Innovation Challenges

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The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge (closed)

National Geographic
This challenge has closed.
Partners: Sky Ocean Ventures
Fields of Research: Environmental Science and Management, Business and Management, Ecological Applications
Tags: Plastic waste, Food and beverage packaging, Circular economy, Data visualization
Audience: Students, Researchers, Start-Ups, Businesses, Subject Matter Experts, Other
Anticipated Funding: $500,000
Applications close: June 11, 2019
Last Updated: June 11, 2019 10:28 PM
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The Challenge

The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a one-year competition in partnership with Sky Ocean Ventures (“SOV”) in which teams compete for aggregate prize purses of up to $500,000. In addition, qualified participating teams may have the opportunity to receive a minimum of $1 million in aggregate investment from SOV. 

The Challenge comprises three complementary tracks that will run simultaneously: Design, Circular Economy, and Data Visualization (“Tracks”). Within the Design and Circular Economy Tracks are categories in which teams may compete (“Categories”). 


The Design Track of the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge aims to identify pragmatic, investable solutions to improve food and beverage packaging and containers. Teams may compete in the following Categories: Food Packaging, Beverage Containers, or Wild Card. 


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. Teams may compete in the following Categories: Business Model or Technology Solution. 


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, as a tool to effectively communicate the need for action on this important issue.

The Partners

Sky Ocean Ventures

Eligibility Criteria

For all three (3) Tracks, an eligible entry must be a solution that is originally developed and implemented by the team. It can be based on an existing product or research, or it can be a novel project. It must not violate any applicable law or regulation or infringe any third-party rights, including any third-party intellectual property rights (“Eligible Entry”). Eligible Entry(ies) must be submitted in English. 

All team members must be eighteen (18) years of age or older, and may not be citizens of any restricted countries or areas (mainland China, the province of Quebec, or any OFAC-sanctioned countries: North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, the Crimea region controlled by Russia, and others as may be updated by the United States government.) Employees of Sponsor, National Geographic Partners, LLC (“NGP”), SOV, any Judges, their corporate entities, each’s subsidiaries and affiliates, and each’s immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) or persons living in the same households of such employees, whether or not related, are ineligible. CHALLENGE IS VOID IN MAINLAND CHINA, THE CRIMEA REGION CONTROLLED BY RUSSIA, CUBA, IRAN, NORTH KOREA, THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, SUDAN, SYRIA, AND WHERE PROHIBITED AT THE TIME OF THE CHALLENGE. 

If you require a translated version of the Challenge Rules, please e-mail and identify the language. 

Teams must certify that they are in compliance with their own local laws and regulations. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for determining legal status of this Challenge. 

This is a skills-based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of Winners.

Terms and conditions

For complete details on the terms and conditions that govern The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge  please refer to the website.

How to apply

For more information on how to apply, please refer to The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge website.

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