Building The Future of Ocean Innovation
The Next Wave of Innovation And The Groundbreaking Ocean Innovators Making It Happen
What's Next In Blue Innovation?
Ocean innovation is more important now than ever before. In the coming decades, the oceans will play a pivotal role in fostering not only planetary environmental health, but will be a pillar of a global, sustainable blue economy–one which proves that preservation and prosperity need not be mutually exclusive. As a key cornerstone of our mission, we work to empower global innovators developing solutions that can affect meaningful change at multiple points in the water cycle. The innovators we support view ocean health and world water access as interconnected challenges; the global flow of water, from melting lakes and glaciers to destabilized water tables, ocean acidification to microplastic accumulation, are all part of a deeply interconnected web of global water flows in which we all play a part. It is this multidisciplinary global approach which is the collective inspiration for our programming for the UN Ocean Conference this year. From our Masterclass, highlighting the ways in which fast fashion and textile industries can impact global ocean health, and TechConnect, providing diverse perspectives to ocean innovation, to our premier event, the Pitch Showcase for Innovative Water Solutions, we are building a multidisciplinary, intersectional approach to global water challenges.
The innovators participating in the Pitch Showcase are reflective of emerging trends across industries, reflecting a wider scope of solutions that reflect a diverse array of challenges- the intersections of science and technology with deep ocean understanding and a mission to develop a blue economy is underpinning the emerging future of water innovation. Founders, investors, and ecosystem builders all have a part to play in developing our shared blue future.
Key to an entrepreneurial understanding of this new economic ecosystem is the understanding of “blue growth”. It is here where entrepreneurs have some of the greatest opportunities to make a difference.
Typically, blue economies are categorized into two types: there are mature blue industries, such as maritime transport, shipbuilding, and port infrastructure, fishing, and offshore platforms for hydrocarbon extraction, and there are emerging blue industries. This distinction was posited by the latest European Blue Economy report, and it is where entrepreneurs in ocean innovation have the greatest part to play. Emerging blue industries include developing sectors such as renewable marine energy production (or “blue energy”), marine biotechnology (or “blue biotechnology”), subsea mapping and mining, and numerous forms of aquaculture.
Countries around the world are starting to pour resources into bringing these technologies to life, and already there has been fantastic progress. These emerging trends are beginning to take shape across the globe- this interactive map is an incredible resource showing where our global blue future is beginning to take form and points to what the future might look like. We can take this prediction out even further- the EU has asked experts to coordinate their visions in a series of timelines for blue innovation as part of the developing PERISCOPE project; We’re inspired by these predictions, and look forward to continuing to support entrepreneurs ready to meet these challenges head-on.
The first wave of this innovation is already here. The innovators, founders, activists, and changemakers we have worked with are an inspiration for this wider scope of understanding–in them, we see the future of ocean innovation and global water solutions. They embody emerging frontiers in these developing sectors, whether it is data management solutions for aquaculture (Aquatika) or the circular economy and innovative materials science, like BioMec Prostethics and Zouri Shoes.
They are part of the next wave of water innovation. This is the blue future, and they are working to build it. Learn more about some of the extraordinary individuals sharing their vision with the world through GIST Oceans Series:
Meet the Innovators Bringing The Next Wave of Innovation to Life