The Forum's objective is to identify by March 2013 priorities for investment and research as well as for potential flagship projects that can add value to the competitiveness of the Atlantic regions.
The workshop will bring together stakeholders from science, industry and government on the following maritime economy and blue growth items: marine energy renewables, including wind and ocean, sustainable maritime transport and maritime safety and security.
Over the course of 2012 and early 2013, five workshops are to be held in the EU Atlantic states (France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom) ("Atlantic Forum"). The Forum brings together all stakeholders in a bottom-up process to develop and discuss on research and investment priorities and flagship projects that should be financed through the 2014-2020 structural funds, Horizon 2020, the European Investment Bank and the private sector. The Forum will feed into an Atlantic Action Plan, to be adopted in spring 2013. The European Commission and the European Parliament supports the Atlantic Forum with a dedicated budget.
Reducing the carbon footprint was one of the key challenges identified in the Commission's Atlantic Strategy (see ). The Atlantic Ocean has high potential namely for wind, wave and tidal energy. It is estimated that by 2020 around 20% of Europe's offshore wind capacity could be located in the Atlantic region. However, successful deployment of large scale offshore renewable energy will only happen if grid connections are ensured to link the main production centres to the consumption. The development of maritime transportation and connection links with Europe's heartland, coupled with a reduction of CO2 emissions, is another major topic to be developed in the future Action Plan.