Mobilizing investors for blue growth

Sander W.K. van den Burg*, Marian Stuiver, Bas C. Bolman, Roland Wijnen, Trond Selnes, Gordon Dalton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The European Union's Blue Growth Strategy is a long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors, aiming to contribute to innovation and economic growth (European Commission, 2012). The EU sees the financial sector as a key partner to bring about transition to sustainable consumption and production. However, knowledge about investment behavior, experience with working with these investors, and ways to engage investors in the Blue Growth sectors is lacking. This paper examines this knowledge gap. It characterizes investors and identifies investor behavior, investors' motives, and conditions and criteria relevant for investors to invest in Blue Growth sectors. The presented results are derived from a literature study on investors and investment behavior, an electronic survey and in-depth interviews. Stereotypical images of private equity bankers or wealthy individuals do not do justice to the diversity of investors involved in the Blue Growth sectors. These sectors are still in development and various risks reduce the willingness to invest. Risk mitigation should be seen as a shared responsibility of entrepreneurs, investors and governments. Government support must go further than financial support for research and development or technological demonstration projects. Proven technologies get stuck in the Valley of Death as investors alone are not willing to take the risk associated with upscaling of promising technologies. Tied in a reciprocal relationship, governments need to attract private investors-their capital, knowledge, and networks-to further grow of the Blue Growth sectors while investors need stable, predictable, and effective government support schemes to mitigate their financial risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number291
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Issue numberJAN
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2017


  • Aquaculture
  • Blue growth
  • EU policy
  • Investment theory
  • Investors
  • Offshore wind


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