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SDG14 Challenge: Unlocking the Potential of the Blue Economy

In an ambitious endeavour to steer the global focus toward marine sustainability, Malta Enterprise presents the SDG14 Challenge under the banner of Blue Med – A Focal Point for the Blue Economy.

This challenge seeks enterprises that bring forth innovative commercial solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goal 14“Life below water: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” Participants will have the unique opportunity to be part of the inaugural edition of this Sustainable Development Goal Challenge.

The aim of this challenge is to primarily facilitate investments in innovative solutions and technologies that contribute to future ocean resilience, mitigate climate change, accelerate the blue and green transition, and create further economic growth and sustainable blue jobs.

Who is it for?

This challenge is tailored-made for startups, scaleups and SMEs with a deep-rooted passion for environmental stewardship in the following sectors:

  • Blue Tech and Ocean Observation
  • Ocean Pollution Mitigation
  • Blue Biotechnology
  • Blue Economy Innovation
  • Blue Renewable Energy

SDG14 calls upon the innovative minds of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to collaboratively address the multifaceted challenges faced by our oceans and marine ecosystems.

Join us in shaping a brighter, bluer future for our oceans and marine life. Applications are open until 12th February. Don’t wait – dive in and apply now!


Selection Criteria

The winning projects will be selected based on: the degree of innovation, the potential to make meaningful contributions to the SDG14 targets, Clarity and sustainability of the business model and a genuine inclination to collaborate within the challenge community.

Benefits and Prizes

Winners of this challenge will benefit from several prices including:

  • Expert Guidance: Access to mentorship from industry stalwarts, enabled by Malta Enterprise’s collaboration with the World Ocean Council and Sustainable Ocean Alliance.
  • Recognition & Networking: An opportunity to spotlight their innovative projects during an Awards Ceremony, along with acknowledgement for their dedication to SDG14.
  • Funding Opportunities:  Access to funding options to accelerate the development and implementation of winning solutions. Malta Enterprise has dedicated a budget of €4 million to support companies which demonstrate projects that encompass significant innovation to address SDG14 aspects and are deemed  feasible, scalable, and sustainable

Together, we can drive positive change and be the catalyst for a sustainable revolution.  Applications are open until 12th February. Apply here.


Key Dates

The timeline for this international challenge is as follows: 

  • 20th September 2023: Challenge Launch
  • 12th February 2024: Application Deadline
  • February 2024: Initial Evaluation
  • February-March 2024: Potential Pitch Delivery
  • March 2024: Additional Information Submission (if needed)
  • May 2024: Winner Announcement

Eligibility Guidelines

Open to all registered start-ups, scale-ups, and SMEs, the prerequisites include:

  • A minimum Technology Readiness Level of 5
  • Proposals must resonate with the challenge’s theme of advancing marine sustainability under SDG 14.
  • Necessary rights and permissions for intellectual property used in solutions

Be part of the change to a more sustainable future for our oceans and marine ecosystems. Applications remain open until 12th February. Act now – submit your application today!

Antonio L. Escárzaga
Antonio L. Escárzaga
Antonio López Escárzaga is the Head of Content at EU-Startups, with a background in Digital Marketing, Antonio drives his passion for effective communication and entrepreneurship. He firmly believes in communication’s transformative power and strives to harness it to foster growth and innovation.

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