24 Finalists Advance in National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures’ Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge: 2019
Republished from National Geographic’s website.
Twenty-four finalists from around the world are moving forward in the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge, a global search for innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s single-use plastic problem.
National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures launched the challenge in February 2019, which focuses on three strategic ways to address the growing issue of plastic pollution: identifying opportunities for industries to address plastic waste throughout supply chains, communicating the breadth of the issue through data visualization, and designing alternatives to single-use plastics.
From an impressive pool of 291 teams that submitted solutions for the challenge, a total of 24 finalists from 13 countries have been selected by a panel of expert judges to move forward into the second phase of the challenge, where they will work to improve their solutions and prepare more robust submission packets for the judges. Each finalist team will be assigned an expert advisor to provide guidance and feedback on their submission.
Winners will be announced in December 2019 after the teams pitch their solution in person to the judges at National Geographic headquarters. The finalists and winners from each track will be entitled to a share of the $500,000 prize purse with select finalists entitled to a portion of $1 million in investments from Sky Ocean Ventures.
The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a key component of National Geographic’s “Planet or Plastic?” initiative, a global effort to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic that reaches the ocean by raising awareness, elevating science and education, advancing innovation, and inspiring action.
Sky Ocean Ventures was launched in March 2018 with a £25 million cornerstone commitment from Sky and the objective of seeking out investment opportunities in start-up innovation businesses that can help solve the ocean plastic waste crisis.