Representatives from academia, business and institutions define the content of InnovAzul 2022

The rector of the University of Cadiz and the president of the International Global Campus of the Sea Foundation (CEI-Mar), Francisco Piniella, accompanied by the mayor of Cadiz, José María González, the sub-delegate of the Government in Cadiz, José Antonio Pacheco, the acting Government Delegate of the Andalusian Regional Government, Mercedes Colombo, the Vice-President of the Cadiz Provincial Council, José María Román, the President of the Bay of Cadiz Port Authority, Teófila Martínez, the State Delegate of the Cadiz Free Trade Zone, Francisco González, the director of Navantia’s Substations Business and Off-Shore Platform, Manuel Braza, and the vice-rector for Scientific and Technological Policy of the University of Cadiz and president of the Organising Committee, María Jesús Mosquera, inaugurated this morning the working session of the Programme Committee of the 2nd International Meeting on Knowledge and the Blue Economy, InnovAzul 2022, which will be held in Cadiz from 29 November to 2 December and which is a continuation of the event held in 2018 to make the city, Andalusia and southern Europe an international benchmark in the field of the Blue Economy.

The event was also attended by the mayors of Barbate, Miguel Molina, Rota, José Javier Ruiz Arana, as well as municipal representatives from San Fernando, La Línea, Puerto Real and Trebujena, researchers, businessmen, and technicians from various institutions and research institutes.

The working day, which served as the official presentation of this second edition of InnovAzul, was attended by nearly 200 experts and representatives of the strategic private and public sectors linked to the marine-maritime economy, knowledge and innovation, who were invited by the organisers to make contributions to the initial structure of contents and activities that had already been developed by the UCA and the CEI-Mar (in collaboration with the European Seas University, SEA-EU). The aim of this conference is to define the scientific programme of this important event. In addition to the plenary session, InnovAzul will include the following parallel sectoral sessions: Ports and Port Logistics; Marine Renewable Energies; Sustainability; Shipbuilding and Off-shore; Marine Resources: Blue Tourism and Blue Territory.

The rector of the UCA explained during his speech that “the important thing about this event is that all the institutions are sitting down to make Cadiz the capital of the blue economy. You are not invited, you are part of this common goal”. At the same time, he recalled that, from the University of Cadiz, “we are leading, together with all the sectors, institutions and companies involved, this strategy, which is fundamental for the future of our land and our sea. And we are doing so from the south. We are aware that there are many potentialities and enormous challenges associated with the marine and maritime sectors and that their future projection must necessarily and without delay meet the objectives of sustainable development. The ship of the future must sail with a blue and green flag. This is not a flag of convenience, but one of responsibility, commitment and public utility, where institutions, companies, universities, research centres, social fabric and citizens join forces to orchestrate a strategy for growth”.

In his speech, the mayor of the city recalled that progress in Cádiz has always come by sea: “the sea is in an extreme situation. We must combine our future with the care and economic development linked to the sea. There will be more new possibilities with a more caring sea”. To this end, he asked all the institutions involved to “be up to the task”.

Likewise, the sub-delegate of the central government in Cádiz, José Pacheco, stated that “we are all going to work together to make this international meeting a success where this transfer of knowledge takes place with the UCA as the unifier of all the efforts, and we are proud that the province of Cádiz is the setting because all the elements linked to the Blue Economy are to be found here”.

For her part, Mercedes Colombo pointed out that the Andalusian Regional Government “is committed and for this reason has created a Department of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy and the province of Cadiz must be a leader, together with the UCA, in this path, as it is doing essential work for which it will always count on our collaboration”.

The vice-president of the Provincial Council stressed that “Cadiz is the province of sustainability and, in particular, of blue tourism. It is a brand that makes us stand out and that is why we identify with and commit ourselves to the objectives set by the UCA with the organisation of InnovAzul”.

During her speech, Teófila Martínez stressed “how much the UCA has done for marine research. It is a source of pride for the rest of the citizens”, which is why supporting the university’s proposals “is a source of satisfaction. We are located in one of the most important hubs of international maritime transport.  We are an engine of development and wealth generation and with the help of the University “we want to be an efficient and sustainable port”, he specified.

Manuel Braza stated that Navantia is “spearheading the Blue Economy, even more so after the launch of Seanergies”. In this context, he highlighted the intense collaboration with the UCA through the José Patiño Chair of R&D research.

During the event, the vice-rector for Science and Technology Policy of the UCA presented the international meeting that will bring together companies, public institutions, research centres and universities to foster collaboration between the different agents in the system, promote innovation and contribute to generating a modern, environmentally friendly and competitive economy. Innovazul 2022 will offer an attractive programme of presentations and round tables and will have an exhibition area with more than 60 stands of companies and public and private entities, as well as a space with a hundred tables for the scheduled bilateral meetings.

InnovAzul 2022

As a novelty, InnovAzul 2022 is designed as an “event of events” since, in addition to this main meeting which is now being finalised, the Cadiz Conference Centre will host a series of important parallel activities. One of these is the 9th Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference. ASPC 2022 which, under the title ‘Atlantic Approach: enabler of a sustainable blue green economy’, will bring together more than a thousand people from the Atlantic region of Europe.

Under the umbrella of InnovAzul, the public-private meeting of the Atlazul Project will also take place, where the design of regional blue growth strategies will be consolidated and the white paper on the governance of the Atlantic Maritime Alliance between Spain and Portugal will be presented.

Other important events will also be held during these days, such as the XVIII National Aquaculture Congress; the Spinazul Summit; the SEA-EU Innovation. Stakeholders Conference of the European University of the Seas; the ADSA. Atlantic Digital Startup Academy Greentech and Matinime Starups on borard; Blue Garum; EMPORIA4KT; the Blue Economy Forum of Barbate; the Sea Fair, among others.

Leaders in culinary and gastronomic knowledge transfer

The University of Cadiz, in its strategy of reinforcing excellence, research, transfer and scientific dissemination of marine-maritime studies, wants to continue playing an important role in culinary and gastronomic innovation, as this field of action is an example of how discoveries, scientific findings, technologies and research in general flow from the university to society and generate economic value and development of the environment.  In fact, the UCA is a pioneer in studying the culinary potential of marine cereals and different types of algae and macroalgae.

For this reason, the working day and presentation of the next International Meeting on Knowledge and Blue Economy (Innovazul 2022) will also serve to show an example of this transfer of knowledge to society thanks to the tasting menu prepared by the professor of the Department of Biology of the Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences of the University of Cadiz, José Lucas Pérez Lloréns.

Lloréns is one of the authors (together with Ignacio Hernández, Juan José Vergara and Fernando Brun) of the monographs ‘¿Las algas de comen? Un periplo por la Biología, la Historia, las curiosidades y la gastronomía’ (2016) and ‘Those Curious and Delicious Seaweeds’ (2018), published by the University of Cádiz with the participation of CEI-Mar. This work has won the prize for the best cookbook in the world at the prestigious Gourmand Awards. In the English edition of these awards, it also won the prize for the best cookery book in the world in the last 25 years of this international gastronomy competition. This choral work takes a journey through the history and the universe of seaweed by four researchers from the UCA.

The InnovAzul tasting menu, prepared by the UCA professor, consists of a shot of Iberian-Japanese unami, chickpea salad, smoked sardine and sea spaghetti with black garlic citrus emulsion, au poke and mango with furikake.

In addition, Gadira Barbate brings to the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters a sample of salted tuna from almadraba traps and Casa Lola, from Trebujena, presents at this forum dishes made with jabonero meat, a breed of veal that feeds on the grasses that grow next to the estuaries at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River.

This gastronomic sample is completed with the organic white wine Patinegro from Bodegas Barbadillo, named after the black-footed plover, a wader bird seriously threatened by the process of transformation of beaches and wetlands and by human interference in the nesting and breeding areas. This species is the subject of research by the UCA’s Salina La Esperanza Central Services, the most important area of the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park for the breeding populations of the kentish plover, as these salt flats have one of the highest densities in Europe. Finally, Bodega Luis Pérez contributes with Garum, a red wine made from three grape varieties and named after the famous Roman condiment.