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Accepting the challenge of the then Portuguese Minister of the Sea, Dr. Ricardo Serrão Santos, the Board of Directors of the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce decided to organize the 4th edition of the "Belgian-Portuguese Routes for the Blue Economy" (Routes) in Lisbon, as a Side Event to the second United Nations Oceans Conference (UNOC). The organizing team appointed by the Board of Directors was made up of the President himself, Rui Faria da Cunha, the General Secretary, Pierre Poncelet, the Vice-Presidents Piet Haerens and Frederico Cardigos, and the collaborators Helena Alexandre and Inês Giesteira.

The ”Routes” had the support of the Belgian Government, Vincent Van Quickenborne (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Justice and the North Sea) and the Portuguese Government, José Maria Costa (Secretary of State for the Maritime Affairs), MEP Isabel Estrada Carvalhais and Felix Leinemann, Head of the Blue Economy and Maritime Spatial Planning Unit of the European Commission's DG MARE. The environmental pillar was ensured by the NGO Sciaena, the links to the maritime business world of the two countries were established by the Blauwe Cluster and the Fórum Oceano and the scientific pillar accompanied by the Flemish Marine Institute. Speakers included WAVEC, Toqua, Tecnoveritas, Solvay, Haedes, DEME, OMA, Okeanos (Univ. of Azores), Aquazor, SIOEN and Medeina Engineering.

CCBP and its partners have organized the Routes in the beginning of the UNOC week. This Routes half day event was focused on “Living Labs & Pilot Tests” and got together entrepreneurs, academics and regulators from the European Union, Belgium and Portugal. The sub themes were 1. Energy & Transportation, 2. Solutions for Coastal Eco restoration and 3. Biotechnology and production. The main purpose of the Routes event was to promote a fruitful discussion on how to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, helping to achieve sustainable development goal 14 targets.

They highlighted some practical examples of early implementation steps of innovations in the field of Blue Economy to validate and measure their positive impact. These innovations are to be shared among companies, NGOs and country representatives and will be used to bring solutions to current problems identified by different stakeholders.

The law firm Morais Leitão, represented by Rui de Oliveira Neves and Ana Monjardino, joined the organization by providing an auditorium where Routes took place and a support team (Ana Craveiro, Joana Varino, João Nogueira, Natália Mosebo Fernandes and Patrícia Graça Moura).

At the event, before members of the Portuguese Royal House, the Belgian Embassy in Portugal, the FAO, the Advisory Council for Fisheries of the outermost regions of the European Commission, and the autonomous regions of Portugal (Regional Directorate of the Sea of Madeira and Ports of the Azores) were present among dozens of other attendees. Projects on energy from the sea, pollutant emissions in the maritime sector, environmental engineering instruments for coastal protection, biological production and biotechnology were presented. The result of this effort may help in the structuring of legal, political, environmental and business trust bases, supported by good scientific knowledge, so that even more alliances may be established between the maritime sector of the two countries. At the same time, we have helped to assess and identify strategies and partnerships to increase action on the oceans for the full implementation of sustainable development goal number 14, which is dedicated to "protecting marine life".

We will continue to take advantage of the synergies between Portugal and Belgium.

The pictures of the event are available here.

The video recording of the working sessions is available here.

The presentations used during the event are available for consultation here.
The report "Highlights" of the IV Routes can be found


1. Energy & Transportation

2. Towards resilient and regenerative solutions for coastal areas

3. Biotechnology & production

27 June 2022 - 14:30-18:00


Location - Morais Leitão

R. Castilho 165, 1070-050 Lisboa, Portugal

A Side Event of the UN Ocean Conference




Rui de Oliveira Neves, Morais Leitão

Rui Faria da Cunha, President of the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce

Felix Leinemann, DG MARE, European Commission

Isabel Estrada Carvalhais, Member of the European Parliament

José Maria Costa, Secretary of State for Maritime Affairs of Portugal

Vincent Van Quickenborne, Minister for the North Sea of Belgium

FIRST SESSION - Energy & Transportation

Moderated by Frederico Ferreira, Fórum Oceano

António Sarmento, WAVEC - “New ideas to capture ocean wind energy in Europe”

Casimir Morobe, Toqua - "Using machine learning to reduce fuel consumption in the shipping industry"

Jorge Antunes, Tecnoveritas - "Decarbonization, the Shipping Dylemma"

Jan Navratil, Solvay - "Smart emissions removal: from onshore to offshore solutions"

SECOND SESSION - Towards resilient and regenerative solutions for coastal areas

Moderated by Ann-Katrien Lescrauwaet, Flanders Marine Institute

Diogo Mendes, HAEDES - “Can aquatic vegetation be used to mitigate coastal problems ?”

Marc Huygens, DEME - "How to (up)scale nature-based solutions for coastal and estuarine management? A coastal & bankbusters showcase”

Filipe Porteiro, OMA and Okeanos (Azores University) - "Coastal protection in a complex and high energetic system: the case of Azores Islands"

THIRD SESSION - Biotechnology & Bioproduction

Moderated by Gonçalo Carvalho, Sciaena

Paulo Serra Lopes, Aquazor - “New aquaculture systems in Portugal, the blue way forward”

Helena Abreu, AlgaPlus - “Algae, from challenge to opportunity”

Bert Groenendaal, SIOEN - “Application of biodegradable textiles for offshore aquaculture”

Miguel Pardo, Medeina Engineering - “Oligochaete worms: a novel approach in a context of dredging and hydraulic engineering. Trajectory towards full scale applications.”


Rui de Oliveira Neves, Morais Leitão

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For additional information please contact us at

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