Our world-class partners bring deep specialist knowledge to help us find the right ideas to invest in, to nurture those ideas in the most impactful way and to report on the impact of our investments.
We are partnering with National Geographic on a series of targeted events, challenges, grants and investments over a period of three years.
The Ocean Plastics Innovation Challenge
This is a global search for innovative solutions to help solve the world’s single-use plastic problem. The challenge calls for ideas addressing the issue in any of the following three strategic ways:
- Designing material alternatives
- Creating zero-waste business models and technologies
- Communicating the breadth of the issue through data visualization
Ideas in each category are eligible for prizes totalling up to $500,000 as well as the opportunity for further investments and business mentoring from Sky Ocean Ventures of up to an additional $1million.
Click here to enter or find out more.
In 2017, Sky and the National Geographic Society launched a grassroots grants programme in to select 10 young academics to run marine-based research projects, underpinned by funding and support from National Geographic.
Both Sky and National Geographic Partners are using their award-winning journalism to shine a light on the issue. Together we are running the largest global media campaign to date, to raise awareness of ocean pollution.
“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.” Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist and SVP, Grants and Exploration, the National Geographic Society
Imperial College London
We are working closely with Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute to identify promising businesses and scientific innovations, and support them in the best possible way. Grantham Institute experts gave evidence to the UK government that was instrumental in bringing about a UK-wide ban on micro-plastic particles in cosmetic products in 2016.
Imperial College brings the academic expertise of its Ocean Plastic Solutions Network and is working to identify investable ideas from within its broader ecosystem. The research areas currently active across Imperial’s Ocean Plastic Solutions Network include enhancing our understanding of the movement of plastics across oceans; developing technologies for its recovery; creating more environmentally friendly materials; and designing new waste management systems that increase plastic recycling or reuse.
Our partnership includes activities to stimulate the imagination of scientists, budding entrepreneurs and business-people to draw out ideas in unexpected areas. At Imperial's White City innovation campus, experts from the Grantham Institute contribute scientific expertise to projects that eliminate plastic waste, designing and running student challenges to encourage innovative ideas and workable solutions.
"There is a global momentum to stop the wave of plastics being wasted by our society, prevent further plastic pollution, and engineer an effective clean-up effort. I welcome this timely opportunity for the experts we have at Imperial to collaborate with a globally-reaching organisation like Sky, so that together we can help turn the tide on this challenge." Professor Martin Siegert, Co-Director, the Grantham Institute
We are partnering with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to jointly commit a combined £6 million in investment and grant funding. This joint-partnership is the first of its kind and will fund UK businesses that are developing solutions to help the ocean plastic crisis.
The Plastics Innovation and Investment Sub-Fund This is a £4 million grant fund deployed by Sky Ocean Ventures on an “invitation-only” basis over three years. We are working directly with companies to complete applications and provide support with our impact investment model. The total eligible project costs can be between £100,000 and £600,000, but we may invest more. Please contact us for more detail.
The Ocean Plastics Accelerator Competition In January 2019, we opened the global call for innovations to win £2 million in grants and investments. We completed our first 10 concept investments in July with some amazing solutions, including Bagboard, who want to replace plastic bags with sustainable paper ones. And Petit Pli, which makes clothes that grow with children, from the age of 9 months to 4 years. The clothes are made from recycled plastic bottles and can be recycled themselves. More information on these investments can be found, here.
“Plastic waste has created a crisis that needs a global resolution. We need businesses, investors, government and researchers pulling in the same direction, creating workable solutions that people will be able to see on the shelves before it’s too late. That’s what this tie-up between UK Research and Innovation and Sky Ocean Ventures will achieve and help those innovative UK companies become global successes into the bargain.” Ian Campbell, Executive Chair, Innovate UK
We are partnering with Ambienta, Europe’s leading private equity firm focused on industrial growth investments driven by sustainability trends. Ambienta is helping us design best-in-class impact investment methodologies, raise awareness of sustainability-driven investment trends and they are sharing their investment pipeline across Europe.
Founded in 2007, Ambienta has raised more than €1 billion, representing the largest pool of capital focused on industrial growth investments driven by sustainability trends of resource efficiency and pollution control. Ambienta works across Europe.
“Ambienta has been created to support companies driven by sustainability trends in their growth path. After 10 years of investments across Europe we are delighted to partner with Sky Ocean Ventures to share our experience in growing sustainability driven investments and impact measurement.” Nino Tronchetti Provera, Managing Partner & Founder, Ambienta