Flourishing Oceans25 Aug 2022

Partnership to accelerate ocean health startups and entrepreneurs

A new partnership aims to support and accelerate innovative solutions to the greatest challenges facing our oceans.

Minderoo Foundation partnered with Australia’s Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO) to help drive Australia to become a global leader in developing transformative solutions to improve ocean health.

The three-year partnership will enable OIO to double its goal, with the organisation now targeting to support and accelerate 200 startups and entrepreneurs by 2027.

Nick Chiarelli, CEO and Co-founder of Ocean Impact Organisation said the partnership with Minderoo was good news for Australia’s ocean innovators.

“Since establishing OIO in 2020, we’ve been clear and bold about our big goals to accelerate 100 startups in five years,” Nick Chiarelli said.

“With the support of our members and partners, we’ve been making great progress, but this new partnership with Minderoo Foundation will enable us to not only reach this goal faster, but potentially double it. Minderoo Foundation’s focus on returning the oceans to a flourishing state is completely aligned with OIO’s purpose of transforming ocean health through inspiration, innovation, and good business. We’re ecstatic.”

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, Minderoo Foundation’s mission is to arrest unfairness and create opportunities to better the world. As one of Australia’s largest philanthropic foundations, Minderoo supports projects across a range of social and environmental issues, including ending overfishing, eliminating the harmful effects of plastic, and ending modern slavery.

Dr Tony Worby, Director of the Planet Portfolio and the Flourishing Oceans initiative at Minderoo Foundation, described the partnership as an important alliance to accelerate innovative solutions to the ocean’s greatest challenges.

“Australia can and must be a world leader in addressing the global challenges facing the ocean through science, technology, policy and innovation,” Dr Worby said.

“At Minderoo Foundation, we understand the pressures facing the ocean and feel the sense of urgency to rapidly develop and deploy solutions that will radically improve ocean health. So what I really want to see with this partnership is that we not only back Australian innovation but we take it to the world.”

The partnership with OIO complements ground-breaking projects Minderoo Foundation is supporting in ocean health and research, including: the Global Fishing Index that assesses the sustainability of the world’s marine fisheries; Global Plastic Watch that uses digital satellite tools to map the world’s plastic waste and pollution in real time; and the Exmouth Research Lab that provides scientists with state-of-the-art facilities to enable high quality, high-impact marine research on the doorstep of the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef.

The partnership with Minderoo Foundation will enable OIO to increase its capacity to deliver its ocean health startup innovation programs including the Ocean Impact Pitchfest; the Ocean Impact Ideation Program and the Ocean Impact Accelerator Program, with plans to build on these into the future.

“The ocean is certainly vast and is most definitely under immense pressure but with partnerships like this we truly can make a positive impact — and fast,” Mr Chiarelli said.

The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2022 is now accepting applications until 20 September 2022.

Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.

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