Back to the list

Highlights from the 6th edition of the Ocean Innovators Platform


The 6th edition of the Ocean Innovators Platform, co-hosted by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and 1000 Ocean Startups, convened during Monaco Ocean Week 2024. This essential gathering focused on fostering innovation and investment to propel a thriving and sustainable blue economy.

Opening Remarks and Setting the Stage for Action

The platform kicked off with opening remarks by Gérald Mathieu, Head of Private Bank Europe & Middle East - Chief Executive Officer Monaco, Barclays Private Bank and Olivier Wenden, Vice-President & CEO, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Wenden emphasized the critical role of the blue economy, stating:

"We need to change the mindset around the ocean... The blue economy is not something apart from the real economy, it's part of it, it's the root of it, and we need to push forward."

This sentiment set the stage for discussions focused on collaborative solutions to achieve a sustainable future for our oceans.

Combating Plastic Pollution: Focus on Upstream Solutions

The opening session addressed the critical issue of plastic pollution. A panel discussion titled Closing the tap of plastic pollution for a cleaner future featured leading experts including Billy McCall (Co-Founder and CEO, Kintra Fibers), Fabio Dalmonte (Founder and Managing Director, SEADS), Kim Ragaert (Professor Plastic Circularity, University of Maastricht), Luca Zerbini (CEO, Una Terra), and Tayba Hatimy (Co-Founder and Executive Director, Baus Taka). The platform highlighted the urgency of tackling plastic pollution at its source and showcased innovative solutions from these promising companies. The discussion was moderated by Michelle Li, CEO, Clever Carbon.

Fireside Chats Spotlight Leaders in Sustainability

A fireside chat titled Powering plastic circularity: A journey of leadership in innovation explored the work of Carbios, a trailblazer in plastic and textile circularity. Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of Carbios, shared their leadership journey and groundbreaking technologies that are revolutionizing plastic waste management. The session was moderated by Genie Godula, Senior Anchor, France 24.

Additionally, a session titled Investors outlook: Insights into blue economy opportunities featured Mohamed Nadar (Chief Executive Office, HALJ Family Office) and Stephanie Rakels (Chief Development Officer, AquaSpark). They offered valuable insights into investor perspectives on driving the blue economy. The discussion was moderated by Damian Payiatakis, Head of sustainable and impact investing, Barclays.

Empowering Sustainable Aquaculture Practices

A dedicated panel discussion titled Empowering progress through technology in the aquaculture space explored the crucial role of sustainable aquaculture in ensuring food security and alleviating pressure on wild fish stocks. Experts including Alessandro Romano (CEO, Ittinsect), Aly Rose (Ocean Lead, CREO Syndicate), Christo du Plessis (Chief Executive Officer, Matorka), Robin Millington (CEO, Planet Tracker), and Sven Jørund Kolstø (CEO, Optoscale) addressed how innovation can minimize environmental impacts while enhancing the productivity and resilience of the aquaculture sector. The discussion was moderated by Nancy Heslin, Founder of Good News, Monaco.

Unlocking Ocean Secrets: The Power of Exploration

A fireside chat titled On a mission to explore – Making a successful business out of ocean research highlighted the vital work of Saildrone, a company dedicated to ocean exploration and enhancing our understanding of the global ocean ecosystem. Brian Connon, VP Ocean Mapping at Saildrone, provided insights into their innovative approaches and initiatives that are crucial for addressing critical environmental challenges. The session was moderated by Genie Godula.

Advanced Technologies for Marine Protected Area Management

A high-profile panel discussion titled Advanced technologies enabling effective and cost-efficient management of Marine Protected Areas was held in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. The session explored the use of advanced technologies for effective and cost-efficient management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Representatives from Pollination (Anna Draganova, Director), WSENSE (Chiara Petrioli, CEO), ACUA Ocean (Neil Tinmouth, Founder and CEO), OceanMind (Nick Wise, CEO and Founder), and The MedFund (Romain Renoux, Executive Director) showcased how cutting-edge monitoring systems and data-driven conservation strategies are revolutionizing MPA management and ensuring the long-term health of our oceans. The discussion was moderated by Michelle Li.

A Call to Action for Collective Impact

The closing remarks by Alexis Grosskopf (1000 Ocean Startups Steering Committee, CEO of Ocean Hub Africa), Daniela Fernandez (Founder of Sustainable Ocean Alliance), Pierre Vigor (Investor Relations Team, Solar Impulse Foundation), and Stephen Murphy (Founder of ClimateImpact) emphasized the urgent need for collective action. The platform served as a crucial springboard for fostering collaboration between businesses, scientists, investors, and all stakeholders to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable blue economy.


This edition of the Ocean Innovators Platform was made possible thanks to the support of Builders Vision, Solar Impulse Foundation, Una Terra, ClimateImpact, Barclays Private Bank, and Sustainable Ocean Alliance. This collective effort from leading organizations underscores the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration in driving innovation and investment to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for our oceans.

Photo credit: ©JC Vinaj / FPA2