Black Sea Project Awards 2023: Honouring Excellence in the Blue Economy- Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea Initiates Project Competition

Black Sea Project Awards 2023: Honouring Excellence in the Blue Economy- Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea Initiates Project Competition

Author: Black Sea Assistance Mechanism

In an exciting new development for the maritime community, the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea, with support from the Black Sea Assistance Mechanism, has launched the first edition of the Black Sea Project Awards. Drawing inspiration from successful projects in the WestMED and Atlantic regions, this competition aims to celebrate and put a spotlight on remarkable accomplishments in the Black Sea sea-basin.

Recognizing Excellence in the Black Sea Region

The Black Sea Project Awards is an initiative designed to recognize outstanding projects aligned with the three goals of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea (CMA). The award covers projects from a diverse geographic area, including Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Türkiye, and Ukraine. The awards seek to identify exceptional projects across various domains, showcasing innovative and replicable solutions that embody the CMA's main objectives and priorities for the Black Sea sustainable blue economy.

Categories of Excellence

The awards are divided into three categories, each reflecting the main CMA's goals:

  1. Healthy Marine and Coastal Ecosystems: This category focuses on environmental protection, sustainability in resource exploitation, combating marine pollution and litter, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, innovative marine research infrastructure, and environmental monitoring.
  2. A Competitive, Innovative, and Sustainable Blue Economy for the Black Sea: Here, the spotlight is on innovative business models, research and innovation, sustainable growth, job creation, transport, digital connectivity, and fostering blue skills and maritime careers.
  3. Fostering Investment in the Black Sea Blue Economy: This category emphasizes access to financial resources, promoting sustainable investment in the Blue Economy, and supporting maritime entrepreneurship and clusters.

Applicants are encouraged to choose a primary award category that best aligns with their project's scope and a secondary category if their project has an indirect impact on other areas.

How to Apply

Interested individuals and organizations can submit their applications through the online application form, available from September 27 until October 27, 2023, using the provided link:  

 All applications should be submitted in English. For inquiries regarding the application process, award criteria, and procedures, please contact


Key Dates 27 September 2023: Launch of the award online application form

  • 27 October 2023: Deadline for award applications
  • Beginning of November 2023: Announcement of award winners
  • November 23, 2023: Black Sea Project Award ceremony at the Annual Stakeholder Conference in Bucharest, where winners will have the opportunity to present their projects.

Eligibility and Evaluation

Projects competing for these prestigious awards must meet the following criteria:

  • Projects must be implemented within the geographical area covered by the Black Sea Common Maritime Agenda:
    • Bulgaria
    • Georgia
    • Republic of Moldova
    • Romania
    • Türkiye
    • Ukraine
  • Projects should have been initiated and/or completed within the 36 months leading up to the call's announcement.
  • Applications can be submitted by individuals or organizations that are project leaders or partners within the project consortium, including professionals, entrepreneurs, research institutions, maritime clusters, associations, and NGOs located in the Black Sea region.

Applications will be evaluated by independent experts from the Black Sea Assistance Mechanism and the European Commission (DG MARE and CINEA), based on several criteria, including project relevance to the selected award categories, innovation level, impact (social, environmental, economic), transnational elements, and potential for replicability.

Honouring Excellence

Three projects, one from each award category, will receive recognition from the jury of the Black Sea Project Awards. These awards aim to acknowledge and celebrate exceptional contributions to the Black Sea region's maritime success. Awarded projects will also enjoy enhanced visibility through the CMA´S digital channels, media coverage, and a dedicated CMA Newsletter.

Additionally, a "winner of winners" will be determined through a dynamic pitching competition at the award ceremony, offering an additional opportunity for visibility and recognition. The selected projects will receive a special prize and the exclusive Black Sea Project Award Seal to use in their communication and marketing materials.

The maritime community eagerly awaits the announcement of the winners at the Black Sea Project Award ceremony on November 22-23, 2023, in Bucharest, Romania. This event sets out to be a great opportunity, where innovation, sustainability, and excellence in the Black Sea sustainable blue economy will take centre stage.

For more information and to submit your application, visit these links:

Stay tuned for more updates and be part of the celebrations of maritime excellence in the Black Sea!