IDB launches Blue Tech Challenge with up to US$2M in funding for Blue Economy proposals

The IDB through its Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), Natural Capital Lab, Sustainable Islands Platform, and in alliance with the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility, which is also supported by DFID, CDB and the Government of Canada, will identify firms and organizations looking to pilot and scale up business models that use cutting edge technologies to contribute to the sustainable management of oceans, marine ecosystems and coastal resources.

Qualifying entities will be considered by the IDB to implement a development project to pilot the blue economy model in one of the 14 target countries. The funding requests should be within a range of US$150,000 to US$500,000 for non-reimbursable technical assistance (grants). Proposals for loans should be within a range of US$500,000 to US$2,000,000 and the proponent entity should contribute with at least 50% of the project budget.

The Blue Tech Challenge seeks to support business models that apply new technologies to deliver products and/or solutions that foster the long-term sustainability of the ocean economy in the following 14 target countries:  Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Sustainable Development Goals recognize the critical contribution the ocean makes to the world economy, and specifically to the development of the smallest and most vulnerable nations.  In most Caribbean island countries, close to 100% of the population depend on the oceans for their basic livelihood, food security, and economic development. Yet, over-exploitation of marine ecosystems and increased pollution are causing damage to ocean ecosystems and natural capital. The “blue economy” concept emerges as a unique opportunity to address sustainable management of oceans and marine ecosystems countries, as well as a promising avenue for economic diversification and sustainable growth.

Since every sector of the blue economy is affected by the technological advances, it is essential to take advantage of this trend to pilot new approaches, develop new materials, and implement novel approaches that deliver pragmatic and tangible solutions for business models that, at the same time, foster the long-term sustainability of the ocean economy.

Qualifying entities will be considered by to receive financing and/or technical assistance to implement a pilot for the blue economy model proposed in one of the target countries.  Qualifying entities will also become part of the IDB Group’s network of global innovators working in the Caribbean region poised to exchange knowledge, expertise, best practices, and with ample opportunities to participate in IDBG’s related regional networking events.

More information and guidelines to submit a proposal to the Blue Tech Challenge click here.

Important dates:

Submission of proposals:                                               September 17 – November 30, 2018

Preliminary Review:                                                       December 1– December 17

Advisory Panel review and due diligence visits:            January 7– January 31, 2019

Announcement of Selected Proposals:                          February, 2019

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is dedicated to improving lives. Founded in 1959, the IDB is the main source of long-term financing for the economic, social and institutional development of Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts advanced research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients in the region.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund serves as an IDBG innovation laboratory to promote development through the private sector by identifying, supporting, testing and piloting new solutions to development challenges and seeking to create opportunities for the poor and vulnerable populations in the LAC region.

About Compete Caribbean

Compete Caribbean (CCPF) is an innovation and partnership facility that delivers innovative and practical solutions that stimulate economic growth, increase productivity, and foster innovation and competitiveness in 13 countries across the Caribbean region. CCPF is a partnership between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAid), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Canada.