DEEP Baltic Sea Challenge gathered students, entrepreneurs, and other innovators to solve a sustainability challenge: how to create sustainable business from the Baltic Sea. Attracting over 60 applications, the challenge culminated in a final pitch of 12 teams in Helsinki last weekend.
With many interesting ideas, the jury had a tough job. Finally, the decision was, however, unanimous: the winner is… Team Bivalvia!
Bivalvia pitched an idea to create new added value raw material and products, such as sunglasses, from algae. The team convinced the jury that the idea would not only create business opportunities and blue growth but would also help to mitigate eutrophication and share knowledge on the environmental challenges of the Baltic Sea.
The second prize was given to Team IncreMint with an idea of a data solution to incrementally discount the price of perishable food products in order to decrease food wastage prior to expiry. The third monetary prize went to Team Säätäjät (“Regulators/Adjusters”), competing in the policy track. Their idea was to build up a collaboration platform to improve cooperation between decision-makers and other stakeholders.
New connections, new opportunities
In addition to monetary prizes, the best teams will get more opportunities to present their ideas and, potentially, get funding. For example, the winning team can submit their entry to the global Fishhackathon final, organised by Hackernest. Best business ideas will also be invited to a new sustainability accelerator programme of Helsinki Think Company.
“Key driver for organising DEEP was to create a platform for new business innovations within blue bioeconomy. For the teams to be able to turn then ideas into real business concepts, it’s crucial that they meet right people and can further elaborate their ideas – and, eventually, get funding”, said Anssi Ahvonen, project manager of Luke’s BlueNordic project, which is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
“We would like to see DEEP as a starting point; the real work starts now.”
Stay tuned for more!
Jointly organised by BlueNordic, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finnish Water Forum, Allas Sea Pool, and Helsinki Think Company, and supported by Ålandsbanken, the DEEP Baltic Sea Challenge had two focus areas:
- Solutions for a cleaner Baltic Sea
- New sustainable food and non-food products from fish, algae and aquatic plants
In addition, there was a policy track to develop or reform policies to create better opportunities for sustainable business.
For now, DEEP is over – but there is more to come! Stay tuned for more information on a probable sequel to DEEP later this year!
In the meanwhile, watch the DEEP highlights: