Identifying the trends and mega-trends of the blue economy using the method of systematic literature review and expert workshop

Document Type : Original Article


1 Imam Hosein (as) University

2 PhD graduate, Islamic Azad University; Science & Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant professor at the Department of computer engineering, Head of the cyberspace research laboratory of the University of Tehran, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Iran


Economic progress with minimal damage to the environment is one of the important values of this era. One of the new fields that have been made more exploitable with the development of new technologies is the sea and the ocean. The deep seas and the far oceans are a field whose economic use has been provided more than in the past. In order to focus knowledge in this field, the general title of blue economy or ocean economy has been formed and this title, as a special keyword, has been decided upon by researchers, policy makers and decision makers. In this research, both in order to introduce this topic and to gain initial knowledge of the dimensions of this field in different fields, we sought to know its trends and megatrends in a future-oriented way. With the method of systematic literature review, the specialized domain of this field was examined in 6 main areas in order to extract its trends and technologies, and then, using thematic analysis and expert workshop, coding of the initial trends was done in order to reach its megatrends. Finally, in 6 main areas of blue economy, 168 microtrends and technologies were extracted, which were categorized under 9 megatrends of flotation, smarttization, destruction, greeification, profitablization, habitablization, novelization, extraction, and conflictualization.


Smiley face

  1. ConservationInternational. (2018). What on Earth is the ‘blue economy’?
  2. Denyer, D., & Tranfield, D. (2009). Producing a Systematic Review. In D. Buchanan & A. Bryman (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of organizational research methods (pp. 671–689). London: Sage Publications Ltd.
  3. DFFE. (2020). Towards a South African Oceans Economy Master Plan. DRAFT Discussion Document. V3.0.
  4. Dogley, D., & Roberts, J. (2023). An ocean of opportunities: HOW THE BLUE ECONOMY CAN TRANSFORM SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES. In United Nations Development Programme. NEW YORK.
  5. EAC-PM. (2020). India’s Blue Economy: A Draft Policy Framework.
  6. EuropeanCommission. (2021). The EU blue economy report 2021. Retrieved from
  7. EuropeanCommission. (2023). The EU Blue Economy Report. In Office of the European Union.
  8. Garousi, V., Rainer, A., Felderer, M., & Mäntylä, M. V. (2022). Introduction to the Special Issue on: Grey Literature and Multivocal Literature Reviews (MLRs) in software engineering. Information and Software Technology, 141, 106697.
  9. Hansen, E. (2020). Global Industrial and Technological Trends in Growth in the Caribbean Prospective Study on Global Blue Economy Industrial, Investment and Technological Trends.
  10. Ho-Chun Fang, I., Cheng, F., Incecik, A., & Carnie, P. (2013). Global Marine Trends 2030. Retrieved from
  11. Kalaitzi, D., Matopoulos, A., Fornasiero, R., Sardesai, S., Barros, A. C., Balech, S., & Muerza, V. (2021). Megatrends and Trends Shaping Supply Chain Innovation BT  - Next Generation Supply Chains: A Roadmap for Research and Innovation (R. Fornasiero, S. Sardesai, A. C. Barros, & A. Matopoulos, Eds.).
  12. Lee, M. S., Hughes, A., Lockmiller, C., Day, A., Brown, M., & Jenson, R. (2022). Working Together: How Academic Librarians Can Help Researchers Prepare for a Grey Literature Search for Systematic Reviews Involving Minoritized Populations. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 102626.
  13. Lombardi, B. (2016). The Future Maritime Operating Environment and the Role of Naval Power.
  15. Mega. (2020). The blue economy. Retrieved June 1, 1402, from Pictet Asset Management website:
  16. Nicolls, W., Franks, C., Gilmore, T., Goulder, R., Mendelsohn, L., Morgan, E., … Colgan, C. (2020). Defining and Measuring the U.S. Ocean Economy. Retrieved from
  17. NOAA. (2021). NOAA Blue Economy: Strategic Plan 2021—2025. In National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved from
  18. Pauli, G. A. (2010). The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs. Retrieved from
  19. ROUSSEAU, P. C. (2020). What is the right definition for the Blue Economy? Retrieved May 31, 1402, from
  20. Smith-Godfrey, S. (2016). Defining the blue economy. Maritime Affairs, 12(1), 58–64.
  21. Spaniol, M. J., & Rowland, N. J. (2022). Anticipated innovations for the blue economy: Crowdsourced predictions for the North Sea Region. Marine Policy, 137, 104874.
  22. Wenhai, L., Cusack, C., Baker, M., Tao, W., Mingbao, C., Paige, K., … Yufeng, Y. (2019). Successful blue economy examples with an emphasis on international perspectives. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6(JUN), 1–14.
  23. WorldBank. (2017). The Potential of the Blue Economy: Increasing Long-term Benefits of the Sustainable Use of Marine Resources for Small Island Developing States and Coastal Least Developed Countries. In World Bank and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.