Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge – DEV

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. The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) is launching an Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge to surface finance and insurance innovations that build coastal resilience to ocean-derived risks.

We are looking for innovative and scalable finance and insurance products that drive investment in coastal natural capital and increase resilience while delivering a return on investment. The initiatives must also reduce ocean risk for the most vulnerable, include a focus on gender, equity and human rights, and protect biodiversity.

We are calling for proposals from individual organisations or consortiums across the public and private sectors, local civil society, international NGOs and academia. Both experienced implementers as well as start-ups, hubs and accelerators from the Global North and South are encouraged to apply. We will rigorously assess all entries to the Challenge based on criteria including viability, innovativeness, scale of impact and equity. Winners will be selected by the end of the calendar year and announced in early 2021.

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Benefits for winners

Selected projects will receive customised support to maximise their potential for impact, scalability and investability. The Challenge’s winners will benefit from a program of tailored mentoring, and communications and leadership support to make their project ‘funding- ready’. They will also be connected to potential investors and partners from across the ORRAA network.

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How to apply

Applicants must complete and send our application form to innovation@oceanriskalliance.org by 23:59 GMT on 20 November 2020.

More details on eligibility, selection criteria, benefits for winners and the Challenge’s process and timelines can be found in our Guidelines for Applicants document.

Two online sessions will take place on 28 October at 09:00-10:00 and 16:00-17:00 GMT, for applicants to meet some of the Challenge team, and ask them questions on any aspect of the competition. Please use the links below to join, or register your attendance in advance by emailing innovation@oceanriskalliance.org.

Webinar 1: Wednesday 28th October 09:00 GMT

Webinar 2: Wednesday 28th October 16:00 GMT

You are also welcome to send questions in advance of the webinars by emailing us.

About ocean risk

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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The United Nations has called on the finance and insurance industries to respond to the challenges associated with ocean risk. The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) is a multi-sector collaboration designed to drive $500 million into ground-breaking finance products by 2030 that invest in coastal natural capital. In so doing, it will incentivise blended finance and private investment into the regions and communities that need it most.

ORRAA aims to surface at least 15 novel finance products by 2025 to build the foundation of this new marketplace. To help reach this goal, ORRAA is launching its Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge to identify and nurture a pipeline of up to 10 finance and insurance innovations.