FAROS: the Blue Economy Accelerator of the CDP National Network opens the 2nd Call for Startups and launches a new territorial Hub

Launch of the second edition of the acceleration programme for Italian and international startups engaged in the development of innovative and sustainable solutions in the blue economy and port innovation sectors.

May 29th – Today marks the opening of the new FAROS Call for Startups, the accelerator dedicated to the Blue Economy set up in 2021 to promote a sea economy supporting sustainable development in Italy.
Faros is part of the CDP National Accelerator Network, the network of physical accelerators in Italy centred on the most innovative sectors to help the growth of start-ups specialising in areas with high market potential.

The first accelerator in Italy dedicated to this sector, Faros was set up on the initiative of CDP Venture Capital Sgr in collaboration with the Port Authority of the Ionian Sea – Port of Taranto and is managed by a|cube, a social and environmental impact business accelerator, and by the local manager Wylab with the strategic support of PortXL, the Rotterdam-based world port accelerator leader in the maritime sector.

FAROS launches its 2nd edition and expands its presence on the territory: the Taranto Hub, which was well established during the first edition of the programme, will be joined by the La Spezia Hub.

The hubs and the 2nd Edition of the Acceleration program will be presented by the promoters and partners of the initiative through two local events, which will be held respectively: today Monday 29 May in Taranto at the Ionic Department in “Legal and Economic Systems of the Mediterranean: society, environment, culture” of the University of Bari Aldo Moro (Via Duomo 259, Taranto) and Wednesday 31 May in La Spezia at SUNSPACE (Via Sapri 68, La Spezia).

The two hubs will be hosting start-ups during the acceleration process and will focus on different topics related to the needs of the area. 

i partner

The Taranto Hub carries out its activities thanks to the collaboration with the Port Authority of the Ionian Sea – Port of Taranto, an institutional partner oriented towards the global promotion of the Ionian port and the development of Taranto’s industrial-logistics and tourism system. 

Main partners: Intesa Sanpaolo, Acciaierie d’Italia; the institutional partnerships of the Municipality of Taranto, the Taranto Chamber of Commerce and the University of Bari Aldo Moro.

The La Spezia Hub carries out its activities in collaboration with the Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea – Ports of La Spezia and Marina di Carrara, an institutional and territorial partner oriented to promote the industrial ecosystem and the integration of the ports of La Spezia and Marina di Carrara.

Co-Investors: Crédit Agricole and Duferco. Main partner: Acciaierie d’Italia. The institutional partnership of the Municipality of La Spezia, Fondazione Carispezia e PromoStudi La Spezia.

For both Hubs, Faros also relies on the support of Corporate Partners: Eni through Joule, its school of entrepreneurship*, BCC San Marzano, JV Tempa Rossa and RINA. These partners provide distinctive sector expertise, contribute to the growth of widespread networking and guarantee the possibility of launching pilot projects with the various business lines.

*Corporate Partner of the Taranto Hub. The agreement relating to the new Hub of La Spezia is in the process of being finalised.


The Call for Startups, open from today until 27 July, is addressed to Italian and international startups operating with innovative and sustainable business models in the following fields:

  • Ocean Data: intelligent systems and innovative technologies for collecting, monitoring and evaluating data from the sea and oceans
  • Ocean Energy Systems: creation of an energy mix based on ocean resources
  • Sea Health & Restoration: prevention, protection, restoration and monitoring of the marine environment and ecosystem
  • Smart Ports & Green Shipping: digital and automated processes for the optimisation of port activities and the decarbonisation of maritime transport
  • Sustainable Aquaculture: farming and processing of fish, algae and molluscs for the food chain
  • Innovative use of marine resources: for industrial applications and processes 
  • Shipbuilding: innovative and sustainable processes in the shipbuilding industry
  • Coastal Tourism: services for the development of a more sustainable tourism supply chain

Selected start-ups will be associated with the relevant territorial hub, in line with their area of competence. More specifically:

Taranto will be the reference hub for the following areas: smart ports & green shipping, ocean data, ocean energy systems, sea health & restoration.

La Spezia will be the reference hub for the following areas: sustainable aquaculture, shipbuilding, coastal tourism, innovative use of marine resources.

The programme

Faros provides participating companies with:

  • Acceleration path (up to 16 weeks)
    Masterclasses, one-to-one coaching, mentoring with industry experts, networking with national and international stakeholders.
  • Investment in the form of a convertible financial instrument (“convertendo”) 
    up to € 65,000
  • Pilot projects and open innovation
    Thanks to the strategic and operational support of local authorities and corporate partners, start-ups will be able to work on pilot projects (PoC) aimed at testing new solutions.
  • Workspace at the accelerator’s premises in Taranto and La Spezia for the duration of the programme, places of exchange and interaction between the main players in innovation.

The acceleration programme will take place both on-site and remotely between October 2023 and  February 2024.


Regulations of the Call with details on eligibility criteria, conditions and modalities for sending applications are available at: www.farosaccelerator.com.

The Call closes on 27 July 2023.


Faros Accelerator
Elena Lombardo | info@farosaccelerator.com | 340 2373314

CDP Venture Capital SGR – Fondo Nazionale Innovazione
Alessandra Acutis | alessandra.acutis@cdpventurecapital.it | 348 8328308