More than a hundred businesses and stakeholders from across the marine sector have convened in Fremantle today at the State of the Blue Economy Forum.
The forum, organised by ocean innovation centre For Blue in partnership with the City of Fremantle and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, focused on opportunities in marine technology, aquaculture, ecotourism, conservation, energy, super yachts, shipbuilding, engineering and more.
Panel discussions featured leaders from across industry, civil society, academia and government, who shared their insights on trends, perspectives and collaboration opportunities to grow Western Australia’s Blue Economy.
Fostering the growth of the Blue Economy is strongly aligned with the state government’s ‘Diversify WA’ vision for the economy, as marine industries address priority themes such as energy, tourism, international education, advanced technology and value-added primary production.
The City of Fremantle announced at the event it had made a submission to secure $50,000 in federal funding to deliver an expert-in-residence program to identify and work towards achieving marine sector opportunities for innovative technology-based start-ups.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said Fremantle had the assets, capability and vision to become the leading hub for marine technology and innovation in the Indian Ocean region.
“It’s estimated that with a more focused and coordinated approach WA’s Blue Economy could double by 2030 to total of 100,000 jobs and contribute up to $45 billion to Gross State Product,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“This growth could strengthen WA’s position as a leading Blue Economy within the Indian Ocean Rim.
“The world’s most creative and innovative people demand interesting and inspiring environments.
“As we undergo our biggest revitalisation in 40 years, we think Fremantle – with its unique cosmopolitan heritage streets, eclectic mix of contemporary restaurants, bars and shops, and mix of creative, technical, industrial and educational companies – is perfectly poised to emerge as a globally-recognised hub for innovation.
“This unique environment, coupled with our existing marine industry and proximity to strategic assets in areas like Henderson, can attract and retain global talent and investment.
“Today’s forum was a positive step towards advancing the state’s economic development and diversification.”
The City also announced it will create and facilitate a Blue Economy alliance in order to work collaboratively with industry in defining the immediate priorities and opportunities for the marine sector in Fremantle, and the action that needs to be taken for those opportunities to be realised.