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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement28 March 2022Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

BlueInvest: Commission and EIF agree to mobilise €500 million with new equity fund for blue economy

Euro currency © Zerbor/Adobe Stock

At the BlueInvest Days 2022 in Brussels, Commissioner Virginius Sinkevičius and European Investment Fund (EIF) Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith have announced a new dedicated equity initiative for the blue economy under InvestEU. The initiative will mobilise an additional €500 million of EU funds for financial intermediaries investing in this sector. Commissioner Sinkevičius also announced that the European Commission’s successful BlueInvest initiative will continue beyond 2022 until 2026.

European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, responsible for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, praised the achievements of the BlueInvest initiative, which in the past 3 years has been highly successful in terms of getting hundreds of SMEs coached and matched with investors. The initiative has led to a large number of financing deals being signed, has strengthened the investment landscape for the blue economy, increased investor awareness and helped bridge the finance gap for blue technology SMEs and start-ups.

European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius said:

The first phase of the platform acted as an accelerator to foster innovation and investment in sustainable technologies for the blue economy. To further deepen and scale up these activities, we are now launching the second stage of BlueInvest. This will provide an even better service to European SMEs and investors, and more impact to support the European Green Deal objectives.

EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith said:

After the success of the pilot initiative launched under EFSI, we are now very excited to be launching the new InvestEU Blue Economy initiative to support European businesses in the blue economy. Climate action and environmental sustainability are a top EU priority. We are confident that this initiative will make a meaningful contribution in that direction, making financing available to support innovative businesses and ambitious entrepreneurs that seek to find solutions to the blue economy challenges.

From BlueInvest to InvestEU Blue Economy

InvestEU Blue Economy, the scaled-up equity initiative that builds on the BlueInvest Fund pilot under European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), brings together the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF), the EIB Group and InvestEU finance, thereby mobilising an additional €500 million of EU funds for financial intermediaries investing in this sector. This will result in €1,5 billion of risk-financing available to innovative and sustainable blue economy SMEs and start-ups, via financial intermediaries. The call for expression of interest will be soon published by the EIF.

As a novelty the BlueInvest platform as well as the EIF and European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide capacity building and advisory support for financial intermediaries and impact investors targeting investments in the blue economy


BlueInvest is a platform and accelerator to foster innovation and investment in sustainable technologies for the blue economy. It provides investment readiness support and access to finance for early-stage businesses, SMEs and scale-ups. BlueInvest is enabled by the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund.

Achievements so far, include:

  • the 200 SMEs that have received investment readiness support through bespoke coaching meeting their individual needs,
  • the online project pipeline of 2,400 projects and its online projects showcase of 300 high-profile companies looking for investment
  • the 24 grant agreements that have been closed with innovative Blue Economy projects,
  • company-investor matchmaking facilitated through 40 events and 3,400 B2B meetings
  • the 25 deals with private investors that have been facilitated through the BlueInvest platform,
  • the more than €100 million public EU funds allocated through the EIF BlueInvest Fund pilot to intermediaries (Venture Capital Funds) that will enable these to invest up €300 million (with private capital) into sustainable blue economy.

The InvestEU Fund aims to mobilise more than €372 billion of public and private investment through an EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion that backs the investment of implementing partners such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group and other financial institutions.

  • The InvestEU Fund operates through four policy windows that mirror key Union policy priorities: sustainable infrastructure; research, innovation and digitisation (RID); SMEs; social investment and skills.
  • The EU Guarantee will be further increased by top-up contributions from the EU Sectorial Programmes. This includes €140 million from the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund for the period 2021-2027 and allocated under the InvestEU Equity product. This contribution is matched with InvestEU resources and EIF/EIB own funds.
  • Under InvestEU, the EIB Group (comprised of the EIB and EIF) will implement 75% of the EU budget guarantee (€19.65 billion) and the same share of the advisory budget under the InvestEU Advisory Hub. 

The EMFAF budgetary contribution to InvestEU constitutes the ‘InvestEU Blue Economy’ initiative (which supports research, development, demonstration, upscaling, commercialisation and scaling of clean technologies or environmental sustainability solutions that contribute to EU Green deal objectives in the target area of blue economy.

The European Investment Fund (EIF): The EIF is part of the EIB Group. It supports Europe’s SMEs by improving their access to finance through a wide range of selected financial intermediaries. The EIF designs, promotes and implements equity and debt financing instruments targeting SMEs. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development, the green and digital transitions and employment. EIF is a key contributor to the Clean Oceans and the Blue Economy Group activities. 

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Publication date
28 March 2022
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries