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The Ocean Matcher: Revolutionizing ocean funding

The Ocean Matcher: Revolutionizing ocean funding
The Ocean Matcher: Revolutionizing ocean funding

In collaboration with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, a coalition of philanthropic organizations, including the Lenfest Ocean Program based at The Pew Charitable Trusts, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Remmer Foundation, REV Ocean, and HUB Ocean, is unveiling a groundbreaking tool: the Ocean Matcher. This innovative platform aims to address the funding challenges of the Ocean Decade by facilitating strategic connections between scientists, innovators, philanthropists, and investors.

Empowering philanthropy for ocean conservation

The Ocean Matcher emerged from discussions at the 3rd Foundation Dialogue Meeting in Monaco 2023, hosted by the Prince Albert 2 of Monaco Foundation. Martin Styrmoe Moen from REV Ocean, the project's owner, highlights the common sentiment among philanthropies: feeling adrift in a sea of potential grantees, unsure of aligning missions. Olivia Swift from Lloyd’s Register Foundation echoes this, noting the challenge of connecting with relevant projects. The Ocean Matcher aims to bridge this gap by fostering impactful collaborations between funders and projects dedicated to ocean health.

Innovative matching technology

Driven by advanced algorithms and natural language processing, the Ocean Matcher is a profile-based platform that dynamically matches stakeholders based on their objectives and values. This streamlined approach enhances the likelihood of securing vital support for impactful initiatives. Philanthropies gain a clearer pathway to support projects aligned with their goals, while ocean innovators find increased opportunities for funding crucial to their missions.

Pioneering a funding revolution

Vidar Helgesen, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO, emphasizes the Ocean Matcher's role in revolutionizing ocean science and innovation funding during the Ocean Decade. Positive feedback from stakeholders during the feasibility study and Proof of Concept underscores the tool's effectiveness in understanding and matching interests.

Future development and collaboration

Moving forward, the Ocean Matcher's creators aim to transition from Proof of Concept to a live pilot, culminating in a full-scale launch. They invite more stakeholders, including philanthropists, ocean enthusiasts, and environmental advocates, to join this mission of improving strategic philanthropic partnerships for ocean conservation. By leveraging technology and collaboration, the Ocean Matcher stands as a beacon of hope for a healthier planet and thriving oceans.

The Ocean Matcher: A catalyst for achieving UN sustainable development goals

Aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 14 - Life Below Water, the Ocean Matcher represents a crucial step towards securing a sustainable future for our oceans. By facilitating strategic partnerships and funding allocations, this innovative tool contributes directly to SDG 14's objectives of conserving and sustainably using marine resources.

Impact on SDG 14

The Ocean Matcher's mission to enhance collaboration between scientists, innovators, philanthropists, and investors directly supports SDG 14's targets, including conserving at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2025. Through targeted funding and support for projects dedicated to ocean health, the Ocean Matcher plays a vital role in preserving marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

Cross-cutting contributions

Beyond SDG 14, the Ocean Matcher's impact extends to several other SDGs:

- SDG 1 - No Poverty: By empowering initiatives focused on sustainable ocean management, the Ocean Matcher contributes to alleviating poverty in coastal communities reliant on marine resources.

- SDG 2 - Zero Hunger: Protecting marine ecosystems and promoting sustainable fishing practices through funded projects aligns with SDG 2's goal of ending hunger and achieving food security.

- SDG 5 - Gender Equality: The Ocean Matcher's inclusive approach fosters opportunities for women and underrepresented groups in ocean science and conservation, advancing SDG 5's objectives.

- SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth: Supporting ocean-related ventures and startups creates employment opportunities and fosters economic growth, in line with SDG 8's targets.

- SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: The use of advanced algorithmic matching technology in the Ocean Matcher reflects innovations contributing to SDG 9's focus on sustainable industrialization and infrastructure development.

- SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals: The collaborative nature of the Ocean Matcher, involving partnerships between organizations, governments, and stakeholders, embodies the spirit of SDG 17 in fostering global partnerships for sustainable development.

By addressing the funding challenges of the Ocean Decade and promoting sustainable practices in ocean conservation and management, the Ocean Matcher exemplifies how innovative solutions can drive progress towards multiple SDGs simultaneously, creating a more resilient and prosperous future for both humanity and the planet.


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