Ocean Economy

Call for Ocean-Based Innovation

SmartXchange, in collaboration with Ocean Hub Africa, is extending a call to innovators who are invested in and committed to fostering a gender-sensitive Blue Economy across Africa. The initiative, presents as the Gen Blue Programme and focuses on uniting participants from various African nations to promote innovation, sustain ocean-based economic activities, establish viable startups, and generate jobs within the Ocean economy subsectors and value chains.

The Eastern Seaboard of South Africa, which comprises the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape coastline, is the central area of operation for SmartXchange. The contribution to social, economic, and environmental benefits from ocean-based activities is significant for the region, which, in addition to being an international tourist destination, features a thriving shipping and logistics sector.

SmartXchange is seeking forward-thinking, innovative startups engaged in ocean-based economic activities who are poised to take advantage of our developmental support and funding initiatives. We’re interested in innovators with commercially viable ideas that can stimulate economic growth in KZN and generate employment opportunities. With the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) heralding rapid technological growth, we are also encouraging innovators in the Information Communication and Technology field to solve environmental concerns, such as increased carbon emissions, pollution, climate change, etc., that affect the ocean and thereby affect ocean-based industries.

Our goals:

Encourage innovation within the sphere of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Position the Ocean Economy as a substantial contributor to the KZN economic landscape.

Incubate and develop Small, Medium and Micro - Enterprises (SMME’s) within the Media, Information, Communications, Technology, Electronics, Arts, and Ocean-based Economy.

To catalyse the Ocean Economy by cultivating environmentally conscious and sustainable startups to drive economic development.

Create strategic collaboration activities in the Ocean-Based Economy to bolster capacity, knowledge, skills, address challenges, and forge synergies for regional economic advancement along the KZN and Eastern Cape coastlines.

If successful, we offer:

Support and training to aid in reaching your goal.

Enterprise development services.

Networking and mentorship.

Use of incubation facilities.

Closing date

5th April 2024

Contact: Shereese Govender

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