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17 May 2018
Brussels, Belgium
#BlueInvest 2018

The selection of the pitchers is over!

We received 120 applications. This high number is another piece of evidence that there are ideas and innovation in the blue economy. Many thanks to all of you who submitted an application!

The following 20 companies will be on stage on the 17th May.

1st Pitching Session: Food from the Ocean


Holding a degree in Veterinary Medicine (Medicine and Surgery) from the University of León (Spain), Pérez-Carrasco started his postgraduate specialization in aquaculture in the United States, completing a Master of Science at the Aquaculture and Fisheries Program of the University of California, Davis. 

This specialization gained continuity with the completion of the Ph.D. at the Institute of Aquaculture of the University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom. Under the direction of Professor Niall Bromage, Director of the Genetics and Reproduction Department, Dr. Pérez Carrasco completed his doctoral thesis entitled The effects of induced triploidy on the reproduction of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and the Nile tilapia  Oreochromis niloticus. This training was funded by a Marie Curie (Training and Mobility of Researchers) Scholarship granted by the Directorate-General of Fisheries of the European Commission.

His incorporation into the business world took place under the patronage, in 1999, of a PACTI-IDE contract (Programa para la Incorporación de Doctores a Empresas), funded by the Ministry of Education of the  government of Spain. With more than 17 publications in international journals indexed by the Science Citation Index (ISI) and several registered
patents of relevance to the aquabusiness, Dr. Pérez-Carrasco participates regularly in conferences and trade fairs in the general field of aquaculture, and particularly in the area of genetics and reproduction of aquatic species of commercial interest.


João Cotter is the CEO and co-founder of Aquaponics Iberia and also the Portuguese Delegate of the Management Committee of Action COST FA 1305 - The EU Aquaponics Hub - Realising Sustainable Integrated Fish and Vegetable Production for the EU. In the past, he was a food retail business consultant, an IT project manager and until recently, was Secretary General of the Portuguese Pet Trade Association. João has a Master’s Degree in Business Management and MSc in Marine Biology and Resource Management from FCUL - Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Has specific training in aquaponics (“Aquaponics Master Class” from Practical Aquaponics, “Aquaponics - Sustainable fish and plant production” from Aquaponics Australia, “Pentair Aquaponics Technology and Design Workshop”) and has been a trainer and organizer of various courses of aquaponics in universities and research institutions. For 17 years he has been a researcher in aquaculture and marine science, was the editor of 2 aquarium magazines, has been a long time educator and has been developing his activity as consultant, engineer and designer of aquaponics and aquaculture systems in an environmentally sustainable way.


Tore Reeman is CEO in CFeed AS. He is 46 years old, married with 2 girls. He lives in Trondheim, Norway.

With an education in Food Technology and Biotechnology engineering, he has spent 15 years in different management positions in Aquaculture companies (Marines Harvest and Salmar).

Tore has also acted in different board member positions in The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises.


Rob Enever is Fishtek Marine’s Director of Innovation and Uptake. His role is to promote the uptake of Fishtek Marine products in fisheries with significant bycatch issues, and to collaborate with the fishing industry, academia, NGOs and governments in supporting research and innovation associated with bycatch mitigation.

Rob has a Ph.D in bycatch mitigation, and extensive, first-hand experience of working with the fishing industry, including a decade on vessels around the world, and more recently informing EU policy on discards in marine fisheries. Prior to his role with Fishtek Marine, Rob spent 7 years working for a UK statutory nature conservation body where he was responsible for ensuring the objectivity, quality and transparency of the marine evidence used for designating, and subsequently managing, Marine Protected Areas.

His combination of specialist experience means that Rob understands the practical requirements of the fishing industry, the scientific evidence and the environmental aspects of marine issues, and is therefore well positioned to deliver bycatch prevention that works - both for fishermen and the environment.


Atanas Dimitrov was born 31.01.1989. in Sliven – Bulgaria. In 2013. He graduated from the University of Economics - Varna, "Corporate Finance" - Master’s degree with result: Excellent 5.66/6. Alongside education, between 2010 and 2013 he was 3 times champion of Bulgaria, Absolute Balkan and Absolute European bodybuilding champion, awarded the highest sports degree "Master of Sports". In 2013 "Allianz Bank Bulgaria" PLC - CORPORATE DEPARTMENT. In 2014 worked in farm for wild animals with valuable fur and in 2015 was Manager of the farm, which was the most successful year of the company since its establishment in volume and quality of production.

In the spring of 2015 he joined the team of "Sea Harmony" Finance Department. Currently: Executive board Member;

First prizes and awards: "Green Innovations for Sustainable Business", Norway grants, Innovation Norway, CEED Bulgaria; "Forum Youth Entrepreneurship - StartUp 2016 - Go To Market."; “The Venture” Winner for Bulgaria, Chivas Regal; “Climate Launch Pad” Winner for Bulgaria, CleanTech Bulgaria; Theme award: “Sustainable food production systems”, Climate KIC (105 International finalist out of 964 projects); Prize: Green Booth Camp, Innovation Norway; United Nations, special guest at the 9th Annual OSI; Innovation Norway Jury Award: “Best Investment Project”

2nd Pitching Session: Energy from the Ocean


Remi Blokker (1967), is co-founder and CEO of Bluerise, which develops energy systems that use temperature differences in the oceans to generate electricity and cooling.

Bluerise enables tropical islands and coastal regions to become 100% energy independent and can help its customers to save up to 90% on cooling related electricity use. Covering seventy percent of our globe, the oceans are the largest solar collectors and can provide a vast amount of clean and renewable energy, day and night. Bluerise currently develops one of the World’s first Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion pilot facilities to be located at the premises of Curacao International Airport.

Bluerise is the fourth startup that Remi has (co-)founded. Previous successful ventures include No Wires Needed, a WiFi pioneer, which was founded in 1993, the early days of Internet, sold to Intersil Corporation in 2000 and Avinity Systems, sold to ActiveVideo Networks in 2009. Today, he is again trying to make a difference with Bluerise. He holds a BSEE (cum laude) from Amsterdam Polytechnic and a Master of Business in Energy Systems from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.


Roel Vanthillo is an industrial engineer and has extensive experience in the offshore wind industry. Before joining Fluves in 2015, he worked for DEME, Cofely Fabricom and Egemin. At DEME Roel took part in the construction of the very first Belgian wind farm C-Power. At Cofely Fabricom he was involved in Belwind (Belgium), Amrumbank-West (Germany) and Butendiek (Germany) as project manager for the low voltage systems of offshore substations. Roel has a broad knowledge of offshore monitoring techniques and the requirements such systems demand.


Martin Edlund has for the last twenty years combined management consulting and strategy research collaboration with world-class technology companies such as ABB, GE, LM Ericsson and SKF.

He has a PhD in Innovation Management from the Department of Technology Management and Economics at the Chalmers University of Technology and holds a Master’s degree in Engineering Physics.


John Meagher leads Nova’s business development activities. He has 20 years’ experience in the energy industry. He joined Nova in 2013, having previously worked at Wood Mackenzie, where he managed their Global Gas and Global LNG product services, and managed teams analysing energy markets across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Before that he was at Aker-Kvaerner working on engineering design, delivery and commissioning of infrastructure projects.

John has a BEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh.


Heikki Paakkinen is the founder, member of the board, and the CEO of the company Wello Oy. Wello provides technology for converting ocean wave energy into electricity. The company was founded 2008. 

Heikki Paakkinen has been studying in Oulu University and Freie Universität Berlin, and he has a master’s degree in architecture from the university of Oulu, Finland. Before Wello Heikki was the CEO of Holvi Oy, an architect’s office specialized in demanding tensioned constructions and membrane construction. Holvi was founded by Heikki as well. Before that Heikki was a partner and at later stage the CEO of Nokat Oy, a company that focusing on real estate development.


3rd Pitching Session: Green Solutions for a Blue Planet


Matthieu Kerhuel is an engineer with a dual expertise in Finance and Hydrodynamics, putting him in a unique position to grow a company such as A2V. He spent eight years working for General Electric in Europe and in the United States in various project management and finance positions. He also worked for a private equity funds in New York before pursuing studies in Hydrodynamics. He spent 3 years doing research on High Performance Computing with the Smoothed Particles Hydrodynamics method, focusing on complex multiphase flows.


Darko Frank, technical director at Alveus d.o.o. has 16 years of experience in conducting and managing marine engineering projects internationally of which 12 years at Alveus. He received a doctoral degree in naval architecture from Aalto University, Finland. Darko manages technical development of COMPA technology and, being responsible for the sales, is in contact with the market on a daily basis. He is and expert in the International Institute of Welding Committee and has authored 20+ papers related to design and analysis of steel and composite ship structures.


Ian Falconer is the Founder/CEO of Fishy Filaments Ltd. Ian is a technologist who has worked with some of the world’s most innovative companies and organisations over the last 25 years on projects and products that have had global impact. An estimated billion people once saw one of his projects in action at the same time. For the last 5 years he has been working to try and make the materials used in 3D printing both more accessible and more sustainable. Fishy Filaments is a result of that work and is a hyper-local project backed by a business model that has potential for global scalability.


Jacques LE MOIGNE is a versatile manager with 28 years in business development, industrial and commercial operations. 

Former officer of the French Navy, he then moved on to senior management positions in France and abroad with major groups such as SNCF, ENGIE and AXA. He has in particular worked for public water and electricity companies and participated in Deep Ocean Water Ocean Projects.

Interested in the takeover of SMEs and convinced by the tremendous potential of the Blue Economy, he invested in 2015 in OFW Ships and joined the founders to accelerate the company's launch.

He holds Master’s degrees in Naval Engineering, Supply Chain Management and an Executive MBA from HEC.


Sultan Riaz Khan is a Canadian and Swiss citizen with over 40 years of experience in the International Maritime Transportation Industry as well as in finance. Riaz has hands-on experience in the area of commercial operations of a fleet of Drybulk vessels, Crude and Product tankers and was on the Board of Eagle Container Lines as well as in chartering, negotiating and executing COAs, Sale & Purchase as well as selling vessels for recycling.

Riaz launched Tavlon Commercial Enterprise in 2013 (TCE) and offers advice on the potential profitability of investments in the Maritime industry and owns the environmental technology called the ORCA (Oil & Refuse Cleaning Apparatus).

Riaz joined DVB Bank SE, a specialized transportation bank in March 2001 and served as Managing Director of Research & Strategic Planning to dovetail his hands on industry knowledge with a 12-member team, covering 1,500 vessels in 17 sectors, 66 Sub Sectors, with a portfolio of $15.8 billion. Riaz was a member of the Credit Committee and was also one of the three voting member of the investment fund SIIM (Shipping Intermodal Investment Management) with some 80 vessels in its portfolio, worth over $1.1 bn. Riaz was a voting member of the Watch List Committee, set up to deal with delinquent loans. Riaz designed the interactive platform and structure that oversaw the delivery of RASP’s Strategic Plan for the Board and the Supervisory Board. Headed Techcom, a unit within RASP, responsible for inspecting vessels in the portfolio, under various technical guidelines and risk criteria. 

Served as Chairman of the Editorial Board of Equasis, promoting quality and safety in Marine Transportation. Riaz is the owner of an award winning environmental clean-up machine certified by ABS and Lloyds Register Type Approval. The ORCA (Oil & Refuse Cleaning Apparatus), is an environmentally friendly, economic technology that works on high velocity airflow creating a tornado like effect with wind speeds up to 180 kmp, which is able to remove various pollutant on land or water. It can easily pick-up (1) deadly plastics in our waterways (2) invasive algae due to rising sea temperatures & excessive use of fertilizers as well as (3) oil spills.

4th Pitching Session: Digital Ocean


Pedro Araújo Manuel lives on the west coast of Portugal. He is a serial entrepreneur that was inspired by his father to study electronic and telecommunications followed by informatics and computers engineering at the "Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa”.  Since the 90’s he worked in, developed and led several innovations projects, in Portugal, Europe and overseas. In 2013 he founded his second startup, BitCliq, leading a passionate team to follow his vision on how innovative technologies (Big Data, IoT, AI) can bring more value to traditional industries such as fishing, food processing, and agriculture. In his free time, Pedro loves to be with his family near the ocean, or surfing the best Portuguese west coast waves.

Today he’s thrilled to apply the Blockchain technology, disrupting inefficient supply chains, and creating new business models more aligned with the Global Sustainable Goals.


Raymond Alcorn is the CEO & Co Founder of Exceedence. He has 20 years of experience in renewable energy, senior management, commercial and R&D roles. He is a Chartered electrical engineer with a PhD in ocean energy. Ray spun Exceedence out of a world class Marine Energy Research centre in 2015. Directly previous to Exceedence spent the past 8 years at a senior research managerial level in University College Cork which led to the IP creation behind Exceedence.

Ray is incoming Chairman of the Irish Mirror committee of the IEC TC114 standards committee in marine energy and is Secretary of the Irish Marine Renewables Industry Association both of which give insights and direct connection to industry needs.


Carlos Matilla Codesal defines himself as entrepreneur and engineer. Currently he is learning every day as the CEO and co-founder of FuVeX, a start-up which goal is to enhance the access of institutions and big companies to aeronautics through long range drones. Prior to this venture, Carlos founded FuVe, a cross-university association where students could create their own projects in order to participate in student competitions. In this association, he founded and managed Autonomous Underwater Vehicle “Isaac Peral y Caballero” and Unmanned Gyrocopter “Juan de la Cierva”, taking part both vehicles in international competitions in the US organized by the US Navy. Carlos has studied Aerospace Engineer and Naval Architect simultaneously and right now he is studying an executive MBA. He is also member of Celera, the first Spanish talent accelerator and has been a Marshall Memorial Fellow, the flagship leadership development program of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S.


Prof. Karin Pittman, a Canadian living in Norway, has been in fish farming research for over 30 years and has travelled the globe teaching and researching aquaculture systems. She has been scientifically publishing since 1982 (also in Science the journal), held positions on multiple national program boards for research funding, been a peer-reviewer for many journals and for multinational projects, and pioneered the use of quantitative microscopy in fish biology. She has been on several large EU projects. She also served as Consul of Canada to Norway for 15 years, and won the Norwegian Thon National Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2016), a local Inventor Prize (2013) and a Global Prize for Aquaculture Leadership and Innovation (2016, GAA). She is the inventor of the technology underpinning VeriBarr™ and is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of Quantidoc AS, established in 2013, which holds the rights to commercially exploit the IPR. 


Jon Þrándur Stefánsson holds a doctorate degree in Business Administration with specialization on HRM from Kobe University of Commerce, Japan. He completed his MBA degree with specialization in International Business and Marketing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Stefánsson also completed his BSc degree in Business Administration from the same university.

Stefánsson has extensive experience in consulting, research, and in teaching in higher education. Stefánsson’s specialization is in the fields of HR, organizational behavior, and marketing management and international business. He has published several textbook chapters and articles in the fields of HR, case studies, and business planning.

Closed since 7 May 2018
Brussels, Belgium
Organised by
Participants 409
Meetings 494
Belgium 147
France 39
Spain 38
United Kingdom 33
Italy 22
Netherlands 18
Portugal 16
Germany 15
Ireland 11
Greece 9
Ukraine 6
Sweden 5
Norway 4
Switzerland 4
Denmark 3
Luxembourg 3
Georgia 3
Liechtenstein 2
Bulgaria 2
Poland 2
Israel 2
Malta 2
Croatia 2
United States 2
Algeria 1
Senegal 1
Australia 1
Gambia 1
Fiji 1
Angola 1
South Africa 1
Cyprus 1
Malaysia 1
Russia 1
Bosnia And Herzegovina 1
Nepal 1
Uganda 1
India 1
Estonia 1
French Polynesia 1
Romania 1
Sri Lanka 1
Austria 1
Greenland 1
Hungary 1
China 1
Iceland 1
Tunisia 1
Finland 1
Total 415
Company 190
University 18
R&D Institution 16
Association/Agency 52
Authority/Government 78
Other 61
Total 415