AspBAN Open Innovation Program

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AspBAN context:

The ‘Atlantic Smart Ports Blue Acceleration Network’ (AspBAN) is a 2-year project co-financed by the European Commission’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund that responds to the objectives of the Atlantic Action Plan 2.0 (AAP 2.0) of the Atlantic Strategy Committee (ASC).

AspBAN is mainly focused on developing a dynamic acceleration platform, helping EU Atlantic ports to work as blue economy hubs through the Acceleration Services already launched last year (Open call is closed) and also this Open Innovation program.

The main goal of the Open Innovation program:   

The Open innovation program of AspBAN has the main purpose of developing the whole Blue Economy ecosystem around the port centered blue innovation hubs by facilitating and establishing the collaboration between Startups and Ports through concrete pilot projects increasing the chances of implementing

Who can Apply

· Businesses that have at least a pilot ready solution
· Startup from all over the world

Challenges

Green Ports

We are looking for solutions that will enhance air quality control, carbon emissions and noise reduction

Clean Energy sources for Ports

We are looking for solutions that drive ports’ decarbonization by bringing clean energy sources for ports

Port facilities for Off-shore energy 

We are looking for solutions and new business in the sector of renewable energies 

Waste management & Circular Economy

We are looking for solutions tackling the waste management in the ports contributing to the circularity of waste resources

Ports as catalysers of Natural Capital Value & Restoration

We are looking for solutions that will contribute to conservation and restoration of the natural capital around the ports ecosystem

Port infrastructures

We are looking for solutions that support port operation and improve the port infrastructures

New Business derived from Living Marine Resources (Aquaculture and Fisheries)

We are looking for solutions that can be applied in the emerging sectors in the blue bio-economy and bio-technology, aquaculture and fisheries

Traffic management, Freights and Logistics

We are looking for solutions that will increase the Ports’ capacity to deal with Traffic, management, freights and logistics

Smart Ports and Industry Digital Transformation

We are looking for solutions that will enable Ports’ Digital Transformation in order to become smarter, data-driven and interoperable

Sustainable Shipping Industry and Maritime Transportation

We are looking for solutions towards the decarbonization and sustainability of the shipping industry and Maritime Transportation

Pilot Partners

Ports are one of the main interfaces with the ocean, which means they will play a strategic role as launch pads for a new generation of blue companies. By becoming the main innovation playground for the development and implementation of new blue businesses, the EU’s Atlantic ports have the opportunity to diversify their revenue sources and contribute to a more sustainable ocean economy, therefore we gathered the needs, challenges and priorities out of 143 Strategic partners across the Atlantic ports that represent entities such as:

  • Ports
  • Port authorities
  • Corporates operating in the ports in industries such as oil & gas, fisheries, shipping, logistics, waste management, environmental services, etc.

Timeline

The program will run in a hybrid mode requiring both virtual and physical presence, and will be held in english

2022
March 8

Applications:

8 March – 16 June 2022 Startups can apply by filling the application form and submitting it.
May 6

Evaluation and Selection:

6 May – 27 May 2022 The Pitch phase will integrate around 80 participating startups.
September 1

Pitch phase:

September This phase won’t require physical presence since it will happen remotely. The Bootcamp will integrate around 60 startups.
October 1

Bootcamp:

October This phase will require physical presence but will still have a virtual space for those who can only attend remotely
2023
February 1

Demo Day

What’s in it for you?

  • Chance to connect and have access to 142 Strategic partners across the Atlantic Ports
  • Fast forward business bootcamp opportunities with relevant partners.
  • Opportunity to scale and test the product using real data in a live environment.
  • Networking and partnerships with startups selected for the Bootcamp.
  • Feedback and mentorship from experts on the Blue Economy sector.

FAQs

What is AspBAN?

The Atlantic Smart Ports Blue Acceleration Network (AspBAN) is the establishment of a partnership between EU Atlantic ports for the development of a blue accelerator scheme that can stimulate innovative businesses in an innovation ecosystem to foster a sustainable blue economy. AspBAN is funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) of the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) of the European Union and will be based on the successful experience of Bluetech Accelerator – Ports & Shipping 4.0 in Portugal.

The project has the main goal to achieve a final pool of 30 innovative startup solutions developed as pilots in 30 Atlantic ports, attracting 6M€ in direct private investment, mobilizing 4,5billion€ of potential private investment and making a reduction of at least 100.000 tons of CO2 emissions in the operations of the 30 ports.

In which stage should I be in order to apply?

We’re looking for startups that have at least an MVP, ready to PoC. The startup could be without clients, but not in an ideation phase.

In what language will the program be conducted?

English is the official language of the program

Where and when will the program take place?

AspBAN Open Innovation program will have both online and physical/Hybrid presence, which will be communicated in advance.

Pitch phase will occur during the week of 27 July – 1 June 2022; and Bootcamp during the week of 25 July – 29 July

Are there any expenses covered by the program?

TBD

Who needs to attend?

For the Pitch phase, one person will be required to pitch the startup and solution. It is important to have a team member that can address all questions from the jury members of the partners.

 

What information do I need to provide in my application?

We ask for information about you, your solutions, your team and your company. Don’t hold back, let us know how great you are!

Do you take any equity from the participating startups?

AspBAN is not an accelerator program and thus, unlike conventional accelerators for startups, we do not ask for equity in your business in order for you to participate and obtain all of the benefits of the program.

However, should one or more of the program partners be interested in investing and the time is right for your business, this is certainly a possibility and a valued outcome for many startups.

Will you be investing in startups?

The program is not investment-focused, it focuses on implementing startups solutions. But despite that, some investors might be present in some key moments of the program such as the Pitch phase, Bootcamp or even the Demo day observing the startups which can lead to further investment discussions even though it’s not part of the program.

I don’t live in one of the Atlantic Member Countries. Can I apply?

Yes, AsBAN is open for startups from all over the world as long as there is an interest and you are able to work with any of the partners that are present in the Atlantic Strategy Committee Member Countries (Ireland, Portugal, Spain and France). Startups with solutions / products that contribute to the objectives of the Atlantic Strategy, and especially the goals for development of Atlantic ports into blue economy hubs, and whose activities are focused on the EU waters in the Atlantic, are welcome to apply.

If my startup is selected, what are the next steps?

If your startup is pre-selected after the online applications (F6S), you’ll be invited to the Online Pitch. Afterwards, the selected startups will be invited to take part in the Bootcamp and the startups with the best fit with the partners will move forward to the Implementation Phase.

What are the selection criteria?

The selection process will be managed by Beta-i and a jury from the partners. A team of evaluators will be focusing on your product, team, market, business model, fit with each partner and will even be counting on their gut feeling and experience from previous Open Innovation programs.

If my startup is selected, what are the next steps?

If your startup is pre-selected after the online applications (F6S), you’ll be invited to the Pitch phase. Afterwards, the selected startups will be invited to take part in the Bootcamp and the startups with the best fit with the partners will move forward to the Implementation Phase.

How many startups will be chosen for the program?

We aim to select 80 startups to join the Pitch phase and then 60 to the Bootcamp..

What do I gain from this program?

  • Chance to connect and have access to 142 Strategic partners across the Atlantic Ports
  • Fast forward business bootcamp opportunities with relevant partners.
  • Opportunity to scale and test the product using real data in a live environment.
  • Networking and partnerships with startups selected for the Bootcamp.
  • Feedback and mentorship from experts on the Blue Economy sector.

Can I apply with more than one startup?

Yes, definitely. You can apply with as many projects you believe would fit and benefit with the program. Each startup will require its own application.

Is there a budget set aside for the solution implementation?

The budget for the implementation project is a process of negotiation between the startup and the partner(s) that should start during the Bootcamp. There are grants set aside for the implementation projects however their applications depend on the specific case of each project.

Coordinator
Partners
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This Project has received funding from the European Union under grant agreement No.: EMFF-APC-2020-AspBAN-101033749.