Blue Growth focuses on competitiveness of Europe's maritime sectors and coastal regions as well as in ways to channel all the ‘blue’ potential towards innovation and smart business models. With 5.4 million people working today in the ‘blue economy‘ of the EU, it is only natural to consider maritime resources and regions as one of the cornerstones of the EU 2020 strategy. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement. In 2012, DG MARE awarded a research consortium led by Ecorys (including partners S.PRO and MRAG) with a Framework Contract to promote sustainable, smart and inclusive maritime growth and employment in sea-oriented and coastal regions in the EU. In the framework of this contract, renewed in 2014, our consortium has carried out numerous tasks. To name a few, different support activities for the development of maritime clusters in the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas; the promotion and awareness-raising on blue economy in the Mediterranean sea basin through events and maritime academies; the investigation on the state of knowledge of deep-sea mining; and the study on the challenges for a sustainable development of coastal and nautical tourism.For further information on the Blue Growth, please click here.