The Western Mediterranean Forum, commonly referred to as 5+5 Dialogue, comprises Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia. As a Trans-Mediterranean initiative, the “raison d'être” of the Dialogue 5+5 is to ensure closer cooperation between the five EU Member States and the five Arab Maghreb Countries through political dialogue and cooperation and by encouraging more effective resource management as a means of strengthening interdependence and regional development.

The Ministers in charge of Research, Innovation and Higher Education in the Dialogue 5+5 Member Countries of the Western Mediterranean, are committed to foster promotion of research, innovation and higher education for social stability and economic growth.
To stimulate growth and employment, the 5+5 Dialogue countries agree to deploy more efforts to promote entrepreneurship, a powerful engine of shared prosperity. In fact, the creation and growth of enterprises promotes employment and development of new skills, reinforces innovation and increases market potentials.

Actions for capacity building: the Master course and the Summer School
These capacity building initiatives are a hub of knowledge and expertise on blue economy for a sustainable and a responsible growth addressed to the Mediterranean countries within the framework of the Italian contribution to the Western Mediterranean Dialogue on Higher Education, Research and innovation (Dialogue 5+5).
One of the biggest global challenges, considered strategic on the world stage, is research and use of the marine environment in a sustainable and responsible manner. Italy, as a member in charge of the presidency of the Forum for Higher Education, Research and Innovation for 2017-19, has proposed two major initiatives: a COST Action coordinated and held by OGS Trieste and the Sustainable Blue Growth project endorsed by the Italian Ministry for Higher Education, University and Research (MIUR) and organized by OGS.
The OGS initiative on sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors, coordinated by Italy to support higher education, innovation and international mobility with the objectives of job creation and growth of products and services offered by the Italian industry to its partner countries in the marine sector stands in high regards with the 5+5 Member Countries.

OGS recognizes the importance of the sea as a motor having a huge potential for innovation and growth for the economy of countries like Italy. OGS developed an articulated and integrated program with the aim of creating a hub of higher education, innovation and mobility for an intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth benefiting the Mediterranean countries, in particular those members of the Dialogue 5+5.  
This multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral initiative touches many economic areas: aquaculture and fishing, blue biotechnologies, maritime and coastal tourism, mineral extraction from the seabed, renewable energies, transport, offshore oil and gas, underwater archeology and land-sea interaction, among Others.