Navigating the Cape Cod Region’s Blue Economy

Action Items

Expedition Blue has prioritized a number of actions and sub-actions to be implemented by the project with the help of regional partners.

Goal: support the development, growth, and retention of innovative technologies that can be shared and exported.

  • Develop and strengthen new innovative water-based technology companies. Establish a set of criteria to determine what we need to develop and strengthen.
  • Continue and evolve the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s entrepreneurship and technology transfer program. Replicate and expand.
  • Encourage new growth in untapped sectors. Use Blue Advisory Group and other panels to identify regional needs and subsequent entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Connect wastewater and other regional challenges and problems to entrepreneurs.

Goal: support the development, growth, and retention of innovative technologies that can be shared and exported.

  • Encourage marine tech cluster development with favorable incentives like subsidies to locate in specific areas and determine what other than location will incentivize companies and implement.
  • Provide low interest loans for business start-ups, and access to capital for targeted blue businesses.
  • Encourage businesses to move to the region to create a job market by using tax incentives.
  • Provide incentives for companies associated with the Section 208 Area-Wide Water Quality Management Plan to site in the region and grow responsibly.
  • Establish and manage a regional innovation fund and establish a venture fund.
  • Complete a Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategy and apply for a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence designation with regional entities.
  • Identify potential venture firms and investors.

Goal: establish blue tourism education program to ensure the linkages between a healthy environment and a healthy economy are understood

  • Develop a blue/green certification program that helps educate visitors about the importance of maintaining our fragile environment and water quality and how they can help.
  • Create a new blue tourism destination, a Cape Cod Experience Center that tells the story of Cape Cod’s past and present with a focus on the Blue Economy. It can include learning labs, exhibits, touch tanks/aquariums, meeting/entertaining spaces, embarkation point for ecotourism experiences.
  • Educate residents on how life is supported by water, and how to protect it.

Goal: offer enhanced training, jobs, and education specific to blue economy targets.

  • Identify skill gaps in marine industries for workforce development and conversion from jobs to careers.
  • Work with educational community and workforce development organizations to help them target curriculum.
  • Introduce entrepreneurship early by providing local case studies into curriculum.
  • Make K-12 more marine based education and add teaching entrepreneurship to education.
  • Improving the ocean literacy and blue economy workforce interest and preparedness of our young people by building assessing interest, engagement, and awareness of opportunities and careers.
  • Conduct an emerging professional tours in K-12 settings where blue business and organizations can share their area of work in the Cape Cod Region and provide a foundation for necessary steps to have a blue career locally.

Goal: create a blue network for blue business counseling and convening and provide resource compilation and dissemination.

  • Create a blue business counseling practice targeted to each specific industry.
  • Network to transition Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and other government programs to have a focus or preference for Blue Economy industries in the Cape Cod region.

  • Identify entrepreneurs within the region and hold a blue business entrepreneur’s weekend each year.
  • Analyze and potentially implement a collaborative incubator space (likely in the Bourne/Falmouth area).
  • Increase collision points with blue business/organizations and entrepreneurs. Every other year, convene an international conference on the Blue Economy. Become the hub for this discussion and action.
  • Launch a global symposium and blog on blue topics hosted on the Cape, (experiential and educational).

Goal: establish blue enterprise zones where permitting can be expedited and related organizations can thrive on peer-to-peer relationships.

  • Zone for blue business/organization enterprise zones and map shoreline access, region-wide.

  • Zone to amplify development around working harbors (incent pier development if rezoned).
  • Establish a regional strategy for towns to modify Chapter 91 regulations – create a site plan review process for Deep Blue – with a special group of subject matter experts (SMEs) to review projects.

Goal: improve access to water and support infrastructure needs.

  • Provide more consistent and dependable access to water areas for the working, conservation and recreation communities.
  • Provide incentives for private commercial waterfront owners to grant working water access.
  • Create a program with Realtors and towns to educate waterfront homeowners on the value and character of working waterfronts
  • Create a fund that could be used to purchase waterfront property for working use.
  • Advocate for regulation reform regarding commercial waterfront usage.

Goal: promote blue businesses and organizations.

  • Create a decision-making tool for business & government based on community consensus – for a desired definition of blue that creates balance and interconnectivity of the economy & the environment.
  • Create a Blue Stamp marketing program that identifies a business or organization as part of a dark or medium blue sector.
  • Establish and implement a standards-based approach to promoting blue business and activities.
  • Support/catalyze the blue economy growth through the creation of a Blue Economy “Did You Know” marketing and awareness campaign through new assets. This campaign would serve to increase knowledge and opportunities in the Blue Economy (existing and emerging) to foster growth and innovation