Our Team

Ocean Exchange Team

Alison Barlow

Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District

Alison manages the District’s portfolio of collaborative projects including the Maritime and Defense Technology Hub

The Innovation District is a public-private partnership focused on increasing economic vibrancy and innovative problem solving in the Tampa Bay region. Located south of downtown St. Petersburg, the Innovation District was established in 2016 and has over fifty member organizations. While many of these entities are within a one-mile radius and have the benefit of proximity, others are engaged from throughout the region and nation. The Innovation District focuses on the target industries of marine science, life science, data and technology, and creative art and design, as well as the foundational areas of fostering entrepreneurship and promoting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education.

Alison manages the District’s portfolio of collaborative projects including the Maritime and Defense Technology Hub, a coworking facility for the maritime technology and national security sectors; the Ocean Team, a premier consortium of marine science and related entities in the Southeast; Smart City demonstrations, a series of pilot projects in conjunction with the City and University of South Florida; and the St. Petersburg Science Festival, an annual exploration of science and technology for youth.

Alison is originally from St. Petersburg. She received a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University, and a Master of Business Administration from American University in Washington D.C. Prior to joining the Innovation District, she was a technology consultant based in Washington D.C. working with the Department of Defense

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Ocean Exchange invites you to learn more about Awards Program, our ecosystem and success of our award winners and participants. Together, we can chart a powerful course to help ensure the future of our oceans and the Blue Economy.

“Ocean Exchange has a platform to enable people with information that they need to know about the ocean and then to showcase new technologies that are on the forefront of really helping the ocean and the planet.”

“The quality of the content and the people who are involved with Ocean Exchange is all high end.”

“Besides funding, Ocean Exchange provides access to a wide area network of incredibly talented people in organizations that really do just want to help people.”

“Ocean Exchange is really about helping the little guys grow and in so doing, helping the big guys be better ocean citizens.”

“Ocean Exchange seems to be much more focused on bringing to light under-capitalized, wonderful new technology ideas. And it’s all about two-way access to this new technology and to the people who can help with the experience to grow that technology.”

“Ocean Exchange is a force multiplier to enable sustainable innovation.”

“Ocean Exchange is a global, novel innovation forum that has a greater ability to attract a broader range of impactful stakeholders than any other event that’s out there.”

“Unquestionably, one of Ocean Exchange’s primary strengths is how it brings together people from different paths. That makes its event a delegator experience as well as experience for an innovator or awards nominee.”

“Ocean Exchange is entirely different from any of the other organizations that I’m involved in. It is about sustainable innovation. I think it’s also very different in the extremely broad range of stakeholders that it involves.”

“There’s nothing better than going to an event or engaging with people so you walk away and say, ‘Wow!’”