Project Leads: ORRAA and Global Resilience Partnership
Support: Swiss Re Foundation, Government of Canada, the UK’s Blue Planet Fund and the United States Department of State
The Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC) is a crucial component of ORRAA’s platform to build a pipeline of investable projects. It is driven from the ground-up, with projects delivering a genuine impact in local communities, while also mitigating ocean and climate risk. Drawing on the multi-sector expertise of our members and partners, the Challenge surfaces, grows and scales promising solutions, acting as a catalyst to accelerate both locally led innovation and investment to protect the Ocean and the communities whose lives and livelihoods depend on it.
Our ocean is in crisis. Ocean heating, pollution, overfishing, rising levels of acidity and biodiversity loss are eroding its sustainability, incurring huge financial cost and loss of ecosystem services to countless communities, societies and businesses around the world. Investing in the Ocean is essential if we are to protect the world’s precious coastal and marine natural capital, mitigate climate and financial risks, and build resilience in the communities most at risk. Community-led enterprises are critical to meet this challenge, yet they often struggle to harness the required ocean finance to succeed.
ORRAA’s mission is to drive at least USD$500 million of investment into coastal and marine natural capital, surface at least 50 novel finance products and build the resilience of at least 250 million climate-vulnerable coastal people adapting to climate change, by 2030.
Launched in 2020, ORIC has launched three challenge rounds, the most recent in January 2023. Each wave calls for novel and scalable finance and insurance products that build coastal resilience and reduce ocean risk for the people who depend on it. Challenge finalists in both cohorts have received tailored mentoring and support in developing and promoting their projects. The projects in the 2022 cohort received USD$50,000 each to directly scale up their initiatives towards being investment ready. ORIC has supported thirteen projects in total, selected for their level of innovation, potential impact and focus on equity.
ORRAA and partner organisations support all winners to analyse the local context to ensure full understanding of the target community’s challenges and refine project proposals so they meet the needs of local stakeholders, optimise proposed solutions to improve the viability of their business models, and develop a roadmap for implementation.
ORRAA facilitates a Leadership Academy to refine business models, bolster the skills needed to achieve the long-term goals of Challenge winners’ projects, supports their preparations for formal pitching and connects them with funders. ORIC project graduates are also eligible for support through the ORRAA’s Project Portfolio Pipeline and can be championed for investment by other ORRAA members and partners.
Scalability and Next Steps
Overall, ORIC aims to strengthen the projects’ potential. The ultimate aim is to help them build the resilience and adaptive capacity of the communities and regions most exposed to ocean risk. As more solutions are announced, ORIC will continue to play a role as an incubator to accelerate innovative and scalable community-led enterprises. It will also create a community of learning across the projects and help build a cohort of coastal resilience leaders around the world.
Please click here for further information about ORIC’s first cohort.
Please click here for further information about ORIC’s second cohort.