BLUE LIBRARIES

ORGANISATIONS AND INNOVATIONS FOR BLUE ECONOMY AND WATER POLLUTION AWARENESS

About the project

Concept

The field of project implementation is the blue economy. As many as three countries are participating in the project: Lithuania, Latvia, and Norway. Each participant will contribute to the project by deepening the understanding of the blue economy and implementing aims to grow youth entrepreneurship in the blue economy. We will aim to organize four conferences, each to move the audience towards the growth of socially responsible business in the field of the blue economy. We invite youth organizations and organizations involved in the blue economy to join the project. Join the project activities if any of the statements apply to you:

Coordinator

Klaipeda City Municipality Immanuel Kant Public Library

Partners

Ocean Industry Forum Oslofjord (Norway), Zinatnes un inovaciju parks (Latvia)

Objective

The goal of the project is to understand the potential of the blue economy and to grow sustainable youth entrepreneurship in the field of the blue economy.

Project period

01 05 2022 – 29 03 2024

Events

Blue Economy Youth Entrepreneurship

H2O how to start and win in blue economy sector?

News

Diving into the Blue: A Glimpse into the Future of Youth Entrepreneurship and the Blue Economy

Author: Birutė Andruškaitė, February 8, 2024
On the picturesque shores of Liepāja, Latvia, a youthful event unfolded on October 19, 2023, marking a significant milestone in the journey towards sustainable development and innovation in the Blue Economy. The Klaipėda City Municipality Immanuel Kant Public Library’s “Blue Economy Youth Entrepreneurship” event brought together a vibrant community of thinkers, innovators, and future leaders, all united by a common passion for the oceans and their boundless potential.

A Deep Dive into the Blue Economy
The afternoon kicked off with an enlightening session by Birutė Andruškaitė, a blue economy advisor, who set the stage by exploring the essence and importance of the Blue Economy. Her insights laid a solid foundation for understanding how sustainable use of ocean resources can lead to economic growth, improved livelihoods, and environmental health.

Following Birutė, Agnese Zvirbule, a sustainable shipping professional, shared her expertise on the Blue Economy in Norway, highlighting the country’s innovative approaches to maritime activities and ocean conservation. Her presentation underscored the global nature of the Blue Economy and the importance of international collaboration.

Andrius Sutnikas, development manager at Klaipėda Science and Technology Park, then took the stage to discuss present and future opportunities within the Blue Economy. His forward-looking perspective inspired attendees to consider the untapped potential of the sector and the role of youth in shaping its future.

The event also shone a spotlight on social innovations in the Blue Economy, with Milda Nutautienė, coordinator of the Expedition “Save the Baltic Sea!”, sharing inspiring stories of initiatives aimed at preserving marine ecosystems. Her session emphasized the critical role of social responsibility and community engagement in driving positive change.

A highlight of the day was the interactive workshop, where participants were encouraged to develop business cases related to the Blue Economy. These ideas, brimming with creativity and innovation, were shared with potential investors, showcasing the participants’ vision for sustainable enterprises of the future.

Building Connections Over Coffee and Conversations

As we reflect on the success of the “Blue Economy Youth Entrepreneurship” event, we extend a heartfelt invitation to libraries across the globe to join us as partner-libraries in our next project. This is an opportunity to be at the forefront of promoting knowledge, innovation, and community engagement in the Blue Economy. Together, we can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and environmental stewards, fostering a culture of sustainability and innovation. Let’s ride the wave of the Blue Economy together, we are inviting all coastal libraries to become our partners, sharing and caring about the water pollution and youth entrepreneurship in the blue economy. Contact us and become our network partner: projektai@biblioteka.lt

The Blue Economy: An Oceanic Potential​

Author: Birutė Andruškaitė,  August 23, 2023
In the great depths of our oceans lies not just the mysteries of the unknown but an economic powerhouse waiting to be fully harnessed. The European Union’s recent “Blue Economy Report 2022” offers a deep dive into the potential, painting a picture of a future that’s as blue as it is bright.

The numbers are clear: The Blue Economy isn’t just a concept—it’s a thriving industry. With 4.45 million people directly employed and a staggering €667.2 billion in turnover in 2019, the established sectors of the EU’s Blue Economy are making significant waves. While traditional sectors continue to be the fortitude the emerging sectors of the blue economy, especially marine renewable energy, are showing rapid growth. The green transition is applied to the blue economy sector too, as fundamentally, the oil extrusion in the ocean is also the blue economy thus not a climate—friendly one. The Blue Economy isn’t just about economic growth; it’s intrinsically linked to the European Green Deal. As the world grapples with environmental challenges, the blue economy stands at the forefront of sustainable practices, offering solutions that are both economically viable and environmentally friendly.  

Where to?

The future of the Blue Economy is intertwined with innovation, technology, and sustainable practices. As the EU report suggests, the road ahead will require a blend of traditional wisdom and innovative solutions. Effective governance, collaboration, and a focus on sustainability will be the guiding stars. The Blue Economy represents more than just the resources of our oceans—it symbolizes a future where economic growth and sustainability go hand in hand. As engineers at The University of Texas at El Paso (inspired by the cactus plant!) figured out a low-cost, nickel-based material to help split water more cheaply and efficiently, the blue economy sustainable energy shows great potential to compete with the green energy of solar and wind. Based on insights from DNV’s 2021 Energy Transition Report, it’s projected that by 2035, renewables will account for more than 80% of Europe’s electrical grid supply. This transformation is expected to accelerate the production of eco-friendly hydrogen, primarily powered by dedicated renewable energy sources off the grid. DNV anticipates that by the year 2030, off-grid renewable sources, amounting to 140 GW, will contribute to half of the global hydrogen output, with solar and wind energy sharing this contribution nearly equally. As we stand on the edge of this blue revolution, one thing is clear: the future is not just bright, it’s blue.

Libraries – For The Blue Economy: An Interview With The Leader Of The Central Scientific Library Of Liepaja

Author: Birutė Andruškaitė, April 5, 2023
There can be no success in solitude. All great projects and ideas have been implemented with a help of great teams and wonderful people. The project “Blue Libraries: Organizations and Innovations for Blue Economy and Water Pollution Awareness” has connected wonderful organisations in one project to talk in blue economy language. 
After previously introducing our project partner it is time to share what organisations are together with us talking about the blue economy worldwide. Liepaja city Central Scientific library is a wonderful organisation of knowledge and the director of the library Ilga Erba has agreed to share her view on blue economy. 

B: I am very excited to talk about blue economy with colleagues from the library in Latvia and my first question for You is why do You think blue economy is important?
Ilga: I will speak for our team that the blue economy, in our opinion, is a way to encourage every person to make reasonable use of the opportunities provided by local conditions and resources. The blue economy is essentially a matter of the survival of the world and the existence of civilization. 

B: The reasonable use of the resources that the nature has provided is definitely a prerequisite for blue economy. What blue economy businesses or activities you see in Liepaja city?
Ilga: We would like to note that the daily life in Liepāja and Liepāja residents is largely related to water. Liepāja is a city located between the Baltic Sea and Liepāja Lake, connected to each other by the Trade Channel. The city regularly works on the water quality and compliance with all norms. For example, Liepāja beach is a popular swimming spot and has been known as such since the beginning of the 19th century. We should mention the company “Liepājas ūdens” which actively works on the quality of drinking water and the operation of the wastewater treatment system – collection and discharge of wastewater to wastewater treatment facilities, treatment and discharge of wastewater into surface water bodies.

B: It is clear that blue economy is closer to us that we assume. Since our project is targeted towards youth, do you implement projects, events or initiatives with youth? 
Ilga: Indeed we do, just recently, in 2022 our library received great recognition and provided useful information during lecture-demonstration “There is no tomorrow without water!”. The lecture took place within the framework of the international campaign “Night of Museums” and the main topic was “We wake up for tomorrow”. Evaluating and understanding the world’s threats to the environment, nature and the entire humanity, the library wanted to emphasize the enormous importance of water in the life process at the event. Moreover, we organize literature and photo exhibitions, competitions, readings and events dedicated to the World Water Day. Let me also mention the Nature House, which has been open in Liepāja since 2020 which has been founded in cooperation with municipality of Liepāja. The Nature House is an environmental educational center where visitors have the opportunity to learn about environmental sciences – biology, ecology, zoology and other fields of natural science. Thus, we are happy to be a part of creative solutions on educating society. 

B: How and why should we support social entrepreneurship?
Ilga: We think that it would be a way to solve social urgent problems (for example, health and social care system, price increase, inflation and cost of living) or create benefit for the wider society. The main and most important thing in this process is that the entrepreneur in his local or international activity refuses to make personal profit. It is appreciated if young people with their own perspective on current issues are involved in the production of goods and the provision of services. Social entrepreneurship for youth is a pure opportunity to get the knowledge, to learn and do a good deed alongside. 

B: Before joining the team of Immanuel Kant library I have had a very different view on libraruies and today I am happy to see all those wonderful librarians accrso the world, changing their environment for the better. I wish Your team to proceed being creative and searching for tools to talk blue economy and thank you for your time. 
Ilga: It was my pleasure and we are happy to be informational project partners. From my side, I am inviting you and colleagues, Klaipėda city residents to visit Liepaja and visit Nature house concept. 

Photo by Marija Gabaliene from Unsplash

An Ocean of Opportunities: About The Blue Economy With Tom O. Kleppestø

Author: Birutė Andruškaitė, September 22, 2022

Despite knowing that quotes are an old-school tool of expression, I want to start with a excellent quote, underlining the importance of water by Wystan H. Auden: “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water”. And the importance of water, thus, blue economy, can not be emphasized better. Following this, today I am speaking with social entrepreneur, blue economy enthusiast, Tom O. Kleppestø

B: Exited to get your insights, Tom, about the blue economy! My first question emphasized is: how would you describe the blue economy in a sentence?
TOM: The blue economy is a sector of commercial use of the ocean, but it is imperative to add the word “sustainable”. There can only be a sustainable use of the oceans in the blue economy

B: Why is it important to add the word “sustainable” to the definition of blue economy as some definitions have this word in them and some don’t?
TOM: Exploitation, preservation, and regeneration – this is sustainability. There is no resource on the planet that you can proceed to exploit continuously without allowing the regeneration process to happen. If you overuse the oceans, it will destroy the ecosystem. It is a logical sequence applicable to all market sectors, and not allowing a resource to regenerate leads to eliminating the industry area. Thus, without a sustainable attitude toward the blue economy, in some time, there would be no blue economy, per se.

B: What startups or great companies do we know work in the blue economy sector?
TOM: If you have ever seen the sea wind turbines, it is a blue economy sector. Once they are in the water- they become a part of the blue economy — also, as companies in the oil extraction in the ocean industry, such as ESSO, and Shell. Have you ever tried seafood or fish? It is also a blue economy sector, for example, Findus, Mowi, or SalMar. Lithuania has a blue economy sector example that you guys are and should be super proud of: it is the Klaipėda LNG terminal “Independence”.

B: We are, indeed, very proud of our “Independence”, which now is not just the symbol of independence but also of willpower. The blue economy is a broad sector; would you say there is a strict line where the blue economy begins and ends?
TOM: All the water you use was used million years ago, but it is essential not to be vague. Even though the blue economy is a broad term, we need to be specific and make sure we are talking about the areas that add up to the exploitation of the oceans. For example, water filtering would be more the “green” than the “blue” economy.

B: Shall we get a few years back? What do you do at work, and how did the blue economy become a big part of your life?
TOM: It is, indeed, a considerable part of my life. Today I run three maritime and ocean industry associations, including the Oslo Chapter of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association – an industry that is now working hard to become sustainable. Already in 2008, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association launched its zero-emission vision for its members. My job is to speak for the Baltic Sea on a PPP level (aut. public-private partnership). So, in a way, we seek to ensure that there is a word “sustainability” in the blue economy definition.

B: But it was not out of nowhere that you started to work for an association in the blue economy sector. What is the pre-history?
TOM: I watched a TV series, “The Onedin Line,” as a kid. If you have ever watched these series, you might understand the pre-history. Also, my great grandpa was a sea captain, thus, inspired by him, I decided that I wanted to become a shipowner at the age of 12 or something. Of course, I never became one, but my life bonded with the Ocean. My practical interest in the blue economy started at my business school in the late 80s. It is fascinating that shipping was an integral part of our economics studies, as shipping is all about global trade. Some 90% of all goods in the world are transported by ships, and less than 3% of the global greenhouse gases (GHG) are created by shipping, so it is after all the least hazardous transport solution.
Towards the end of my studies, in 1991, I applied for an EFTA internship in Geneva (European Free Trade Association, assuming that Norway would join the EU in 1994). However, on the same day that I was accepted, the most known professor at the school asked what will be my path and invited me instead to join him to build what we called the Centre for International Economics and Shipping. So in 1991, I changed my mind about the internship and stayed in Bergen. Thus, my love for the sea grew here in Norway, and my work with associations and networking in the blue economy began.

B: What would it be if you would develop a new business in the blue economy area today?
TOM: Living by the ocean, I have had time to observe the ocean and see how much energy is continuously beating to the shores. Thus, my answer would be ocean waves’ energy. The development of this waste source of energy is a slow one. But I am 100% sure the ocean can feed and energize the whole world. So we must take care of it.

B: It is a great quote to finish an interview, so let it be a closing wish. Thank you, Tom, for your great insights.
TOM: Always happy to share my experience and ideas! See you at the Blue economy conference!

The project “Blue Libraries: organizations and innovations for blue economy and water pollution awarenessis implemented by Klaipeda City Municipality Immanuel Kant Public Library to rise sustainable blue economy awareness and invest in youth entrepreneurship in blue economy.

What is the blue economy, and why is it important?

First, let’s get acquainted with the term “blue economy” – blue economy sectors include living marine resources, non-living marine resources, renewable marine energy, port operations, shipbuilding and repair, maritime transport, and coastal tourism. And the Green Deal, being a fundamental guideline, is inseparable from the blue economy because there is no green without blue.

It is not for nothing that we choose to use the structural formula of the water molecule H2O in the communication of the project. Unfortunately, we treat water resources irresponsibly, although we are well aware that sustainability is not an absolute stalling of the market but rather the creation of slower but high-quality, creative, innovative, sustainable jobs.

What is the potential of the blue economy?

We’re talking about the blue economy sector because of its potential growth and the numbers demonstrating value. For example, based to the “2022 EU Blue Economy Report”: “According to the most recent figures, the established sectors of the EU Blue Economy directly employed close to 4.45 million people and generated around €667.2 billion in turnover and €183.9 billion in gross value added.”. 

Apart from the argument that water is the source of life, we also have a view of the growth potential of this market segment.

The project “Blue Libraries: Organizations and Innovations for Blue Economy and Water Pollution Awareness” was born simply by looking around and understanding where we are. Geographically. All our departments are in Klaipėda, and there is not a person from Klaipėda who is not concerned about the pollution of the Baltic Sea. “Klaipeda City Municipality Immanuel Kant Public Library” carries out educational activities, brings together sustainable communities, and is not only a place for the latest literary discoveries but also an open space for city residents and guests. Sustainable direction is increasingly becoming project concepts or valuable mission statements for activities implemented. Thus with the “Blue Libraries” project, we are taking a big step forward, aiming for international partnership in education about sustainability and youth entrepreneurship in the field of the blue economy.


Photo by Dominik Lückmann on Unsplash

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