Welcome to this first edition of Blue Innovation, which I hope will help you to better understand our ‘blue’ economy by inspiring you and by deciphering what our researchers and industries are preparing for the years to come. We will try to share these everyday conquests with you—conquests that will tomorrow enable us to treat most illnesses, to offer a balanced diet to the world, to make available an energy mix adapted to all societies, and to improve everyone’s quality of life in large cities, on the coast or indeed at sea on our floating communities.
For the ‘blue’ revolution is not yet news. Instead, it is the sum of the efforts of millions of anonymous people who every day grow fields of algae in Indonesia, breed sea cucumbers in Mexico, starfish in Quebec or crabs in Alaska. Farmers, technicians, engineers, investors and politicians are preparing this societal change which goes well beyond your imagination.
We are referring to the bio-molecules and the neuro-peptides capable of considerably reducing metastasis; to the collagen which in combination with other ingredients will replace our corneas and enable the skin of burn victims to regrow; to the algae which are already part of the feed given to fish and cattle in order to cut down on antibiotics and ensure the right amount of omega-3 and 6; to the micro-algae which are already beginning to replace animal protein in certain prepared foods; to the 25% of bio-materials and bio-plastics that will be made of algae, of the shells of crustaceans or insects or of fish-scales.
As Mr Hulot (the former French minister, not the film character) disembarks from the French ship of state well before the band ceases to play, I would like to reassure our readers by introducing a note of optimism to the often complex relationships that link our captains of industry, our politicians and our civil society in our ‘blue’ economy.
Most of the companies involved in this sector are small, sometimes even tiny innovators whose ethical rules correspond perfectly to the evolving values of our societies. Many of the producers are responsible co-operatives that maintain and manage the marine environment. Most of the foods have passed much stricter controls given the fact that they come from a fragile environment in which the slightest trace of contamination can have devastating effects.
And what of our society that seems to be reaching a certain maturity in terms of environmental issues? Access to information is instantaneous and indisputable. It empowers consumers, who can decide whether they prefer a salmon farmed onshore and fed animal meal, or a salmon steak made of 100% pure and natural micro-algae. This ‘blue’ growth is also a real gift to developing countries having all the ingredients for the development of a new, interdependent and sustainable economy.
Finally, I am always amazed by the dedication and dynamism of the generation of young politicians who have made ‘blue’ growth their priority and who are surfing a tidal wave of future employment and infrastructure for the generations to come.
This sea breeze that brings us rain and cloud is a real breath of hope. Let us not lower the lifeboats at the first little wave!
Citizens, to your oars!