National Geographic Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge 2019

National Geographic Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge 2019

Deadline: June 11, 2019

Applications for the National Geographic Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge 2019 are now open. The challenge asks problem solvers from around the globe to develop novel solutions to tackle the world’s plastic waste crisis.

More than 9 million tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans each year, and without interventions, this number is expected to almost double to 17 million tons per year by 2025. The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge will focus on three strategic ways to address this growing crisis: designing alternatives to single-use plastic, identifying opportunities for industries to address plastic waste throughout supply chains, and effectively communicating the need for action through data visualization.

Challenge Tracks

The challenge is a one-year competition composed of three complementary tracks that will run simultaneously—Design, Circular Economy, and Data Visualization.

  • Design Track: The Design Track challenges teams to identify pragmatic, investable solutions to improve food and beverage packaging and containers.
  • Circular Economy Track: The Circular Economy Track challenges teams to develop scalable business models and technology solutions, applicable across industries, to reduce plastic packaging waste and encourage the reuse and repurposing of plastic alternatives instead of discarding them after one use.
  • Data Visualization: The Data Visualization Track challenges teams to represent a relevant, credible data set related to the global challenge of plastic waste as a data visualization.


  • Teams will compete for aggregate prize purses of up to $500,000, and qualified participating teams may have the opportunity to receive a minimum of $1 million in aggregate investment from Sky Ocean Ventures.


  • Open to innovative researchers, conservationists, educators, storytellers, and technologists from around the globe


Click here to apply

For more information, visit Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge.