Since March 2015, Business Models Inc. is collaborating with 11 partners in the Maribe project, sponsored by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission. Maribe stands for Marine Investment in the Blue Economy. The objective of the project is to understand value creation within the Blue Economy and how to unlock its vast potential for jobs and growth.

Smart and sustainable growth

The European Commission defined Blue Growth as follows:

“Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. Seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation and growth. It is the maritime contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The ‘blue’ economy represents roughly 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year. However, further growth is possible in a number of areas which are highlighted within the strategy.”

In order to further harness the potential of Europe’s oceans, seas and coasts, we need to understand how value is created, delivered, and captured today, what the growth potential is and how it can be unlocked.

Important questions associated with this are: “Can the limited space that is available across Europe be shared among companies from different sectors?” and “What synergies can be created by working together and/or sharing resources?”

Understand current value creation

In order to be able address the two questions above, we first need to understand how specific companies are creating value today and to what extent they are already working together to create shared value.

Once current value creation within and across sectors is understood, we can imagine how shared value is created in the future, and how companies can share space/resources and create synergies that grow the Blue Economy as a whole. 

Freshwatching 30 companies

The role of Business Models Inc. within the Maribe project is to create understanding of current value creation by researching 30 specific companies and their business models. We call this Freshwatching. Freshwatching is a technique from our book Business Model Generation to quickly understand the big picture of how a company creates, delivers, and captures value. We do this for the following Blue Growth sectors and companies:

  • Renewable Energy: Scotrenewables, Atlantis Resources, Wavestar Energy, Carnegie Wave Energy, Siemens Wind Power, Dong Wind Power, Statoil Hywind, and Principle Power.
  • Aquaculture: Marine Harvest, Open Blue, Kefalonia Fisheries, Hortimare, and Nireus.
  • Biotechnology: Novabiotics, Stellar Biotechnologies, Sealife Pharma, Porifarma, and PharmaMar.
  • Mineral Resources: Nautilus Minerals, GSR (DEME Group), OceanflORE, Bosch Rexroth, and Kongsberg Maritime.

As you see from the list, we look at mature, established companies (e.g. Siemens, Marine Harvest) and early-stage, startup companies (e.g. Wavestar, Hortimare). We also look at a few companies from traditional sectors, i.e. Oil & Gas, Tourism, Shipping, and Fisheries (not mentioned here).

Business Model Case Studies

Most of the insights from Freshwatching these companies are captured in a Business Model Case Study. This is a visual report that provides a general overview of the company, describes the entrepreneurial journey, the ambition of the company, the context in which the company operates, and its business model using the Business Model Canvas. The second part of the case study is an assessment of the business model mechanics, the Investment Readiness Level (IRL), and the socio-environmental impact.

The coming months, some of these case studies will be published so that you can learn from these game-changing companies. The insights and content is also used to facilitate the design of future value creation during so-called Brokerage Sessions in 2016.

Freshwatching taken to a whole new level

Summarizing in the Figure below, we’ve applied Freshwatching in a new and bigger way:

Step 1: Understand & Assess to better understand value creation and growth potential of individual companies within the Blue Economy and Blue Growth sectors.

Step 2: Innovate to Unlock by identifying business model patterns extracted from the case studies and get inspiration from successful existing partnerships.

Step 3: Collaborate to Validate in order to discover and design new partnerships that grow companies and sectors as well as enable shared use of space and/or resources throughout Europe.

During the coming months, we will publish our findings and more specific content on this blog and in various other places, such as the Maribe LinkedIn group. Early 2016, Maribe will organize so-called Brokerage Sessions, where we bring together companies, investors, and policy makers to design new partnerships that create value in smart and sustainable ways.


More information about Maribe and Freshwatching

If you want to know more about the Maribe project contact Roland or Eliza.

If you are looking for deep insights into how specific companies or sectors create value and how to use that to innovate your own business model, contact Roland for setting up a meeting to explore your strategic need.

All Roland's blogposts
 Roland Wijnen



Strategy Designer at HQ Amsterdam. Helps organizations innovate their business model.