A global search for the best solutions to today’s single-use plastic crisis is underway, launched by National Geographic and Sky, a leading media and entertainment company in Europe. The one-year competition, The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge, asks teams or individuals to submit their proposals for the most innovative solutions in three main strategic areas: “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.”
According to Dr. Jonathan Baillie, National Geographic Society executive vice president and chief scientist, “The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a tremendous opportunity to create a global community of problem solvers — innovators, scientists, researchers, storytellers and other creative minds — who are passionate about bringing their ideas to life in order to stem the tide of plastic pollution.”
Frankly, it can’t come soon enough. The ocean is suffering from the world’s obsession with single-use plastics, with an entire garbage-truck’s worth of plastics dumped into the ocean each minute. And while there may be brilliant scientists or creative minds with potential solutions, we need an accelerant — which is exactly what this challenge has in mind. Source the best ideas, and support them financially through their early growth and development with the backing of major institutions such as National Geographic and Sky.
Submissions are due by June 11, 2019, for review by an expert judging panel. The teams which are selected will then compete for a share of $1.5 million in awards and investment until December 2019 when the winners will be announced.
The competition is part of National Geographic’s Planet or Plastic? Initiative and their partnership with Sky Ocean Ventures, which received a £25 million commitment from Sky in 2018, all of which are dedicated to eliminating the amount of plastic filling our oceans and raise awareness about the crisis at hand.
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