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What went on in 2021

Over 600 delegates from 52 countries came together in Cape Town and online from the 5th to the 9th of November 2021 to see and hear the latest in African blue economy innovation.

10 panel discussions, 4 keynotes, 1 hackathon, 1 startup demo day, 1 startup pitch competition, 2 exhibitor pitch sessions, 16 targeted B2B meetings, 1 in-person exhibition, 1 virtual exhibition, and the first African Chapter of the Global Ocean Hackathon.

Speaker Selection

Adnan Awad

Africa Oceans Strategy Director, The Nature Conservancy

David Obura

Director at CORDIO East Africa, Earth Commission

Louise Heaps

Head of Sustainable Blue Economy at WWF International

Riad Meddeb

Senior Principal Advisor for SIDS at UNDP

2021 Programme

Day 1 – In-Person (Cape Town)
05/11/2021
Day 2 – Virtual
08/11/2021
Day 3 – Virtual
09/11/2021
10:00 - 10:30
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Registration, Welcome Tea and Exhibition

10:35 - 10:40
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Opening Address

Lance Greyling
Director of Enterprise and Investment at City of Cape Town
10:45 - 11:05
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Keynote Address

David Green
CEO at V&A Waterfront
11:10 - 11:30
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Exhibitor Pitches

11:35 - 12:25
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Panel Discussion: Businesses Changing Mindsets - Advocacy in Ocean Sports & Tourism

Léo Kerhir
Head of Sales & International Development at Wyve
Lindani Spes Mchunu
Business Development Manager at Royal Cape Yacht Club
Zandile Ndhlovu
Founder & Director at The Black Mermaid Foundation, PADI Freediving Instructor
Kate Rivett-Carnac
Independent Consultant, Researcher, Advisor
Brenda Walters
Public Relations at Marine Dynamics Shark and Whale Tours / Dyer Island Conservation Trust
12:30 - 13:00
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Exhibitor Pitches

13:00 - 14:30
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Lunch Break & Exhibition

14:35 - 15:25
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Panel Discussion: Bag It - Towards a Circular Plastics Economy in Africa

Loretta Waterboer
Director at LW Recycling and Trade
Thomas Mani
Lead River Field Scientist at The Ocean Cleanup
Oliver Bonstein
Senior Analyst at Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) & South African Plastics Pact (SAPP)
Janine Osborne
CEO Designate at Sustainable Seas Trust
Chris Whyte
Director and Chapter Lead for South Africa at African Circular Economy Network (ACEN)
15:30 - 16:20
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Panel Discussion: Going Further and Faster Together - Collaborative Frameworks for Innovation

Marco Morgan
Programme Specialist at V&A Waterfront
Sophie Mahlogonolo Masipa
CEO at Kgommuu International & East and Southern Africa Associate at World Oceans Council
Alexis Grosskopf
CEO at OceanHub Africa
Nassim Oulmane
Chief, Green and Blue Economy Section at UNECA
Cpt Londy Ngcobo
Ship Navigator, Dredge Master & Founder of Global Maritime Youth
16:25 - 16:30
The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Closing Address

Laurent Alberti
Consul General of France in Cape Town
16:30 - 16:40

Hackathon Launch

Eric Schoumsky
Impact Based Finance, Natural Capital Solutions at Societe Generale
10:00 - 10:15

Sign-In

10:15 - 10:20

Opening Address

Jean-Paul Adam
Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
10:25 - 10:45

Keynote Address

Veronika Veits
Director of International Ocean Governance at European Commission, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
10:50 - 11:00

Video Highlights from In-Person Event

Panel Discussion: Wind in our Sails - "Greening" Maritime Transport Industries

Mari Pennanen
Chief Business Development Officer African Ports and Corridors Holdings
Brian Gicheru Kinyua
Freelance Writer
Neusa Marcelino
Cluster Managing Director at CMA CGM South Africa
Andrew Stephens
Programme Director, Sustainable Shipping Initiative
Robin Hoogwerf
Director at 34South Consulting Engineers
12:00 - 13:00

IUCN Special Session

Peter Manyara
Regional Project Officer, Marine Plastics & Coastal Communities at IUCN
13:05 - 13:15

Dassault Systèmes 3DS Experience Lab Introduction

Geraldine Gandveau
Startup Mentor & Marketing and Communication Manager, 3DEXPERIENCELab at Dassault Systèmes

OceanHub Africa Startups & Experts

Kendra Mac Donald
Chief Executive Officer at Canada's Ocean Super Cluster
Andrew Gwadiva
Vice President Growth at Greentec Capital Partners
Charlotte de Boisguilbert
3DExperience Lab Specialist at Dassault Systèmes
Mark Spalding
President at Ocean Foundation
Jesus Querol
Co-Founder and COO at Blue Ocean Leading Drivers
Owen Day
Executive Director at Centre for Livelihoods, Ecosystems, Energy, Adaptation and Resilience in the Caribbean
Louise Heaps
Head of Sustainable Blue Economy at WWF International
Lindani Samkange
Managing Director at Shungu Capital
Siv Ahlberg
Programme Manager and Acting Manager at Nordic Development Fund

Panel Discussion: Green is the New Blue - Ocean Solutions to Climate Change

Dan Grech
Founder & CEO at Global OTEC
Johannes Bochdalofsky
Founder & Project Lead at SeaH4 Pty Ltd.
Angelique Pouponneau
CEO at SeyCCAT
Bankole Oloruntoba
CEO at Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre & & Honorary Consul to Finland (in Nigeria)
Andrew Johnstone
CEO at Climate Fund Managers

Panel Discussion: Bag It - Towards a Circular Plastics Economy in Africa (From in-person event)

Loretta Waterboer
Director at LW Recycling and Trade
Thomas Mani
Lead River Field Scientist at The Ocean Cleanup
Oliver Bonstein
Senior Analyst at Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) & South African Plastics Pact (SAPP)
Janine Osborne
CEO Designate at Sustainable Seas Trust
Chris Whyte
Director and Chapter Lead for South Africa at African Circular Economy Network (ACEN)

Panel Discussion: Businesses Changing Mindsets - Advocacy in Ocean Sports & Tourism (From in-person event)

Léo Kerhir
Head of Sales & International Development at Wyve
Lindani Spes Mchunu
Business Development Manager at Royal Cape Yacht Club
Zandile Ndhlovu
Founder & Director at The Black Mermaid Foundation, PADI Freediving Instructor
Kate Rivett-Carnac
Independent Consultant, Researcher, Advisor
Brenda Walters
Public Relations at Marine Dynamics Shark and Whale Tours / Dyer Island Conservation Trust

Rebroadcast of Panel Discussion: Wind in our Sails - "Grenning" Maritime Transport Industries

Mari Pennanen
Chief Business Development Officer African Ports and Corridors Holdings
Brian Gicheru Kinyua
Freelance Writer
Neusa Marcelino
Cluster Managing Director at CMA CGM South Africa
Andrew Stephens
Programme Director, Sustainable Shipping Initiative
Robin Hoogwerf
Director at 34South Consulting Engineers
10:00 - 10:05

Sign-In

10:05 - 10:15

Opening Address

Emanuele Di Lorenzo
Chairman at Ocean Visions & Director, Program in Ocean Science & Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology
10:15 - 10:35

Keynote Address - Sustainable fishing exists: How the Marine Stewardship Council is helping to recognise and drive change on the water.

Andrew Gordon
Fisheries Outreach Manager, Southern Africa at Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

Panel Discussion: Rising Faster than Sea Level - Accounts, Policy, and Research to Enable Blue Economy Growth

Adnan Awad
Africa Oceans Strategy Director, The Nature Conservancy
Alison Clausen
Programme Specialist, Ocean Decade Team, Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section at IOC-UNESCO
Zachariah George
Managing Partner at Launch Africa Ventures
Federico Mazza
Programme Manager, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA)
David Obura
Director at CORDIO East Africa, Earth Commission

Panel Discussion: "Something touched my foot!" - The Untapped Potential of the Seaweed Industry

Caroline Slootweg
Co-founder at Kelp Blue
Nicole Maske
Managing Partner at EOS Capital
Nick Loubser
Director of Operations at Viking Aquaculture
Francis Okalo
Program Manager-Coastal and Oceans Resilience (COR) at IUCN Kenya
Adrien Vincent
Programme Director, Seaweed for Europe

Ocean Innovation Africa Pitch Competition

Mathilde Vivot
Attachée for Innovation at French Embassy in South Africa
Sebastien Rosel
3DExperience Lab - Design Director & Fablab Management at Dassault Systèmes
Camilla Swart
Fintech Partnerships and Innovation at Investec
Alexis Grosskopf
CEO at OceanHub Africa
Nassim Oulmane
Chief, Green and Blue Economy Section at UNECA

Panel Discussion: Ready, Willing and Able - Sustainable Wild-Capture Fisheries in Africa

Vivian Malatji
Environmental Officer at Ocecanan Group
Timothy Walker
Maritime Project Leader & Senior Researcher at Institute for Security Studies
Geoff Coombs
Co-founder & Advisor at NshoNam
Michael Marriott
Senior Program Manager, Africa, Middle East and South Asia at Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Dr Mohamed Seisay
AU Commissioner for Agriculture, Sustainable Development ....

What Cannot be Measured Cannot be Improved - Fireside Chat on Ocean Data

Gry Ulverud
Acting CEO at C4IR Ocean
Steven Adler
CEO at Ocean Data Alliance
Emma Clarke
PhD student at Cambridge University & Senior Research Analyst at Good Data Initiative
Katie Green
PhD student at Cambridge University & Senior Research Analyst at Good Data Initiative

Panel Discussion: Going Further and Faster Together - Collaborative Frameworks for Innovation (From in-person event)

Marco Morgan
Programme Specialist at V&A Waterfront
Sophie Mahlogonolo Masipa
CEO at Kgommuu International & East and Southern Africa Associate at World Oceans Council
Alexis Grosskopf
CEO at OceanHub Africa
Nassim Oulmane
Chief, Green and Blue Economy Section at UNECA
Cpt Londy Ngcobo
Ship Navigator, Dredge Master & Founder of Global Maritime Youth
16:30 - 16:50

Special Session: Equity and Justice in the Blue Acceleration

Tanya Brodie Rudolph
Marine and Environmental Lawyer, CEO at Enviromer

Panel Discussion: Island Style - Blue Economy of Small Island Developing States

Raj Mohabeer
Officer in Charge at Indian Ocean Commission
Dr Hajaniaina A. Ratsimbazafy
Director of Conservation at Blue Ventures Madagascar
Riad Meddeb
Senior Principal Advisor for SIDS at UNDP
Floor Overbeeke
Country Director Kenya & Blue Economy lead WIO at TechnoServe
17:55 - 00:00

Closing Address

H.E. Aurélien Lechevalier
French Ambassador in South Africa

Hackathon

48 hours to decode the ocean

Ocean Innovation Africa was proud to host the first African Chapter of the Ocean Hackathon in Cape Town at the 2021 summit.

Organised by Campus Mondial de la Mer in France, this global event sees teams around of hackers in each competing city working for 48 hours straight on data-based solutions to some of the ocean’s most pressing environmental problems.

The Cape Town Hackathon took place at the Two Oceans Aquarium, where three teams of data scientists, project managers, web developers, marine scientists and communication specialists hacked, ate and slept for the 48 hours while they worked on their challenge.

Cape Town Challenges

Using computer vision and image recognition to define metrics in coral reef images – coral group, ID, colony boundaries, and percentage of bleaching.

Using image data sets and labels to create a computer vision script that will identify in which locations pictures were taken in order to link to nearby charities, further refining selection criteria based on photo content.

Using the available demographics and plastic data in Nigeria to optimise locations of waste management centres to areas likely to result in highest productivity.

  • 1st prize of R8000 went to the team from SosoCare, who used the 48hrs to develop a solution to improve plastic waste tracing, creating more opportunities for waste pickers in underserved communities whilst preventing more plastic from entering the ocean.
  • The R5000 2nd prize went to the Reef Support CoralAI team who used computer vision to measure and define coral colonies from photos, contributing to the conservation of these vital ecosystems.
  • The 3rd prize of R3000 went to the team from SaveLocal, who developed a solution to identify geolocation from photos for hashtag-based donations for marine conservation charities.

Three representatives of the winning team from SosoCare flew to Brest, France, to present their solution during the Ocean Hackathon Grand final, in December 2021.

Pitch Competition

The French Embassy in South Africa sponsored over R30,000 in prizes for the OIA 2021 Africa Startup Pitch Competition. Six startups from South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Kenya were shortlisted from over 60 entries to pitch to the live audience of key blue economy stakeholders at OIA 2021. Expert judges from the French Embassy in South Africa, Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Lab, Investec, OceanHub Africa and UNECA had the difficult task of choosing the 3 winning startups.

NovFeed, a Tanzanian startup producing high-protein fish feed from organic waste, thereby reducing pressure on wild fish stocks and supporting farmed alternatives, won the first prize of R15000.

Second prize of R11250 went to SeaH4, a South African company that turns farmed seaweed into biofuel, reducing the impact of human energy needs on the earth’s climate.

The third prize of R7500 went to EcoAct Tanzania who use equitably sourced plastic waste to make plastic timber for construction. The finished product reduces the demand for raw materials while simultaneously preventing ‘waste’ plastics from entering the ocean.

Our sincere gratitude to the French Embassy in SA and our expert judges, and congratulations to all of the applicants – we look forward to seeing you at the next edition of OIA!

Testimonials

“Words fail me, you guys ARE the future,
I'm proud to call you friends and look forward
to further engagements.”
Londy Ngcobo - Director, Womaritime Experts
“Barnacle Systems participated in a virtual
trade mission from Canada to South Africa
through Ocean Innovation Africa. The mission was
very successful both from business opportunities
and networking with incredible entrepreneurs
and scientists”
Brandon Wright - CEO, Barnacle Systems
“There are a wide variety of new and innovative
companies and individuals taking part.
Thanks for creating a great platform to
make these connections”
Richard Robertson - GM South Africa, SMIT Salvage
"I felt really privileged to be able to be there
and it was wonderful to meet fellow panellists
and to also see some old friends."
Brenda Walters - Public Relations, Marine Dynamics

2021 Sponsors & Partners

Headline Sponsors

Event Sponsors

Knowledge Partners

Honourable Partners

Media Partners

Find out more about the 2022/2023 event