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  • Writer's pictureNathalie Mezza-Garcia

Creating a Hub for Blue Technologies in the Caribbean


Read the post about our CLIMATE and the Blue Cleantech Hub in the newsletter of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. We are developing both projects together with Blue21 and SENA.

One of our members, Blue21, the developers of the floating Rotterdam pavilion, are working together with their representative in Latin America, Seaphia, to create a Blue Cleantech Hub in the Colombian Caribbean. Its goal is to create a building on the water that houses a coworking space, offices, workshops, laboratories, docks, and facilities to create and test prototypes of startups companies in the green technology industries related to maritime, fluvial, and water, in general.

This will be a new formula, in which a hub (incubator/accelerator/cluster) for the blue cleantech industry will be combined with a state-of-the-art climate resistant and sustainable floating building. The project will bring together key local companies and organizations. It will promote the creation of new blue-green technology companies, while raising awareness of sustainable urban sprawl with the floating building. The Hub will attract businesses by providing a competitive advantage by being on the water. This would be the first hub of its kind in Latin America and the world.

The floating facility will have a positive effect on the ecosystem, will implement real-time water quality monitoring, and will be built with sustainable materials. It will also use renewable energy to educate visitors about sustainability and climate change. The modular building will rise or fall with the water level, showing what the future of urban development on water could look like. The multidisciplinary and international team behind the Blue Cleantech Hub hopes that this project can turn Barranquilla into a Latin American benchmark for green-blue technologies and sustainable urban expansion. The project will promote the local blue business ecosystem, helping the blue economy industry of Barranquilla and Atlántico become an active market for large companies and innovative startups.

In addition to the floating building, the Hub will offer various services to the blue and cleantech industries, including an accelerator and incubator for blue startups. The cluster customizes the facilities, specifically designed to meet the needs of the most innovative research in the sector, carried out by companies, ports, entrepreneurs, NGOs and other types of organizations.

Similar blue hubs exist around the world in major ports like Los Angeles, Rotterdam and Seattle. They all host successful clusters for startups and businesses and have managed to multiply, locally and internationally, the impact of the blue industry. PortXL, in the Port of Rotterdam, has generated synergies between companies and startups, leading to more than 200 paid pilot contracts. In 3 years, his accelerator has received more than 3,000 applications. Similarly, Cornwall Maritime Network is responsible for 3,027 jobs and apprentices. Businesses at this hub have secured £40m for investment and generated £330m for the province. However, none of these projects have facilities with the competitive advantage of being on water.

The Climathon project:

Blue21 and Seaphia will launch the project during an event focused on the sustainability of water resources in Barranquilla on November 13-14. This event is a Climatón, under the Climate-KIC program, the main climate innovation initiative of the European Union. The climatón is organized with SENA and has the support of Barranquilla Verde, the city's environmental establishment. Last year, this event took place in more than 145 cities simultaneously in 56 countries.

In Barranquilla, the Climathon will promote innovation in the uses and sustainability of the water resources of the Colombian Caribbean, Barranquilla and the Atlantic. Entrepreneurs and startups that participate in the event will propose innovative solutions to the challenges of bodies of water, creating a match between established organizations and young people with fresh ideas and ventures. The best ideas of the participants will be rewarded. The climathon solutions will revolve around the following main themes:

  • Clean energy production (floating wind, floating solar, tidal, etc.)

  • Health of water bodies.

  • Recycling and solid waste management.

  • Deep water port.

  • Turning Barranquilla into a fluvial and beach city.

The event will last two days and will have promotional webinars close to the event dates. Participants will solve specific challenges that the organizers and sponsors provide in relation to these topics.

Blue21 and Seaphia are looking for sponsors and other types of allies. Backers will have the opportunity to further develop the idea with the challenge winners. They will also automatically get 1 year of membership in Blue Cleantech Hub and its "blue marketplace". This membership will come with benefits such as facility discounts, invitation to VIP events, e-news and marketing, conference recognition and sponsorships, branding, business development services, product merchandising, conference and forum logo recognition, delegation, access to joint projects, and potentially a seat on the board of directors.

If you are interested in supporting climatón or becoming a future member of the Blue Cleantech Hub, please email climató

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