National Geography Society (NGS) Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge 2019 ($500,000 Prize)

Application Deadline: July 8, 2019

The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge, a key component of National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures’ partnership to reduce plastic waste, asks problem solvers from around the globe to develop novel solutions to tackle the world’s plastic waste crisis. 
 
More than 9 million tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans each year, and without interventions, this number is expected to almost double to 17 million tons per year by 2025. The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge will focus on three strategic ways to address this growing crisis: designing alternatives to single-use plastic, identifying opportunities for industries to address plastic waste throughout supply chains, and effectively communicating the need for action through data visualization. 

Teams will compete for aggregate prize purses of up to $500,000, and qualified participating teams may have the opportunity to receive a minimum of $1 million in aggregate investment from Sky Ocean Ventures.

Through the Ocean Plastics RFP, National Geographic also provides more traditional grant funding to innovative researchers, conservationists, educators, storytellers, and technologists to help drive behavior change in pollution hotspots, fill critical knowledge gaps to inform plastic waste-reduction strategies, and implement impactful approaches to reduce the flow of plastic into waterways.

Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge Tracks

The challenge is a one-year competition composed of three complementary tracks that will run simultaneously—Design, Circular Economy, and Data Visualization.

Design Track

The Design Track challenges teams to identify pragmatic, investable solutions to improve food and beverage packaging and containers. 

Circular Economy Track

The Circular Economy Track challenges teams to develop scalable business models and technology solutions, applicable across industries, to reduce plastic packaging waste and encourage the reuse and repurposing of plastic alternatives instead of discarding them after one use. 

Data Visualization Track

The Data Visualization Track challenges teams to represent a relevant, credible data set related to the global challenge of plastic waste as a data visualization.

Key Dates

June 11, 2019

Initial Submission Deadline

Week of July 8, 2019

Finalists Selected

Week of November 11, 2019

Finalists’ Submissions Due

Week of December 9, 2019

Finalists Pitch Their Solutions to a Panel of Expert Judges

Week of December 9, 2019

Winners Announced

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the NGS Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge 2019

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