Marine sustainability is officially on the agenda. The World Ocean Summit is coming to Abu Dhabi in March next year. We recently had the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) in Dubai and GULF3 in Al Ain. At least 8 of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are affected by our marine environment. The research is prolific on the marine problems impacting our world. Public opinion is catalysed towards the plastics, marine pollution and ocean sustainability. We know we need healthy oceans, waterways and coastlines to survive. Period. The problems however, are immense, and require innovative solutions and new technologies.
So, if we’re so aware of all the problems, why don’t we have more solutions? What is the real problem? What is missing? The answer is the lack of tangible, high impact, sustainable solutions.
While there is significant research and focus on the problems associated with marine and ocean sustainability, there is not enough focus on developing real solutions to solve the problems. We need to match the research and public opinion with the same amount (or more) action and impact. Unfortunately this is easier said than done, but it doesn’t mean it should not be a global priority of governments and the private sector around the world.
While there are without a doubt, many tangible, high impact, sustainable solutions being developed. Take The Ocean Cleanup for instance. Their impact, not just with ridding the world’s oceans of plastic, but with elevating the issue of plastics and marine pollution onto the world stage, has been truly phenomenal. We need high impact solutions such as these to be the rule, rather than the exception.
Fortunately we have a growing number of entrepreneurs and inventors developing game-changing technologies. Yet, there is a barrier to bringing these solutions to market and scale, generally through a gap in business skills, funding or technical or development capabilities. While this problem is being solved by many accelerators around the world, there are none focused solely on marine technologies to solve the world’s most pressing marine problems.
The philosophy behind Ecolabs is that no one company or individual can solve the world’s most pressing marine problems. Collaboration is paramount. In this way, Ecolabs will work as a platform that will bridge the gap between marine problems and solutions. On the one side (the problem side), it involves Ecolabs collaborating with governments, corporates, scientists and non-profits to understand the most important marine problems to be solved, and working with them to design, prototype, test and deliver tangible, high impact, sustainable solutions. On the other side (the solution side), it involves Ecolabs collaborating with start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs to incubate, accelerate and scale their solutions and businesses to ensure they deliver tangible, sustainable impact.
So where will we start? The answer: collaboration. This is a call to action.
Do you have a problem to solve? Contact us to…Design it. Prototype it. Test it. Deliver it.
Do you have a solution to a pressing marine problem? Contact us to stress test that it does solve a problem, scale it, fund it, mentor you.
Together, we will solve the world’s most pressing marine problems, and we’ll create a more pioneering marine industry while we’re at it.