European Commissioner Vella dedicates German Ocean Award prize money to Sustainable Ocean Alliance

San Francisco, November 5, 2018 Karmenu Vella, the European Commission for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, donates prize money from receiving the prestigious German Ocean Award to Sustainable Ocean Alliance. Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), an international nonprofit that empowers young innovators to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of the ocean

“I am delighted to dedicate this bursary to SOA to support the important work they are doing. Daniela Fernandez and her team are an inspiration. They are ‘generation ocean’ in action. Young ocean leaders finding and mobilizing young ocean doers, should be supported every step of the way,” says Karmenu Vella, European Commission for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The Commissioner received the 2018 German Ocean Award on November 5, 2018 from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel for his dedication to the protection and sustainable use of the oceans. Valued at € 10 000, the prize is awarded to well-known individuals from the fields of politics, business, science or the media who have demonstrated special commitments to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans.

“I am deeply grateful to Commissioner Vella for dedicating his award to SOA and believing in me and the next generation of ocean leaders. The funds from this award will help SOA continue to grow our ocean youth network that empowers and supports young leaders from around the world to bring their solutions to the ocean’s biggest threats to life”, says Daniela V. Fernandez, Founder and CEO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance.

The European Union, University of Malta and SOA partnered to bring 100 young leaders to attend the 2017 Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit in Malta, hosted in conjunction with the annual Our Ocean Conference. Recently at the 2018 Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit in Bali, Indonesia, SOA brought an astounding 200 youth leaders and hopes to continue the momentum each year. With Commissioner Vella’s donation and ongoing support of SOA, he wants to give another impetus to the voice of youth in ocean advocacy.

About Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) is a global organization that advances the impact of start-ups, social enterprises and youth-centered initiatives that are developing solutions to protect and sustain our ocean. SOA’s pipeline of ocean leaders is cultivated through a chapter-based model, led by students at the high school and college levels, as well as by young professionals.

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) was founded in 2014 as a college-room idea. With phenomenal speed, SOA has created the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders – through establishing a presence in over 50 countries, launching the first-ever Ocean Solutions Accelerator to support ocean start-ups, and partnering with corporations such as The Economist and Lindblad Expeditions, NGOs, and governments, including Indonesia and the European Union, to develop technological solutions that can address the greatest threats facing our planet.


 

Young Tech Entrepreneurs Selected To Tackle Greatest Threats to the Ocean

New Silicon Valley Accelerator Program Aims to Revolutionize Plastics, Fisheries, Packaging, Oil Spill Cleanup and Sustainable Energy

San Francisco, July 17, 2018 Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), an international nonprofit that empowers young innovators to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of the ocean, today announced the five ocean technology startups that will join the inaugural Ocean Solutions Accelerator. After receiving applications from founders 35-years and under across 26 countries, five startups were selected based upon their potential to benefit the health of the ocean.

The ocean produces 50% of our oxygen, is the primary source of food for 3.5 billion people, controls global weather patterns and is the planet’s largest ecosystem with tremendous biodiversity. All of this is currently threatened by marine pollution, ocean acidification, unsustainable fishing and habitat destruction.

The five selected startups include the first company to make compostable materials derived from seaweed as a plastic alternative; another that uses blockchain technology to create new local markets for waste materials; another focused on decreasing bycatch in the commercial fishing industry by deploying user-friendly electro-mechanical devices; another that harnesses the renewable power of ocean waves to produce electricity and freshwater; and finally a startup that engineers nanotechnology for oil spill and wastewater cleanup (see more complete descriptions below).

“These ocean entrepreneurs are a beacon of hope at a time when new, bold approaches are needed to fast-track innovation and sustain the health of our planet,” says Daniela V. Fernandez, CEO, and Founder of SOA. “By supporting these incredible startups, we are encouraging young people to take ownership of the environmental threats facing their communities, bet against consensus and re-invent existing markets to benefit, instead of harm, our climate, and ocean.”

These selected startups will join the Accelerator program this summer in San Francisco and receive guidance from a global community of ocean experts, marine scientists, seasoned entrepreneurs, and experienced investors, among other mentors. The accelerator will also offer a rigorous curriculum that encourages personal development and executive training.

At the conclusion of the program, the entrepreneurs will showcase their ideas on stage for a Demo Day at SOA’s Ocean Solutions Gala on September 11, 2018, at the California Academy of Sciences on the eve of California Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

“These five ocean tech startups are introducing ground-breaking technology into the marketplace to address major threats facing the ocean, including unsustainable fishing, plastic pollution, oil spills and dependence on fossil fuels,” says Craig Dudenhoeffer, Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder of the Ocean Solutions Accelerator at SOA.

Below is the complete list of the startups that were selected:

LOLIWARE, a NYC-based startup, is the world’s first bioplastics company dedicated to replacing single-use plastics with hyper-compostable, edible materials derived from seaweed. LOLIWARE is revolutionizing the future of disposable plastics by making products designed to disappear.

BlockCycle, a Sydney-based startup, is encouraging plastics reuse and eliminating single-use materials by enabling consumers to take action and participate in an intelligent, transparent and integrated waste-to-value marketplace. They use blockchain to empower corporations, cities, and individuals to track, analyze and add value to materials to have a positive impact on the planet.  

SafetyNet Technologies, a London-based startup, is focused on improving sustainability in the commercial fishing industry. Current fishing processes and technologies can lead to the capture of the wrong species and ages of fish called bycatch. SafetyNet Tech aims to make the fishing industry smarter through the development of user-friendly electro-mechanical devices to reduce bycatch.

CalWave Power Technologies, Inc., local to the San Francisco Bay area, is developing a next-generation Wave Energy Converter to harness the vastly available, predictable and stable energy from ocean waves to serve coastal communities.

ETAC INC, a Culiacan-based startup, designs and produces functional nanomaterials for energy and environmental applications, such as oil spill and wastewater cleanup.

“By utilizing emerging technologies and engaging multiple stakeholders across the public, private and civil society sectors, SOA’s Ocean Solutions Accelerator provides the tools needed for scalable businesses that unlock the potential of a sustainable ocean economy,” said Fernandez.

About Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) is a global organization that advances the impact of start-ups, social enterprises and youth-centered initiatives that are developing solutions to protect and sustain our ocean. SOA’s pipeline of ocean leaders is cultivated through a chapter-based model, led by students at the high school and college levels, as well as by young professionals.

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) was founded in 2014 as a college-room idea. With phenomenal speed, SOA has created the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders – through establishing a presence in over 50 countries, launching the first-ever Ocean Solutions Accelerator to support ocean start-ups, and partnering with corporations such as The Economist and Lindblad Expeditions, NGOs, and governments, including Indonesia and the European Union, to develop technological solutions that can address the greatest threats facing our planet.

 

Contacts:

Shayna Samuels, 718-541-4785, shayna@ripplestrategies.com

Glenn Turner, 917-817-3396, glenn@ripplestrategies.com