Blue technologies to combat climate change

Oceans capture CO2 from the atmosphere, sea level rises and storms will increase in force and frequency as a result of global warming. But as oceans cover 70% of the earth’s surface, they also provide a huge potential for large scale production of renewable energy (wind, wave, tidal, floating solar, etc.). Oceans can also counterbalance droughts and fresh water shortage by desalination installations. Moreover, clean shipping will be an indispensable element to come to a carbon neutral transport system and clean air in densely populated coastal regions.

With oceans and seas playing a major role in climate regulation, blue technologies are an important driver for economic growth with a clear shift towards innovative and sustainable solutions.

Blue technologies at the G-STIC conference

A first selection of market-ready integrated technological solutions

During the conference, we will review and discuss a first selection of market-ready integrated technological solutions that can lead to a major impact on the achievement of the oceans-related SDGs, in close interaction with the audience, panel members and keynote speakers. The identified solutions tackle multiple sustainable development challenges across disciplines and sectors and take the environmental, social and economic dimensions of these challenges into account.

Coastal protection

There is an urgent need for integrated protection strategies that facilitate coastal adaptation to climate change. For the specific challenges coastal regions are facing, several types of adaptation measures should be considered. These include institutional and social measures, as well as technological measures and ecosystem-based adaptation measures.

Clean shipping

Shipping accounts for 5% of global oil consumption, which is at the same level as the oil consumption of Germany, France and the UK combined. Many technologies are available to combat greenhouse gas emissions from marine transport, ranging from alternative propulsion systems, carbon-free fuels, up to speed optimization. Ambitious targets, better policies and innovative finance solutions are needed to reduce carbon footprint.


It is generally accepted that conventional water resources are no longer sufficient to meet rising water demands. Unconventional approaches such as desalination are therefore expected to play a key role in narrowing the gap between water supply and demand. Despite the benefits desalination has to offer, a number of key challenges remain to be addressed.

Smart sea

The smart sea concept covers digital technologies for ocean-related data collection and analysis, sensors for data collection and analysis, subsea imagery and subsea communication. Technological innovations can be expected in mobile, fixed and digital simulation platforms for ocean data collection.

Marine spatial planning

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a pragmatic approach to allocate space among competing activities in a sustainable way. MSP not just affects economic and business decisions, it also impacts the choice of technologies to be deployed. Conversely, the use of MSP should consider how innovative technologies can contribute to sustainable blue growth.

Marine energy

With oceans covering 70% of the earth’s surface, they provide a huge potential for large scale production of renewable energy. Marine energy resources can be contained in waves, tides, or district energy system in off-shore islands. Using technologies for island & remote coastal energy supply, interconnection of independent power grids and movable independent power stations, this energy can be converted into reliable, sustainable and cost-competitive electricity.

Bring your perspective to the discussions

Join the semi-plenary session – November 21, 09:00 – 13:00

The semi-plenary session on November 21 will identify and select clusters of market-ready integrated technological solutions to tackle the ‘Sustainable ocean resources’ societal challenge. During this semi-plenary session, keynote speakers and speakers will elaborate on how these solutions can help deliver on the SDGs. Panel and audience members will give their views and opinions during the subsequent panel discussion.

Check the programme

Keynote speaker


 Dick Engelhardt

Dick Engelhardt

North Sea Port


 Gudrun Janssens

Gudrun Janssens

Royal Belgian Shipowners Association

Head Of Environmental and Technical Affairs

 Claire Jolly

Claire Jolly

Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD

Head of Unit

Panel discussion

Expand your knowledge on crucial transition processes

Participate in the deep dives – November 21

All deep dives will focus on one specific cluster of technological solutions, and discuss the key policy recommendations and actions that are needed to deploy these technological solutions at scale under different socio-economic conditions worldwide.

Available technologies & pilots within alternative fuels for cleaner shipping

November 21, 14:00 – 15:00

Necessary infrastructure in ports to move towards cleaner shipping

November 21, 15:15 – 16:10

EU-finance mechanisms & policy for sustainable projects within a maritime context

November 21, 16:10 – 16:50

Inspiring ocean technologies

November 21, 17:00 – 18:20

Other sessions related to the Oceans theme

Water theme: Water-Energy Nexus

November 21, 14:00 – 15:20

Circular Economy theme: Technological solutions for marine plastics

November 21, 15:30 – 16:50

Energy theme: Marine energy

November 21, 16: 30 – 18:00

Check the programme

A library of breakthrough transformative technologies

The process supported by the semi-plenary session and the deep dives is to deliver a living library of breakthrough transformative technologies to tackle the ‘Sustainable ocean resources’ societal challenge and achieve the oceans-related SDGs, illustrated with best practices and inspiring examples. This library is indispensable for policymakers developing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) roadmaps for the SDGs, while captains of industry can use this library for exploring new business opportunities.

Impact on the Sustainable Development Goals

Addressing societal challenges far beyond oceans

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