Success story announcement on the accelerator project GALATEA with 4 images of a ports and ships

WestMED Success Story. The power of Accelerators – meet GALATEA, the Blue Growth Accelerator

Project Funding support
In the Mediterranean region, the main sources of investments in the sustainable blue economy include public funding opportunities offered by international organisations, governments, Multilateral Development Banks and “green funds”.

Such funding is offered in the form of grants or lending instruments aimed at co-financing projects and providing support to infrastructure development, start-ups and SMEs.

Project Acceleration support
In addition to regular funding, the government and private sector can support entrepreneurs through other means such as coaching services, incubators/accelerators and technical support to feasible business ideas.

Accelerator programs are emerging in recent years as a new model of startup assistance.

A startup accelerator is a mentor-based program that provides guidance, support and limited funding in exchange for equity. The role of incubator/accelerator programmes is key to reinforce the entrepreneurial capacity-building by offering skills, knowledge, experience and investment, helping to increase the number of startups and the creation of jobs.

Acceleration at EU level
At European level, EU BlueInvest, enabled by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, boosts innovation and investments in sustainable blue economy technologies. To do so, it supports readiness and access to finance for early-stage businesses, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and scale-ups.

Acceleration at WestMED level
At the western Mediterranean level, the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance was established in 2021 to accelerate cooperation and joint actions under intersectoral dialogue, to boost the development of southern clusters (according to the Malta roadmap adopted in 2022), to upgrade management skills, and to provide a platform for investments in innovative SMEs through initiatives such as the MedBAN project.

In 2021 the WestMED initiative awarded the Algerian Accelerator ‘Algeria Startup Challenge’ with the WestMED Award. In 2023 the honour went to GALATEA

Logo Galatea

Galatea is an excellent example of a sustainable blue economy accelerator, funded under the EU HORIZON 2020 INNOSUP-programme.  It has been awarded with the WestMED Best Category award 2023 for its efforts in the category ‘Skill development and circulation’  (watch their project pitch at the 2023 WestMED Stakeholder Conference)

During its 36-month existence (2020-2023) Galatea helped accelerate innovative projects and develop new cross-sectoral and cross-border industrial value-chains along 4 high potential Blue Growth domains:  Smart Ship, Smart Port, Smart Shipyard and Maritime Surveillance. It did so in 3 sea basins: the Atlantic, the Baltic and the Mediterranean.

Clémence le Corff project coordinator GALTEA

Clémence le Corff, GALATEA’s project coordinator, summarises the essence of the project:
Ports, ships, shipyards and maritime surveillance face high-level challenges nowadays and need green and digital technologies to tackle them.  GALATEA facilitated the match between needs and innovations, while at the same time supporting the development of these innovative technologies in a European environment with clusters as key players.

GALATEA integrated technologies and know-how from 7 ICT, Aerospace and Maritime clusters, 1 research and technology organisation from 5 European countries (France, Greece, Poland, Romania and Spain)

It directly financed 23 innovative projects (project catalogue) involving 42 SMEs from 5 different countries. More than €2.21 million has been distributed.

In addition, 49 services have been provided to 30 SMEs, 4 workshops have been conducted and a Guide for funding has been disseminated.

The GALATEA approach can serve as a blueprint for other initiatives that aim to boost SMEs that contribute to a smarter and more sustainable maritime world

When pitching  GALATEA at the 2023 WestMED Stakeholder Conference, Clémence le Corff added:
“Projects with a comparable approach, offering direct financial support to SMEs for greater impacts are already launched. The GALATEA experience remains available for any other organisation willing to implement such a mechanism” 

Watch GALATEA’s video on the initiative:


A successful GALATEA accelerated project:  NEPH2AIR
Most of the projects supported by Galatea consisted of cross-border collaborations. One such example was NEPH2AIR in the domain ‘Smart Ship’.  The consortium for this project consisted of 2 SMEs from France (NepTech, H2Pulse) and one from Spain (Caponetto-Hueber)

This project aimed to enhance the operational performances (speed and range) of hydrogen-powered passenger vessels thanks to a breakthrough air-injection system.

in 2024, NEPTECH will deliver its first low-carbon ship to l’Escale Sétoise, a company specialised in boat tours in Sète, France”.

More info about GALATEA
Budget Total:  € 3.670.505,00

EU Contribution: € 3.670.505,00

Partners/ Countries Coordinator/ lead:  Pôle Mer Méditerranée (France)

Aerospace Valley (France)

Corallia Clusters Initiative (Greece)

Association of the Cluster of Mobility and Logistics in Euskadi (Spain)

Fundacio EUROCAT (Spain)


Asociatia CLUJ IT (Romania)

Baltic Sea & Space Cluster (Poland)

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Duration 1 June 2020 – 31 May 2023