Making Waves: Fall 2023 Community News Roundup


SOA Blog

Sustainable Ocean Alliance is accelerating ocean solutions around the world. Here are their stories.

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) exists to propel global solutions to our ocean's greatest challenges—and to empower the leaders behind them. Amplifying these stories is at the core of what we do, inspiring others to take action for the ocean within their communities and beyond. 

From the UK to Ghana, SOA is proud to share the latest news and highlights spotlighting our growing network of solutions, hubs, representatives, mentors, and more. 

SOA Ecopreneur Network


bound4blue secures €22.4 million in series A funding

SOA Startup: bound4blue (Class of 2023)

Spanish-based maritime tech startup, bound4blue, has secured a €15.9 million Series A funding round, complemented by €6.5 million in grant funding—bringing the total financing to €22.4 million.

The funds raised will be used to help the company roll out its pioneering suction sail system (eSAIL®), as well as scale up to meet the demand for zero-emission propulsion solutions in shipping. Read more in Forbes here.


OCEANIUM secures $2.6 million to scale and commercialize following investment round led by Builders Vision

SOA Startup: OCEANIUM (Class of 2021)

OCEANIUM, a company producing sustainable materials and ingredients from seaweed, has announced a fundraise of $2.6 million led by existing investor and SOA partner, Builders Vision. The raise will support OCEANIUM to scale up its proprietary biorefinery technology to meet market demand for its innovative seaweed ingredients and materials.


Sway awarded $272K grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to advance seaweed packaging technology

SOA Startup: Sway (Class of 2021)

Cleantech startup, Sway, has been awarded a grant of $272,000 from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to evolve and scale the next generation of their melt-processable, home-compostable seaweed resin.

Sway’s Thermoplastic Seaweed Resin (TPSea) has the potential to replace traditional, fossil fuel-derived packaging such as retail bags and food packaging while also seamlessly integrating with conventional plastic manufacturing infrastructure.

“Our goal is to bring materials that replenish the planet into the mainstream,” says Julia Marsh, Sway CEO & Co-Founder. “With backing from one of the most prestigious science organizations in the world, Sway is poised to evolve our home-compostable seaweed resins at a scale that will meaningfully support ocean farmers and transform the packaging materials we interact with daily.”


PlanBlue partners with Seabed 2030 to accelerate global mapping of the seabed

SOA Startup: PlanBlue (Class of 2021)

Ocean data startup, PlanBlue, has partnered with the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO’s Seabed 2030 Project to accelerate the complete mapping of the world’s ocean by 2030. 

To date, only 20% of the world's entire ocean floor has been mapped. With PlanBlue’s technology, the seafloor can be monitored quicker, more efficiently, and in more detail. Additionally, all data collected and shared with the Seabed 2030 Project will be available for free to the public on the GEBCO global grid platform.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome PlanBlue as our latest partner,” commented Seabed 2030 Project Director Jamie McMichael-Phillips. “Their cutting-edge technology and expertise will enable us to greatly accelerate efforts to map the world’s seabed.”


FlexSea raises €2.3 million to replace single-use plastic with seaweed-derived material

SOA Startup: FlexSea (Class of 2023)

FlexSea, a blue biotech company that develops sustainable packaging solutions derived from seaweed, has announced the successful completion of a seed round of €2.3 million in equity with an additional €1.5 million in grant funding, totaling over €3.5 million in financing for their innovative solution.

The capital will be deployed in the UK and Portugal where the company is based.


Cruz Cool listed as one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023

SOA Startup: Cruz Foam (Class of 2019)

California-based startup, Cruz Foam, has been featured as one of 200 products in TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023 for their Cruz Cool product, a sustainable cold chain packaging solution that keeps contents cold for 48-72 hours.

Cruz Cool, like other Cruz Foam products, is sustainably produced from repurposed chitin found in shellfish, can be manufactured in existing packaging facilities, and is home-compostable.

SOA Hubs

soa ecuador

SOA Ecuador wins the 2023 United National Youth in Action Award

SOA Hub: Manabi, Ecuador

In partnership with One Young World, the First Lady of Ecuador, María de Lourdes Alcivar de Lasso, has created the “Youth United in Action National Prize” to form a delegation of 24 Ecuadorian young leaders and promote young talent across the 24 provinces of Ecuador.

SOA’s Ecuador–Manabi Hub has been awarded this prize with Hub Leader Juan Fernando Pesántez-Muñoz to accept the award and attend One Young World 2023.


soa ghana

SOA Ghana educates over 100 fishers and coastal dwellers against sea turtle poaching

SOA Hub: Ghana

SOA’s Ghana Hub organized and executed a community campaign focused on educating more than 100 fishers and community members about the need to protect endangered sea turtles in Cape Coast. 

The event took place at Moree Beach and landing sites in Cape Coast and resulted in the establishment of two new turtle protection clubs within the communities to ensure the long-term sustainability of their conservation efforts. Learn more about SOA Ghana’s new initiative to safeguard Ghana’s endangered sea turtles here.

SOA Partners


Ocean Impact Pitchfest Announces 2023 Finalists

SOA Partner: Ocean Impact Organisation 

Organized by Ocean Impact Organisation, the Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2023 supports and amplifies startups working on innovative solutions that improve ocean health. This year’s finalists include SOA Grantee, OnDeck Fisheries AI, and SOA Ecopreneur Network member, Seawater Solutions.

Finalists will have the chance to attend the showcase event INNOVOCEAN in Sydney, Australia on November 22.


Builders Vision Reveals How It’s Deployed $3 Billion To Change The World

SOA Partner: Builders Vision 

Builders Vision, an impact investment firm founded by Walmart heir Lukas Walton, has now deployed $3 billion in investments focused on environmental and societal change.

To date, Builders Vision has invested in, financed, or partnered with nearly 450 startups and organizations.

Look Down

Global Campaigners Call On Norway to Ditch Deep-Sea Mining Plan

SOA Partner: Look Down Action

Organized by deep-sea activist group, Look Down Action, thousands of ocean advocates protested in front of Norwegian embassies around the world on October 2 to demand Norway end its plans to start deep-sea mining in national waters.

Participants were calling for the departure of Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre from his position as Co-President of the Ocean Panel—an organization that works to bring leaders from 18 countries together to “catalyze and implement ocean solutions around the world.”

SOA Representatives, Youth Leaders, and More

look down PT

Portuguese Parliament approves moratorium preventing deep-sea mining in Portuguese waters until 2050

SOA Regional Representative for Europe & Lusofonia: Eugenia Barroca

On October 4, the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal approved Bill No. 230/XV/1 for a moratorium on deep-sea mining in national waters until 2050. After receiving initial approval by the Assembly, the initiative will now be worked on in a specialized manner by all parties.

SOA Regional Representative for Europe & Lusofonia, Eugenia Barroca, is quoted saying, "The approval of this legislative proposal by the Portuguese Parliament conveys the courage and leadership requested by civil society in recent years. We now hope that the effective protection of the deep sea will come concretely after the conclusion of this process, and the moratorium will be effectively applied in the national territory until 2050."

Sooo. mag

Uncovering the topic of deep-sea mining

SOA Regional Representative for Europe & Lusofonia: Eugenia Barroca; North America: Mark Haver; Hispanoamerica: Daniel Caceres Bartra; France: Anne-Sophie Roux

In this special deep-sea edition, Sooo. Magazine interviews SOA Regional Representatives Anne-Sophie Roux, Mark Haver, Eugenia Barroca, and Daniel Caceres Bartra on the dark reality of deep-sea mining and what is at stake. 


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