAIR priorities. In addition, they include a list of indicative projects or group of projects which could be compatible with the EUSAIR objectives for each one of the Pillar 1 priorities approved as Flagships and Actions by the EUSAIR Governing Board

PROPOSED PROJECT IDEAS: The Ideal EUSAIR study identifies a total of 30 potential project ideas, 17 in the topic of Blue Technologies, 7 in Fisheries and Aquaculture and 6 in Maritime and Marine Governance and Services. Among them two cross-pillar project ideas are presented in the topic of Blue Technologies. Each project idea includes a brief description of the potential project and its significance, its relevance with the Pillar 1 Flagships as well as the potential stakeholders and sources for funding.  All projects presented were discussed in the respective focus groups organised in the framework of the Ideal EUSAIR study. The list of the project ideas comprises a pool of potential Blue Growth projects for the new programming period, providing the Thematic Steering Group for Pillar 1 “Blue Growth” the opportunity for project selection according to its priorities and following the project production processes.