24 January 2019 / The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta
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24 January 2019
The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta
Blue Invest in the Mediterranean 2019

Spyros Kouvelis

Moderator for Blue |Invest in the Mediterranean 2019

An economist by training, Spyros has worked in sustainable development, investment and environmental issues, leading and collaborating with various programmes including the United Nations Environment Program, WWF in Greece/Europe, and headed the Mediterranean Programme of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

After a period in politics, during which he was elected twice in the Greek Parliament and served in government as Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs for economic, environmental and energy matters, Spyros currently advises public and private entities on projects that link governance, finance, innovation and sustainability, and is the Programme Director of the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Governance and Public Law, established jointly by the European Public Law Organization and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. 

Spyros holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Athens and an MSc in Agricultural/Environmental Economics from the University of Reading and is fluent in four languages. 

Karmenu Vella

European Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs

Karmenu Vella is the European Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. He was born in Malta in June 1950. Mr Vella graduated in Architecture and Civil Engineering, and later obtained a Master of Science in Tourism Management from the University of Sheffield. He was first elected to Parliament in 1976 and continued to be re-elected in the elections that followed for nine consecutive times. During his political career he has exercised governmental responsibilities as Minister for Public Works, as Minister for Industry and twice as Minister for Tourism. Mr Vella had also held various senior posts in the private sector.

As European Commissioner, he is mandated to engage in shaping international ocean governance in the UN, in other multilateral fora and bilaterally with key global partners of the EU. As a part of his mandate, he has presented in November 2016 – together with the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – the European Commission's strategy "International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans".

Emma Navarro

Vice President of the European Investment Bank

Emma Navarro has been a Vice President of the European Investment Bank since June 2018. She is a member of the EIB’s Management Committee, which draws up the Bank's financial and lending policies, oversees its day-to-day business, and takes collective responsibility for the Bank’s performance.
Before joining the EIB, Ms. Navarro was General Secretary of the Treasury and Financial Policy in Spain and Member of the Bank of Spain Governing Council and Board Member of the Spanish National Securities Market Commission. Prior to this, she had been President of Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO), Director of the Office of the Minister for Economic Affairs, Industry and Competitiveness and advisor at the International Monetary Fund. Previously, Ms. Navarro held various positions in the public sector in Spain.
In 2005, Ms. Navarro became “State Economist and Trade Expert” of the Spanish Administration. She holds a degree in Law, a master’s degree in EU law from CEU San Pablo University and a joint postgraduate degree in EU law and economics from Madrid’s Complutense University and the Sorbonne in Paris.

Andrew Smith

Deja Blue Consulting

Andrew is the Former Head of the £103m Renewable Energy Investment Fund by Scottish Investment Bank -  investing debt and equity in a range of marine, low carbon and community owned renewable energy projects -  and former Head of Investment for DP Energy -  a renewable energy and sustainable development specialist operating in sites across the world - and is now running his own consultancy – Deja Blue Consulting – helping shape projects & businesses and raising finance for them and their projects and an Associate of Greenbackers Investment Capital specialising in raising ­finance for low-carbon, cleantech and climate change businesses.

Guillaume Le Port

Vertigo Lab

Guillaume le Port is a research associate and project officer at Vertigo Lab, a French think and do tank specialized in environmental economics and innovative tools for bioinspired decision making. Holding both a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris and a master’s degree in Environmental Politics and Sustainable Development from the Catholic Institute of Paris, Guillaume spent 4 years working as an environmental economist consultant in the Pacific. He specialized in economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by coral reefs in several French overseas islands all over the world as well as for several Small Island Developing States in the Pacific. He worked as a consultant for several French and international research centres and institutions (CRIOBE, IFRECOR, German BfN, IUCN, CNRS, etc.). He also worked for the Pew Charitable Trusts in French Polynesia, for whom he realized an costs/benefits analysis of the implementation of a Large Marine Sanctuary in the Australes archipelago, French Polynesia.

In 2018, he came back in Europe to work at Vertigo Lab on a project called BlueSeeds, aiming at helping marine conservation projects in their search for sustainability. This project is seeking to offer practical solutions to address marine conservation day-to-day issues, as well as innovative financing mechanisms for project leaders. With his strong knowledge of marine conservation worldwide and his skills in environmental economics, Guillaume focuses in this project on technical aspects, working directly on sites with the supported to project to co-design best-suited practical solutions and financing mechanisms. Participating to the BlueInvest conference is a unique opportunity for the BlueSeeds team to exchange about good practices and success stories in the Mediterranean, as well as encounter potential partners from all horizons.

Baya Aissaoui

INOGS, Italia

She is an Engineer in Hydraulic and Development. She is currently the coordinator of the Sustainable Blue Growth team within the Mediterranean Youth for Water Network with the support of CMI (Center for Mediterranean Integration) and the World Bank. She is in the Advanced Master in Sustainable Blue Growth and a master researcher in Ballast Water Risk Assessment Management (National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics Sciences, Trieste, Italy; OGS). She is holder of a research master degree in Sustainable Management of Water Resources in National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia.

Ahmed Youssef

Director of the International Forum for Maritime Transport in AASTMT

Dr. Capt. Ahmed Youssef is the Director of the International Forum for Maritime Transport in AASTMT (Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport). Moreover, Ahmed is a Master Mariner that worked onboard in different types of vessels. He obtained his PhD form Liverpool John Moores University, UK. B.Sc (Hons), Post Graduate Diploma and his Master Degree in Quality Management and Productivity from the AASTMT, Egypt.

Since 2003, he has been a Marine Lecturer in AASTMT teaching Nautical Science and Management Skills in the Maritime field. He also taught as a visiting professor in Maine Maritime Academy, USA.

During his career, he participated as a Guest Speaker in many International conferences. Ahmed Has also published papers pertaining to the field of Educational Technology, Maritime H.R and methods of maintaining a sustainable development of the Maritime caliber. He introduced the intelligent/interactive Maritime education and training application (iMET) that is beyond e-Learning concept, as he holds the intellectual copyrights property certificate of this application.

Ahmed's experience includes management, business development, strategic planning, maritime education management and educational technology.

Miguel Garcia- Herraiz

Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean

Miguel García-Herraiz is the Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean in
charge of Water and Environment since July 2016.
García-Herraiz is a Spanish career diplomat who has served the Spanish Ministry of Foreign
Affairs for the past twenty years, holding positions as Deputy Director General for
International Affairs of Terrorism and Disarmament, and, lately, as Counsellor in charge of the
relations between the European Union and Southern Mediterranean countries in the
Permanent Mission of Spain to the European Union.
He has also been First Secretary and Head of Consular section, in charge of the Spanish
Cultural Centre in Nicaragua at the Embassy of Spain in Managua; Head of section for
International Affairs of Terrorism; and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Spain in
Mr. García-Herraiz has a wide experience in negotiations and has been involved in the drafting
of all recent UfM Ministerial declarations as well the revision of the European Neighbourhood
Policy prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary General of the UfM.

Petros Kokkalis
Blue Growth Hub Piraeus

As co-founder and impact investor of social enterprises such as organization Earth, an environmental NGO, and Aephoria, a sustainable development startup incubator, Petros Kokkalis is a firm believer of the transformation of local communities through mass resource mobilization. He currently serves as Vice President of the Kokkalis Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is the promotion of a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Southeastern Europe. He also serves as the President of Athens Information Technology, a non-profit technology academic and research institution, and he is president of Athens Tech, a private technology, innovation and entrepreneurship college. He frequently serves as judge to Greek and international business and startup competitions, mentors young entrepreneurs and also serves on the Endeavor senior advisor network. Previously, he was the Vice-President and shareholder of Intracom Holdings, one of the largest multinational technology groups in South-Eastern Europe, and the Vice-President and shareholder of Intralot S.A., a gaming technology supplier and lottery licensed operator. He was also the Vice-President of the Greek football club Olympiacos CFP from 1995 to 2008. He is currently an independent city council member in Piraeus Municipality responsible for European Affairs and the founder of Hope Refugee FC. Hope Refugee FC was established in November 2016 for adult refugees living in Athens. The team participated in an independent league and has played 38 friendly matches with Greek and immigrant teams.

Clara Barthélemy  

Vertigo Lab

Clara Barthélemy is a research associate and project officer at Vertigo Lab, a French think and do tank specialized in environmental economics and innovative tools for bioinspired decision making. She holds a degree in Business management from EDHEC Business School. After two years in south America where she learned about social entrepreneurship and environmental projects, she started working as a sustainability consultant. Then, she designed innovative corporate and marketing strategies to start corporations' environmental transition.

In 2018, she started to work for Vertigo Lab to develop the BlueSeeds program, aiming at helping marine conservation projects to become economically sustainable. To do so, BlueSeeds team develop practical solutions for conservation, design innovative financing mechanisms and provide a technical assitance for marine conservation projects. Passionate about the Mediterranean sea, Clara is using her skills on business strategies, entrepreneurship and environmental issues to develop innovative business models for marine conservation and foster entrepreneurship in this field. She also works on the field with actual marine conservation projects. Participating to the BlueInvest conference is a unique opportunity for the BlueSeeds team to exchange about good practices and success stories in the Mediterranean, as well as encounter potential partners from all horizons.

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Darko Manakovski 


Between 2013 and 2017 Darko Manakovski served as Head of Norther Europe for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, with focus on public affairs, partnerships and strategy for programme and policy development in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mr. Manakovski also served on special assignments, as a representative in the UN intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda in New York and during the UNFCCC COP 21 climate negotiations in Paris. Mr. Manakovski believes that a sustainable future is about vision, assessment and sustaianble finance, and he utilizes his experience to inspire fresh thinking and open dialogue on transformative sustainable development and resilience trends that can guide policy, finance, business and innovation.

Currently, Mr. Manakovski is working for an international NGO called Rare, leading the work in Scandinavia for Rare’s Global Development Division. He focuses on fundraising and strategic partnerships in the areas of Oceans and fisheries, water, SDGs and blended finance.

Prior to this, Mr. Manakovski has worked in public affairs and advised in areas of climate, energy and finance


Closed since 24 January 2019


The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta

Organised by


Participants 281
Meetings 265


Albania 2
Algeria 20
Belgium 19
Bosnia And Herzegovina 3
Bulgaria 3
Croatia 2
Cyprus 3
Egypt 15
France 13
Germany 6
Ghana 1
Greece 18
Hungary 1
Ireland 1
Israel 4
Italy 39
Jordan 2
Kuwait 2
Lebanon 1
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 7
Luxembourg 2
Malta 63
Montenegro 1
Morocco 3
Netherlands 1
Poland 1
Portugal 7
Romania 2
Serbia 1
Slovenia 7
Somalia 1
Spain 25
Sweden 1
Tunisia 9
Turkey 1
Ukraine 3
United Kingdom 8
United States 5
Total 303


Company 120
University 39
R&D Institution 26
Association/Agency 32
Authority/Government 55
Other 31
Total 303