Marine Station

The University of Plymouth is among the founding partners of a major new initiative designed to support some of the enterprising SMEs working to benefit our ocean.

The Blue Economy Ocean Accelerator Programme, conceived by social enterprise and sustainability training outfit Bright Tide, is looking to recruit 10 companies in sectors including food production, sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, shipping and offshore wind.

Over a period of eight weeks, the successful businesses will be offered dedicated support including tailored mentorships and access to professional networks.

They will also be given technical support to scale up their commercial aims providing access to legal, investment readiness, tax, scientific advice and impact measurement.

Applications for the programme are free and open now, with shortlisted businesses being invited to take part in exclusive in-person industry meet-ups with the programme’s corporate and blue economy partners.

Researchers in related fields from the University will provide expert academic advice, with the companies also able to benefit from professional networks, peer-to-peer circles, and the opportunity to pitch at its Meet-The-Buyers event in London.

This community and ecosystem building element will be a key part of the programme, which is geared towards building game-changing contacts in the industry for all finalists.

The Blue Economy Ocean Accelerator Programme is being supported by the University and Investec, as well as a number of in-kind supporters.

Adrian Dawson, Director of Research and Innovation
Mr Adrian Dawson, Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Plymouth, said:
“As the world’s leading marine research university, we are delighted to be a founding partner in this innovative Blue Economy Ocean Accelerator Programme. Our Marine Institute represents the broadest spectrum of academic expertise anywhere in the country, but collaborations with industry are essential if we are to develop effective and lasting solutions to the challenges facing our ocean. This programme offers genuine potential to create new and exciting connections with those SMEs working in the blue economy and contributing to the socioeconomic value of pristine marine environments and biodiversity.”

Founder and director of Bright Tide, Harry Wright, said:

“By moving human activities which directly impact and depend on the ocean towards being more sustainable, we can rebuild ocean prosperity and restore biodiversity. Activities such as shipping, fishing and marine renewable energy need to rapidly transition into a sustainable blue economy, however currently this remains exceptionally underfunded. This was the motivator behind us launching our biggest ever accelerator programme for ocean-impact innovators. We’re proud to be supported by founding sponsors at The University of Plymouth and Investec Wealth & Investment, and we can’t wait to see the exciting businesses that apply to take part.”

Stacy Parrinder-Johnson, chief investment officer at Investec Wealth & Investment, said:

“We believe the climate crisis poses a significant threat to the global economy and society. In addition, our business is always looking to work with partners who are change-makers, disruptors and out-of-the-box thinkers. So we are thrilled to have the opportunity to support an important initiative which is looking to find exciting, and potentially transformative, businesses in the field of ocean impact.”

Top 10 sustainable university

We are ranked 9th in the world out of all the institutions featured in the tables for our efforts in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 17: partnerships for the goals.

The University has established its position as an international pioneer in sustainability practices, research, education and engagement.

THE Impact Rankings SDG17 Partnerships for the Goals 2021 Top 10