IDB launches Blue Tech Challenge for sustainable business models


THE Inter–American Development Bank (IDB) has launched a ‘Blue Tech Challenge’, a competition in which as much as US$2M will be provided in funding for Blue Economy proposals.

The bank will identify firms and organisations looking to pilot and scale up business models that use cutting edge technologies to contribute to the sustainable management of oceans, marine ecosystems and coastal resources.

According to a release from the IDB, the move will be made through its Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), Natural Capital Lab, Sustainable Islands Platform, and in alliance with the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility, which is also supported by UK Department For International Development (DFID), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Canada.

The IDB stated that entities which qualify will be considered by the bank to implement a development project to pilot the blue economy model in one of the 14 target countries.  The funding requests should be within a range of US$150,000 to US$500,000 for non-reimbursable technical assistance (grants). It noted that proposals for loans should be within a range of US$500,000 to US$2,000,000 and the proponent entity should contribute with at least 50 per cent of the project budget.

The Blue Tech Challenge seeks to support business models that apply new technologies to deliver products and/or solutions that foster the long-term sustainability of the ocean economy in the following 14 target countries:  Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Proposals can be submitted between September 17, 2018 and November 30, 2018. An announcement of successful proposals will be made in February 2019 the bank said.