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Wave Energy by Christian van Bebber

Global Search for Projects to Protect Coastal Communities from Climate Change

• Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge backed by the Swiss Re Foundation and the US Department of State
• Selected projects which build resilience in coastal communities vulnerable to climate change, reducing ocean risk through financial innovation will secure support
• Deadline for applications is 28 February 2023. ORIC23 finalists announced in April
• Financial, mentoring and training provided to the selected companies and organisations

London, Monday 16 January 2023 – The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) is today launching its 2023 global competition which identifies and nurtures financially innovative, community-led projects that build coastal resilience and reduce ocean risk.

ORRAA’s Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC) – now in its third year – connects projects with potential investors to help bridge the gap between locally led innovation and investment, to accelerate their growth and wider positive impact. It provides mentoring, leadership training and funding, to help promising projects scale up.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 28 February 2023. ORIC23 finalists are expected to be announced in April 2023.

The Challenge launched today is an open and competitive call for proposals. ORRAA is inviting applications from individual community innovators, community groups, experienced implementers as well as start-ups, hubs and accelerators.

“We are very excited to launch our 2023 Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge today. Our previous calls for proposals have generated really promising solutions which we are currently supporting. We want to build on that momentum,” said Jesper Hörnberg, ORRAA’s ORIC lead.

“We already know there are many innovative and inspiring ideas coming from coastal communities that will build resilience. With our hands-on approach we aim to grow and scale promising projects by mentorship and support, as well as connecting them with potential investors. We want to ensure there is a growing pipeline of viable innovative financial and insurance projects and products that can really scale and address the major challenges faced by the Ocean and the communities which rely on it.”

“I would also like to thank our funders – the Swiss Re Foundation and the US Department of State – without whom this important incubator programme would not be possible.”

The United States announced its support for the Challenge during the United Nations Climate Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022.  

Stefan Huber Fux, Director, Swiss Re Foundation, says: “Both the recent UN Conference of Parties on biodiversity and climate change – COP15 in Montreal and COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh – recognised that a resilient, net zero and economically secure world is not possible without a healthy, regenerating ocean.

“The Swiss Re Foundation is proud to continue to support ORRAA’s ORIC programme, in their third cycle, as it is an initiative that is making a real difference to strengthening coastal resilience, a key focus area of the Swiss Re Foundation. We are excited to discover and support Nature-based Solutions in coastal zones that conserve or restore natural assets sustainably with the support of finance and insurance.”

The ORIC is an integral part of ORRAA’s goal to to drive USD$500 million of investment into coastal and ocean Nature-based Solutions, surface at least 50 novel finance products and improve the resilience of 250 million climate vulnerable people in coastal areas around the world by 2030.

Follow the link to access the ORIC23 landing page, which includes a link to the application portal.

Follow the links for more details of the projects supported by the 2021 Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge and the 2022 Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge

Stefan Huber Fux, Director, Swiss Re Foundation

About the Swiss Re Foundation

The Swiss Re Foundation reflects Swiss Re’s social and humanitarian values. To help build resilient societies, the Foundation offers its partners tailored grant financing as well as access to expertise and collaborative networks to create measurable, lasting impacts at scale.

About the U.S. Department of State  

The U.S. Department of State’s mission to protect and promote U.S. security, prosperity, and democratic values and shape an international environment in which all Americans can thrive.  Leadership: The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser. The Secretary carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department, which includes the Foreign Service, Civil Service, and U.S. Agency for International Development. The Deputy Secretary of State serves as the principal deputy, adviser, and alter ego to the Secretary of State; and assists the Secretary in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy and in giving general supervision and direction to all elements of the Department.  

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