Solutions submitted to the third annual Ocean Exchange should have the potential to generate economic growth and increase productivity while reducing the use of nature’s resources and waste production. This year’s competition, with a theme of LEAP TO ZERO+, represents Ocean Exchange’s continued search for entrepreneurs and businesses from around the globe with innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems or an interest in those solutions.
Ultimately, The Ocean Exchange aims to accelerate the adoption of active solutions by becoming the heart of an exciting new worldwide community of thought leaders providing insights to solution providers. According to Cort Atkinson, founder of Ocean Exchange, "We are building the international resource for innovation and growth. We invite all innovators with solutions that will positively impact environment, economies and health to register their solutions on the Ocean Exchange. We help innovators to connect with customers, funders, and partners to advance adoption of their solutions around the world. In the future universities, research organizations and companies will be reporting how many solutions they have registered on the Ocean Exchange to demonstrate their contribution to creating a better future."
Sponsors of Ocean Exchange want to be seen as international leaders who built this platform for the benefit of their companies, economies, societies and the greater industrial good. As Joe Lombardo of Gulfstream put it, “We believe that innovation can be best described as an idea successfully applied. Using that definition, the Ocean Exchange captures innovation in its truest sense. The solutions that emerge from this conference have real-world impact. They demonstrate our commitment to preserving our oceans, ensuring sustainable growth and protecting the environment. The conference may be short, but the impacts are long-lasting." To that end, Ocean Exchange believes that many solutions to existing problems have been invented and have been demonstrated to work, but need the platform for visibility and to be exposed to a wide range of markets and industries. As Christopher Conner of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, another sponsor of Ocean Exchange, put it, “Now is the time to begin sharing your knowledge and ideas, to help create the solutions that will move our world forward. The giant steps we’re looking for might already be in your hands; concepts ready to be realized or solutions ready to take the leap from one industry to the next."
This year’s competition boasts two monetary awards—The Gulfstream Navigator Award and The WWL Orcelle Award. Both $100,000 awards have individual criteria for selection. However, all solutions inspiring action, regardless of final standing, will be featured on The Gallery (new for 2013)—a globally accessible online portal to be housed on www.OceanExchange.org and frequented by investors and business leaders. Therefore, even if an applicant is not chosen to present at Ocean Exchange, that solution still has a very real chance to be discovered and funded—Adam Dell of Austin Ventures, a 31-year-old early-stage venture capital company, is an Ocean Exchange board member. Solutions presented at Ocean Exchange improve their chances of further business and technology success—like Liquid Robotics, a former participant, recently closed $45MM of funding and set a new world record for oceangoing robotics.
Solution creators seeking award eligibility can register their solutions to compete for the honor of being among the 10 entries chosen to present at the Ocean Exchange in Savannah, Georgia on September 30 and October 1, 2013.
• The Gulfstream Navigator Award 2013 will be given to the solution that best demonstrates the greatest potential to LEAP TO ZERO+ with applicability across multiple industries generating positive impact on the environment, economics, and health while respecting cultures around the world.
• The WWL Orcelle Award 2013 will be given to the solution that makes shipping and logistics more sustainable by advancing zero-emissions marine transport and technologies that are commercially viable.
In addition to the monetary rewards, Industry Excellence Awards will be given to the top three solutions submitted by corporations and organizations, as selected by a global panel. The recipients will be invited to present at the opening reception on September 29, 2013.
The Ocean Exchange welcomes solutions from around the world to Savannah, Georgia where the competition will conclude. In 2012, entries came from 16 countries. The winning entries were Protei – a shape-shifting, open-source sailing drone designed to sense and clean the oceans after natural and manmade disasters; Nonox – a combustion technology for container ships, long-haul trucking, and stationary sources that lowers NOx and SOx emissions by up to 30%, carbon dioxide emission by up to 15%, and improves fuel performance by up to 30%.
If you are interested in presenting a solution or attending the cumulative conference as a delegate or guest, please go to the registration section of www.OceanExchange.org. To qualify for the 2013 solution awards, participants must complete the prescreening application by 11:59PM (GMT) on May 19.