Announcing Semi-finalists to our $1 Million Ocean Innovation Prize!

The Blue Climate Initiative (BCI) is thrilled to announce the 21 semi-finalists for the US$1 Million Ocean Innovation Prize, hosted in collaboration with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance.

These semi-finalists are advancing creative, innovative approaches to help us find a way out of the climate crisis. Coming from all corners of the globe, their projects include clean energy and desalination from sea waves and solar technologies; kelp forest restoration and seaweed innovations such as for bioplastics and methane-reducing livestock feed supplements; carbon dioxide removal such as through gasification of algae biomass, electrochemistry and alkalinity enhancement; and many more.


The BCI received 236 applications from over 60 countries. The semi-finalists were selected by a global group of 18 expert evaluators for their impact potential, innovation, commercial and scale potential, capacity and feasibility, alignment with Prize principles, and the value of Prize support.

map of bci award winners

We congratulate the semi-finalists and are thrilled to draw attention to these important and timely innovations to address our climate crisis, using the power of the ocean. As the current COP26 discussions emphasize, bold action on climate solutions has never been more urgent.


The goal of the Ocean Innovation Prize is to identify and accelerate market-based ocean-related solutions to our climate crisis in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, and drawing insights from the Blue Climate Initiative’s Transformational Opportunities. The semi-finalists will be supported with publicity, match-making with experts and investors, and mentoring. A High-Level Judges panel will select a final set of winners, to be announced in early 2022, who will share the US$1 Million cash prize and be featured at the Blue Climate Summit in May 2022 in French Polynesia.

The Ocean Innovation Prize semi-finalists are as follows; they are delighted to be contacted and profiled:

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The world's first Ocean Safe thermal desalination technology, 100% powered by solar. Desolenator creates high quality net-zero drinking water at scale, securing water for island nations whilst delivering resilience and adaptation to a changing climate without harm to our planet and oceans.

Louise Bleach, Head of Impact

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Urchinomics helps restore kelp forests and provides rural, coastal job opportunities by removing overgrazing sea urchins from urchin barrens, ranching them in proprietary aquaculture systems, and converting them into premium seafood. The urchin roe (“uni”) is then sold to top tier distributors, restaurants, and consumers globally.

Brian Tsuyoshi Takeda, Founder and CEO

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SMO Solar Process is an innovative process using solar power to turn biomass or carbon-based waste into highly valuable products with negative CO₂ balance: activated carbon, biochar, clean hydrogen, electricity. Our project is to use SMO technology to turn invasive Sargassum algae into a carbon sink, together with producing valuable outputs.

Dr. Nicolas Ugolin
Founder and lead scientist

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We are a social business on a mission to restore the ocean, our planet's biggest carbon sink, by helping corporations to integrate a regenerative workflow into their business model.

We develop tailor-made B2B programs and impact measurement technologies to help businesses willing to contribute to net-zero global targets.

Anne Sophie Roux, Founder & CEO

seaweed harvest
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Ocean 2050's seaweed carbon farm project identifies and brings to market a new nature-based solution for carbon sequestration in the oceans, with the potential to reach significant scale.

Fritz Neumeyer Director, Oceans 2050 Foundation

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AIRGLIDE enhanced air lubrication systems reduces global shipping pollution, GHG emissions, and fuel consumption by 10% — eliminate use of toxic anti-fouling paints. Worldwide adoption by the more than 50,000 ocean-going ships could lead to $160 billion in fuel costs saved annually

John Dixon P.E., Principal Investigator

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Cquestr8 will address the 10-20GT/yr of CO₂ the IPCC urges us to remove from the atmosphere. There are currently no industrial, large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR) processes that can meaningfully address this massive challenge. We will dispose of this CO₂ by emulating and magnifying the natural limestone weathering process.

Steve Willis, Director

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We innovate and manufacture seaweed-based bioplastic through a sustainable production process that requires no hazardous chemicals as well as cost, energy, and water-efficient. We address climate change problems directly, through seaweed cultivation that reduces CO₂ emission, and indirectly, by substituting the conventional plastic with our truly biodegradable products.

Dr. Noryawati Mulyono S.Si.

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SEA is a new category of biopolymers made from seaweed - a bio-renewable, regenerative, and carbon-sequestering input. By applying SEA to single-use items and packaging such as straws, cold cups, utensils, and films as a scalable 1:1 replacement for petroleum-based plastics, SEA advances our planet towards a plastic-free, decarbonized future.

Karuna Rana, Head of Climate, Impact and Policy

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From tropical to temperate waters, increasing marine heatwaves block natural upwelling of cool, nutrient-rich waters for seaweeds to thrive. Seaweed mariculture with Marine Permaculture (MP) deepwater irrigation restores natural upwelling, regenerates kelp forests and fish habitat, thereby improving food security for humanity and providing sustainable jobs, while fixing carbon.


Dr. Brian von Herzen, Executive Director

climate foundation
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CorPower Ocean brings innovative wave energy technology, converting ocean waves into clean electricity. Wave energy help offsetting the intermittency of wind and solar power, accelerating the transition to a 100% renewable future. Our technology is based on decades of research, and inspired by the pumping-principle of the human heart.

Patrik Möller
co-founder & CEO

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Cubex Global is a digital marketplace for ocean freight. Our platform connects shippers with freight aggregators in real time and it is helping combat harmful global maritime green house gas emissions through efficiently utilizing empty space inside shipping containers and saving excess port trips annually.

Sheikh Ahsan Tariq, Chief Executive Officer

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SolarSea is a unique marine-grade floating solar technology that allows for unlimited renewable energy generation in SIDS and coastal regions. By using free space on the ocean, we overcome land scarcity and replace diesel-energy with clean energy from the sun.

Thomas Siebenbrunner, Head of Sales & Marketing

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Sway is forging the material and cultural dimensions of a plastic-free future with the regenerative power of seaweed. Our packaging actively restores and replenishes the planet through the expanded cultivation of seaweed, decarbonization of production, and creation of healthy soil when composted at end of life.

Julia Marsh: Co-Founder & CEO

project vesta
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Project Vesta's mission is to harness the power of the oceans to protect coastal communities, reverse ocean acidification and remove billions of tonnes of excess CO₂ from the atmosphere. We do this through Coastal Carbon Capture, a nature-based solution which may be the cheapest path towards permanent CO₂ reduction.

Kelly Erhart - Director of Business Development

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Our highly scalable and cost-effective SeaOH2 process produces clean hydrogen while pulling carbon directly out of the air and safely storing it within seawater chemistry, all while countering local ocean acidification.

Jason Vallis, Director of External Relations

planetary hydrogen
e-wave technologies
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E-Wave and its collaborators are developing and commercializing an innovative ocean wave energy converter that can retrofit into existing aquaculture infrastructure making it affordable while providing a needed power solution to the industry which currently lacks inexpensive and sustainable energy solutions.

Adam Bennett, Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer

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Eco Wave Power has developed an innovative and patented technology for the generation of clean electricity from ocean and sea waves. The global utilization of the immense wave energy resource can drastically reduce the effects of fossil-fuel-based energy production on climate change while sustainably meeting global energy demand.

Inna Braverman
Founder & CEO

ebb carbon
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Ebb’s process captures atmospheric CO₂ and stores it for 10,000 to 100,000 years while also reversing ocean acidification. Carbon-free electricity pumps acid out of the ocean and the less acidic seawater left behind converts atmospheric CO₂ to a form that is safely and naturally stored in the ocean.

Dr. Matthew Eisaman, co-founder and CTO

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Oneka developed a wave-powered sustainable desalination solution to provide freshwater to municipalities, coastal industries, islands, resorts and even emergency relief applications. This modular solution requires zero fuel, electricity or land and emits no CO₂ or concentrated brine, thus making the oceans a sustainable and affordable source of drinking water.

Dragan Tutic, CEO

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Symbrosia has developed a novel seaweed feed supplement that reduces livestock methane emissions by over 90% at minimal feed inclusion rates. If 10% of the world’s cows added a sprinkle of our seaweed feed additive to their diets, 200 million tons of CO₂ equivalent would be avoided every year.

Alexia Akbay
Founder & CEO