The value of the global ocean economy is expected to double to $3 trillion over the next decade, according to Forbes. The transition to a sustainable blue economy has innovation at its core. Who better to come up with these innovations and explorations than entrepreneurs and startups? Here, we give the spotlight to a selection of 5 startups to be on the lookout for.
C-Combinator: One of the few global companies exploring the benefits of seaweed, C-Combinator’s innovative bio-manufacturing, with a system-level approach, turns seaweed into sustainable solutions. Their scalable systems are capable of supplying to a global economy while having a measurable positive environmental impact. So far, their products include vegan leather and the SeaBalance line of broad-spectrum emulsifiers.
Desolenator: a Dutch startup tackling the drinking water crisis by building water independence. The UN has estimated that by 2030, half the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas, stressing the urgency of the current water challenges. Using 100% solar power, Desolenator can purify all water sources into safe, drinkable water. Using this technology to give access to clean water also decreases the need for highly priced water.
Minesto: this Swedish startup is looking to unlock the potential of ocean energy, one of the least explored forms of renewable energy. They harvest energy from ocean currents and tidal streams. Using an underwater ‘flying’ power plant, “the turbine is pushed through the water in an eight-shaped trajectory, reaching a water flow several times higher than the actual stream speed and thereby diffusing power to a generator”. Minesto is currently working with Faroe Islands in their ambitious plans for 100% clean energy by 2030.
Oceanic Labs: Based in Cambridge, MA, Ocean Labs is an ocean technology skunkworks dedicated to creating scalable tools for ocean monitoring and conservation. This startup brings together the “risk-averse” culture of traditional ocean engineering with the “risk-tolerant” practices of modern rapid prototyping and at-scale manufacturing to tackle key bottlenecks in marine instrumentation at an industrial scale.
The Ocean Cleanup: another Dutch startup, Ocean Cleanup aims to restore ecosystems within the blue economy and rid bodies of water of harmful plastic waste. They create floating systems of artificial coastlines, where there are none, to concentrate the plastic. These systems are designed to capture plastics ranging from small pieces to large debris. With the help of computational modeling, they predict where the hotspots of waste are and place the cleanup systems in these areas. The Ocean Cleanup aims to remove 90% of ocean plastic by 2040.
With new innovations being introduced and technologies being developed every day, we have no doubts that 2022 will mark a great year for the blue economy.