Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance, Interreg BSR

Join the Alliance Mentoring and Accelerator Programme for Blue Growth in the Baltic 

The Alliance is recruiting cases, mentors, investors

The Alliance, SUBMARINER Network's accelerator on blue growth, is on fire! While we are setting in the matches of the new Alliance mentors and cases, following our successful pitching and matchmaking event in Helsinki on 23-24 January, we are also starting new round of recruitment activities.

From more than 50 mentors and service providers that are providing services in the Alliance, all experts within blue bioeconomy innovation and business support.

We are constantly looking for new cases, but also mentors, investors, supporters and "blue detectives" that wish to join our efforts! By January 2020, 29 cases have enrolled in the accelerator programme and receive guidance and services within:

  • Scientific & technical support 

  • Access to biological resources

  • Communication & promotion

  • Legal advice

  • Business development

  • Project development

  • Mentoring and coaching

Applications are welcome by institutions as well as individual experts:

  • Startups and SMEs  with a business idea within blue growth, seeking product development support in the Baltic Sea Region
  • Mentors and business coaches with experience and flare in bioeconomy and blue growth, impact of innovation, and sustainable development
  • Investors, VC, angels and industry incubators working in blue growth startups
  • Regional and national authorities, foundations as well as public funding programmes interested in driving sustainable blue growth innovations
  • Business parks, accelerators and innovation programmes – with whom we can link our efforts as to create the most effective and attractive offer
  • Specialists in business development and financing support; marketing and communication companies and experts as well as legal advisors – with the Alliance being the source for your new clients
  • Companies & R&D institutions with suitable technical facilities, bioresources and expertise as well as potential spin-offs
  • Blue clusters and regions attracted by Blue Bioeconomy and Blue Growth that can support our activities with expertise and resources

Applications are open all year round!

If you are interested to hear more about the opportunities to get involved, contact Efthalia Arvaniti at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meet some of our mentors here

Enrico Ehrhardt

Enrico Ehrhardt

Microalgal Biotechnology Expert

Read more

Liina Joller-Vahter

Liina Joller-Vahter

Innovation management expert and start-up coach

Read more

Meet some of our cases here

KosterAlg: EU Organic certified & Swedish-cultivated seaweed

KosterAlg: EU Organic certified & Swedish-cultivated seaweed

Read more

Origin by Ocean: processor of harvested and farmed sea biomass

Origin by Ocean: processor of harvested and farmed sea biomass

Read more

Would you like to know more?

Learn about who is involved and what are the benefits of enrolling in the ALLIANCE mentoring programme & accelerator: 

See what our cases and mentors say

Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance gave us huge confidence boost just by choosing us into the network at first hand. This was a critical momentum 
for Berrichi - somebody believed in us, our product’s potential and our capacity to implement our plans. 
From a home-based, do-it-yourself cream-making and abstract dream into the pool of professional environment and international network - this pushed us in many ways.

Janno Joosep, 
Furcella, Case Owner & Mentor

The Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance was our first contact with foreign experts when we founded the startup. It helped us to start building the strong network we have today.

Valmar Kasuk
Vetik, Estonia, Case Owner

The ALLIANCE was extremely useful to support our business development including help ranging from provision of samples of algae from the Baltic Sea to advice on commercial developments. Small companies need a European network like this that amplifies their reach.

Colin Ingham

Hoekmine, Netherlands, Case Owner

Participation in the Alliance project has been an inspiration and shown how Interreg projects can be tailored to serve as “fast track” for SMEs needing analysis for i.e. proof of concept. Furthermore, in order to help local valorisation of blue economy building on knowledge and experiences around the Baltic, Guldborgsund Municipality has joined the SUBMARINER Flagship Network.

Mette Jørgensen
BIOFISK (BioEconomy Hotspot – Guldborgsund), Case Owner

As a partner of the ALLIANCE we want to provide, develop and test our unique enabling technology for the bio blue needs. Through the network we got in contact with both national and international players in the blue bio-economy sector.

Jani Isokääntä, 
SFTec, Finland, Case Owner & Mentor

Being part of the ALLIANCE has been a vital injection for us, when it comes to business development and networking as well as financial support. The ALLIANCE partners and collaborators have motivated us to believe in what we are doing.

Elisabet Brock
KosterAlg, Sweden, Case Owner

The Alliance unites actors in every field of blue biotechnology. It constitutes an unparalleled network tightly interwoven with sister networks in other regions or focusing on related topics in the BSR and thus represents a shortcut to the highly innovative blue bioeconomy sector in the region. Joining the Alliance will open doors to become part of this vibrant sector and facilitate realisation of new blue biotech ideas by finding the right partners.

Martina Blümel 

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany, mentor

Within the Alliance, we were able to connect companies, interested in the identification and production of drugs and enzymes, with partners who have built up biological resources such as strain collections.

Rainer Cramm

BioCon Valley, Germany,  mentor

Our ALLIANCE cases Furcella and Vetik have received a lot of attention thanks to their participation in the Alliance mentoring programme both in Estonia and abroad. In Estonia, it is very important to show success stories to inspire others to act and also show that blue biotechnology is just not only a niche but a real market with real business opportunities. 

Mariann Nolvak

Tartu Biotechnology Park, Estonia, mentor 

The Finnish cases (especially SFTec, EHP Environment) in the Alliance mentoring programme were able to find several experts around Baltic Sea Region to help them in their product development. It also helped them to reach new markets outside Finland.

Anne-Mari Luhtanen 
Finnish Environment Institute, Finland, mentor

FAQs for applicants

What are the costs for applying to and enrolling in the ALLIANCE Accelerator?

Applying to the Alliance Accelerator is free of charge. The costs associated with cases enrolling to the ALLIANCE accelerator programme are covered by the service providers and the SUBMARINER Network. This is especially true for start-ups with limited or no funds. SMEs with resources are encouraged to become member of the SUBMARINER Network to receive premium members benefits. Within the mentoring programme, the case will discuss third-party financial options bilaterally with their mentor. Some financial resources can be found here. In addition we are continuously seeking funding for the acceleration services through public and private investors. Cases are expected to attend selected SUBMARINER Alliance events , e.g. the ALLIANCE pitching and match-making event in Helsinki on 23-24. January 2020 (travel & accommodation at own costs/no further costs related to event itself).

Who is behind the Baltic Blue Growth Alliance Accelerator?

The Baltic Blue Growth Alliance is the Accelerator Programme under the SUBMARINER Network. Initially co-financed by the ERDF Interreg BSR project (2016-2019), the ALLIANCE is by now increasingly financed through a mixture of funding streams raised through its own public and private members and supporters. So far, the ALLIANCE mentoring programme involves 18 service providers with more than 40 mentors, who have piloted their offer together with 26 cases and are currently operating on a pro bono basis or are seconded by their organisations. All these cases have reached the next TRL, with numerous cases having gained new investors and/or having new products on the market. More information about the success of the project can be found in the ALLIANCE brochure publication.

Do I need to relocate to enroll in the accelerator?

No. However, you have to attend the SUBMARINER – ALLIANCE matchmaking events (see Question 1). You also may need to organise physical meetings with your mentor(s). The exact form of communication will be arranged jointly by the case owner and the mentor.

What is the role of a mentor?

A mentor is a physical person, who is an expert within the blue bioeconomy spectrum - is member of the ALLIANCE network - is interested in supporting innovation – knows how the ALLIANCE mentoring programme is organized – and is well familiar with the capacities/expertise on offer. A case mentor could be a researcher within an R&D institution, a CEO or CSO of a company, a staff member of a business support organization or an entrepreneur him- or herself. The mentor is the main contact point of the case with the ALLIANCE, the mentor is doing the initial health-check of the case and, jointly with the case owner, designs the support strategy to develop the case further. The implementation phase of the mentoring often also involves other ALLIANCE service providers. The mentor is connected with the other mentors and service providers of the ALLIANCE through bilateral contacts as well as by attending the monthly telephone conferences of the ALLIANCE Mentors’ Forum.

How am I secured that my idea will not get stolen?

At the beginning of the collaboration the mentor and case owner both sign the mentoring contract and a Non-Disclosure Agreement. The documents can be downloaded <here>. - the link is coming soon

How long does the mentoring programme last?

The mentoring programme is 100% tailored to the needs of the case. The case needs are articulated in the case application form and also during the initial interviews of the case owner with the mentor (during the initial business health-check). As such the mentoring programme does not have a fixed curriculum. The case progress is largely dependent on the case’s loyalty and dedication to implement the agreed steps with the mentor. Although, frequency may vary, as an example, a case owner can meet with their mentor 1-3 times per trimester (quarter). The terms of collaboration are termed in the ALLIANCE mentoring contract.

What services are included in the ALLIANCE Accelerator?

Apart from the continuous mentoring, the service portfolio can include: scientific and technical support, access to biological resources, infrastructure and equipment, business development, legal advice, marketing and promotion. Moreover it includes training for ‘pitching’ and business support and access to investors. Whereas pre-acceleration services are expected to be offered in form of innovation vouchers – we will charge a percentage of the equity sold in the event, that an investors comes in. More information about the service categories can be found in the ALLIANCE brochure publication

How does the mentoring programme end?

Ideally, the mentoring programme ends when the mentor and the case jointly decide to end the contract, e.g. when the milestones have been met. The milestones can be agreed in the initial  assessment phase and design of the implementation plan. In a less ideal scenario, failure to establish communication among parties for more than 3 months, despite efforts of parties, will lead to termination of the signed mentoring contract.

Are there any success stories in the Alliance accelerator so far?

The ALLIANCE has been successful in terms of setting up a unique transnational accelerator in the Baltics in a niche sector like blue biotechnology and adjacent blue tech sectors, all supporting blue bioeconomy markets. The ALLIANCE has succeeded in mentoring 26 cases across the region, of which 6 cases have managed to bring new products to the market or they have won awards in prestigious pitching competitions and enrolled next level accelerator programmes. Yet almost all of the cases have progressed within the product value chain with the support of the ALLIANCE Accelerator. More information about the successful cases can be found in the ALLIANCE brochure publication.


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