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National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures Launch Global Search for Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

2019-02-11 21:00

Registration opens today for the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge

LONDON and WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures have launched a global search for innovative solutions to help tackle the world's single-use plastic problem.

The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge, a one-year competition, will focus on three strategic ways to address the growing issue of plastic pollution: designing alternatives to single-use plastics, identifying opportunities for industries to address plastic waste throughout supply chains, and communicating the breadth of the issue through data visualization. The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a key component of National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures' partnership to reduce plastic waste.

Teams or individuals interested in the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge must submit their solutions by June 11, 2019, for review by an expert judging panel. Selected teams will compete for a share of $1.5 million in awards and investment. Winners will be announced in December 2019.

Commenting on the launch of the challenge, Frederic Michel, group director of impact and Sky Ocean Ventures, said: "In the last 60 seconds, another rubbish truck of plastic litter will have been dumped into our oceans, destroying the environment and killing wildlife. Sky and National Geographic have the very unique opportunity and resources to help reverse the damage that is being done and help accelerate and scale up ideas. By seeking out and supporting the innovators creating alternative and impactful solutions, we can champion the people who can potentially make a difference, beyond an equity investment. We will bring them into our unique ecosystem and provide them with support across critical areas for their very early growth."

"The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a tremendous opportunity to create a global community of problem solvers — innovators, scientists, researchers, storytellers and other creative minds — who are passionate about bringing their ideas to life in order to stem the tide of plastic pollution," said Dr. Jonathan Baillie, National Geographic Society executive vice president and chief scientist. "National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures are excited to work with competition winners to help create new technologies, business models and other solutions that will bring us one step closer to achieving a planet in balance."

The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a key component of National Geographic's Planet or Plastic? initiative, a global effort to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic that reaches the ocean by raising awareness, elevating science and education, advancing innovation and inspiring action.

Sky Ocean Ventures was launched in March 2018 with a £25 million cornerstone commitment from Sky and the objective of seeking out investment opportunities in start-up innovation businesses that can help solve the ocean plastic waste crisis.

To register, and for more information about the challenge, please visit oceanplastic-challenge.org

About Sky
With 23 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe's leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group.

We have 31,000 colleagues and together we want to connect our customers to more of what they love, including our award-winning original productions, like Patrick Melrose and Save Me, and great shows from our partners including HBO, Showtime and Warner Bros. And our ever improving technology makes it even easier for customers to watch more of the shows they love with personalised recommendations and voice control and, our online streaming service, NOW TV, brings all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract free service.

We treat our customers better than anyone else in our field, as Ofcom's complaints data shows, and we look after our staff too. Sky is one of The Times Top 50 employers for women and we're in Stonewall's list of Top 50 LGBT-Inclusive employers.

We also use our position as the leading entertainment business in Europe to do the right thing. As part of Sky Ocean Rescue campaign we're committing to be completely single-use plastic free by 2020, we're investing £25million over five years in ocean-saving tech and we're supporting the WWF to protect our oceans with designated Marine Protected Areas.

About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is an impact-driven global nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1888, National Geographic has been pushing the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas to increase understanding of our world and generate solutions for a healthy, more sustainable future for generations to come. Our ultimate vision: a planet in balance. To learn more about the Society and its programs, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.org/.

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Source: National Geographic Society
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