Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge

Our Ocean is changing faster than at any time in human history, with wide-ranging implications for coastal infrastructure, ecosystems and the lives and livelihoods of billions of people.

In late 2020, ORRAA ran its first Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge to surface finance and insurance innovations that build coastal resilience to ocean change while delivering a return on investment.

Challenge winners

The competition received a wide range of high-quality submissions from a variety of actors from across the Global North and South, and we have now selected four winning projects based on their viability, innovativeness, scale of impact and focus on equity:

  • Supply chain innovations in small-scale fisheries in Indonesia – led by sustainable fisheries consultancy Marine Change.

  • A voluntary carbon market to restore mangroves and support local communities in Tanzania – led by non-profit Aqua Farms Organization.

  • A plastic credit platform dedicated to reducing waste, reviving lives, and restoring nature – led by rePurpose Global, a global coalition of conscious consumers and businesses.

  • A blockchain-based framework to rebalance the seaweed production supply chain – led by community-based seaweed farming company Mari Indonesia.

Meet our winners

“We are delighted with the quality of the submissions to our first Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge. We have selected four financial and insurance solutions which we believe have real potential to improve the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities and ecosystems, and to be scaled and replicated across regions. By supporting these projects, ORRAA will continue to drive financial innovation to protect and regenerate some of Earth’s most valuable natural assets.”

Nathanial Matthews, ORRAA co-lead and CEO of the Global Resilience Partnership

Next steps

Over the coming months, the winning teams will receive customised support to maximise their potential for impact, scalability and investability. The Alliance will provide them with tailored mentoring, communications and leadership support to make their project ‘funding- ready’. The winners will also be connected to potential investors and partners from across the ORRAA network.

Building on this first edition of the Challenge, ORRAA will develop and launch a second competition later in 2021.

“These Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge projects are an important step in building a pipeline of projects that demonstrate to a wide group of investors and ocean stakeholders how investing in nature-based solutions can provide a timely and productive return. Sustainably building coastal resilience and reducing ocean risk is critical for billions of people across the planet. ORRAA is thrilled to be a leading part of this sea-change.”

Karen Sack, ORRAA Co-Chair and CEO and President of Ocean Unite


By 2050, an estimated 800 million people will be at risk from storm surge from extreme weather events, and over 570 low-lying coastal cities will face sea level rise of at least 0.5 metres. Coastal communities in developing countries, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other low-lying areas are likely to be most severely impacted, with women and girls especially hard-hit.

There are many perceived barriers to investing in nature-based solutions for coastal protection. These include a lack of understanding of how investing in natural capital can provide a timely and productive return, and insufficient data and modelling capabilities for investors to quantify ocean-derived risks.

There is a huge opportunity to develop pioneering finance and insurance products that reduce ocean risk and build the resilience of coastal areas to emerging hazards.

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ORRAA a multi-stakeholder alliance designed to convene action and capital to secure positive outcomes for the Ocean and for the communities which depend on it.

We do this by pioneering finance and insurance products that incentivise investment in nature-based solutions and provide returns for investors.

Our aim is to drive $500 million of investment into nature-based solutions by 2030, and surface at least 15 novel finance products by 2025.

By catalysing, scaling and accelerating investment and innovation, ORRAA’s work will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and improve stewardship of the Ocean.

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