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National Geographic

Innovation Challenges: We are planning a series of Innovation Challenges issued to the best talents and minds around the globe to identify, award and support groundbreaking technologies designed to reduce plastic waste and its impact on oceans. Challenges will address the myriad inefficiencies in the plastics value chain from material innovation and product design to consumer use and collection. 

Grants / Investments: Targeted funding will be made available with the National Geographic Society and Sky Ocean Ventures issuing calls for proposals that will measurably reduce plastic pollution before it reaches the ocean. 

Events: A series of events will convene and engage industry leaders, corporations, institutions and foundations focussed on the issue of marine plastic pollution.

This collaboration builds on the grassroots grants programme Sky and the National Geographic Society launched in the fall of 2017 to select 10 young academics to run marine-based research projects, underpinned by funding and support from National Geographic. 

As part of this collaboration, National Geographic Partners will also use its authentic and inspirational storytelling, award-winning photography and renowned journalism to shine a spotlight on this critical issue and the innovative solutions the Sky Ocean Ventures collaboration aims to enable.

Collectively, this new collaboration will create the largest global media campaign to date to reduce plastic litter in the ocean.

More details on the Innovation Challenges and Events will follow.

Speaking on the collaboration, Sky’s Group Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said: “National Geographic is a world leader in science and exploration with expertise, knowledge and credibility that only comes from spending over a century protecting our planet. I’m excited that we share the same vision and understand the pressing need to take action and find meaningful solutions to the plastics problem. Together, we will create real impact, and I look forward to bringing other financial and non-financial partners on board.”

Gary Knell, CEO of National Geographic Partners, added: “Sky Ocean Ventures is a bold new project that will support breakthrough thinking and invest in new ideas aimed at the impact plastic is having on our oceans and marine life. National Geographic will use our global media portfolio to encourage conservation of our oceans and exploration of new ways to be better stewards of the world in which we live.”

Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist and SVP, Grants and Exploration at the National Geographic Society added: “This is a unique opportunity to build upon National Geographic Society’s 130-year history of investing in bold people with transformative ideas and using the power of our storytellers to help achieve a planet in balance. By 2025, Sky and National Geographic will have helped to bring pledges of people taking action to reduce their own plastic footprint, helped transform the way businesses deal with their supply chain and innovation as far as plastic is concerned and will have invested in or supported technologies with high potential to be transformational.”

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