We fulfill this mission through a rigorous, multi-level program that includes annual monetary awards, promoting registered Solutions Inspiring Action across multiple communication channels, and facilitating access to a global network of experts from around the world. This network is the heart of our ecosystem that encourages and supports pioneering companies focused on the development and commercialization of breakthrough technologies.
Now in our 11th year, we have aggregated solutions via a competitive process whereby more than $2,000,000 USD has been given in non-dilutive grants to startups as seed funding, typically at pre-revenue stage.
The Ocean Exchange mission is executed in two parts:
- An awards program held each fall consisting of three global awards, the Neptune, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Orcelle®, and Ocean Exchange Innovation Award for Transportation and Logistics Hubs (Transportation Hub Award). Each of these three awards carries prize money of $100,000 USD.
The awards program also includes a Collegiate Award for earlier stage start-ups. Over the past seven years, seven prior finalists and winners have been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in their fields.
- In addition to cash awards, Ocean Exchange has created a large ecosystem open to all who compete to help connect them to business, government, or financial market resources that can move them along the path to commercialization.
This ecosystem plays an important role that ties into the fulfillment of our tagline “Solutions Inspiring Action.” Finalists and winners now have significant accomplishments on their road to commercialization. Examples include an exit strategy completed for initial investors such as acquisition by Boeing, and an IPO on Swedish NASDAQ; large equity-based crowd-funding in the cleantech space; the award of a significant contract by HUD for post-Sandy remediation in Raritan Bay/Staten Island; and partnership with Virgin Voyages that will enable a previous Neptune and Collegiate award winner to scale the production of E-Marine™, the newest sustainable fuel made using its carbon transformation technology.
- While it is not articulated in our mission statement, an important aspect of our work is ongoing awareness-building about the impact of solutions being developed and implemented by current and previous award winners and finalists. These solutions cover a broad range of issues pertaining to the health of the world’s oceans and the goals of the Blue Economy.
Sponsor Support and Donations
Ocean Exchange’s mission is funded largely by private donations including those from Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Royal Caribbean, Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, Oceankind, Marine Research Hub of South Florida, Oceaneering, Guy Harvey Foundation, Angus Littlejohn, Jr. Family, and others who share the passion for healthy oceans.
Solutions Inspiring Action set themselves apart in two ways:
Feasibility and Ease of Implementation
- Resources needed to implement the solution are readily available.
- The solution is cost-effective, or can be made so.
- The risks are identifiable, quantifiable, manageable and are minimal compared to the benefits.
Breadth of Application
- The conditions that need to be in place for the solution to be introduced are well defined.
- The solution is versatile and can be applied and implemented in diverse settings across multiple industries, countries, and culture.