MAZE has been accelerating and investing in solutions contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) since our foundation in 2013. To get a macro overview of our work, we will write about how some of the startups we work with are positively contributing to a specific UN SDG. In November, we delve into SDG 14, namely, “Life Below Water”.
The blue economy is a sector that has gained more traction and business attention over the last few years. The World Bank defines the industry as “a sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health”. Likewise, the United Nations refers to this space as one which “includes all sectors and activities that together determine whether the use of oceanic and water resources is sustainable”. In numbers, and according to the 2021 ” The EU Blue Economy Report”, the most recent numbers of the sector show that in 2018, 4.5 million people were employed in the field, with a 650 billion euros turnover. Considering these numbers, and how around 70% of planet earth is covered in water, it is clear how the blue bio-industry is an opportunity to be acknowledged, just like the green transition one.
Through the Blue Bio Value Acceleration Programme, a programme promoted by the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundations, and implemented by MAZE and the Bluebio Alliance, we are helping 17 blue bio startups scale their businesses. These ventures are using ocean resources sustainably to answer global problems such as ocean pollution and overfishing. Read the list below and discover the 2021 Blue Bio Value Acceleration cohort.
01. Blue Oasis Technology (BOTL), Portugal
Reef structure development to improve ocean biodiversity, through engineered reefs and big ocean data. BOTL is a pending Certified B Corporation founded in Lisbon in 2021.
02. Clean Valley Bio, Canada
A biofiltration technology that provides fish producers with an alternative to treat wastewater. This team of Canadian entrepreneurs and engineers are using nature-inspired tech to solve ‘industry sized problems’.
03. Feedvax, Argentina
An edible oral vaccine to prevent a common bacteria found in Tilapia fish, improving animal well-being, reducing antibiotics usage.
04. Fhair, Portugal
Beauty products sourced from local natural ingredients, including sea salt from Ria Formosa (a lagoon located in Algarve, south of Portugal).
05. Flexsea, United Kingdom
Self-titled as “Packaging without the problems”, the company is creating an alternative to single-use plastic packaging with its compostable and edible solution made from red seaweed.
06. Full Circle Aquaculture, Indonesia
Promoting a regenerative sea cucumber aquaculture, with profits funding a vast network of community-led marine reserves.
07. Ittinsect, Italy
Fish feed through a zero-waste circular production economy using insects, creating a “zero ocean impact aquafeed”.
08. N9VE, Portugal
Sustainably recuperating rare earth elements from permanent magnets via the biosorption capacity of live green macroalgae. These rare earth elements are used in wind turbines, cell phones, electric cars, amongst others.
09. Origin by Ocean, Finland
Tackling the issue of invasive seaweed, using marine biomass to produce natural and biologically sustainable ingredients for food, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical uses.
10. Relicta, Italy
A sustainable water-soluble bioplastic packaging, made from fish industrial waste, with an innovative and cutting-edge self-disposal process.
11. Resistomap, Finland
A technology combining molecular genetics and data science, detecting and quantifying antibiotic resistance, “protecting human, animal and environmental health”.
12. Scale, France
A by-product of the fishing industry transformed into sustainable material. Fish scales are used for building materials, bringing a new generation of ocean-friendly material for construction and interior design.
13. Seatrients, Sweden
A nutritious powder beverage using Caribbean Sea Moss. The pulverized product is rich in potassium, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, promoting both benefits for human health and economic growth for local sea farmers.
14. Sedna Technologies, Canada
A mobile in orbit testing sensor providing real time data of environmental parameters in aquaculture operations and physical conditions of fish throughout the transportation process, reducing stress factors.
15. Sensefinity, Portugal
An intelligent sensor network to provide real-time visibility and traceability for fishery and aquaculture supply chains by spotting the location of boats, sensor data and catch control.
16. Tekslo Seafood, Norway
Spices for everyday cooking derived from algae sustainably harvested from the North Atlantic Ocean. Soon they will also launch a skincare series as the seaweed also offers beneficial properties for skin treatment.
17. Thalasso, Norway
Tackling the invasion of the algae species Sargassum via sustainable harvesting with its electric, autonomous aquatic vehicle. Sargassum can be used to produce fertilizer, green energy, activated carbon, alginate, fucoidans, animal feed and other products.