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Apply! ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge (ABIC) [Win up to USD 40,000]

Apply! ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge (ABIC) [Win up to USD 40,000]

The ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge (ABIC) is an initiative aimed at fostering the development of the blue economy in ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste. The challenge seeks to identify, finance, and support innovative solutions geared towards the conservation and sustainable management of marine ecosystems, coastal areas, and freshwater resources. This initiative acknowledges the significant challenges posed by climate change and plastic pollution, emphasizing the need for innovative approaches to address these issues.

Key Features of the ABIC:

  1. Goals and Objectives:
    • Foster creative, transferable, scalable, and replicable innovations originating from and benefiting ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste.
    • Harness and scale up grassroots solutions relevant to the blue economy.
    • Unlock financing opportunities for the blue economy.
  2. Targeted Impact:
    • Increase smart and innovative solutions related to the sustainable blue economy.
    • Enhance blue innovations to leverage cutting-edge technologies to promote sustainable ocean and coastal resources.
    • Improve access to blue investment opportunities to enhance productivity in the blue sector.
  3. Focus Areas:
    • Climate issues: Innovations addressing climate change impacts on fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism.
    • Marine plastic pollution: Solutions for stopping, collecting, and reusing plastic to prevent ocean pollution.
    • Sustainable fisheries: Innovations to ensure healthy fish stocks and thriving coastal communities.
    • Sustainable coastal tourism: Eco-friendly lodging, low-impact transportation, and community-based ecotourism.
  4. Eligibility and Participation:
    • Open to profit-oriented and non-profit entities legally registered in ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste.
    • Participants must have a minimum of three people representing their organization, with gender-balanced teams.
    • Teams must be operational for at least one year and have a good financial standing.
  5. Application Process:
    • Proposals must be submitted online within the specified period (17th April to 31st May 2024).
    • Required documents include business/organization information, legal registration, team members’ CVs, project proposals, and records of ongoing and completed projects.
  6. Selection Criteria:
    • Proposals will be evaluated based on eligibility, applicability, budgetary limitation, operational experience, team composition, beneficiary engagement, partnerships and collaborations, and legal documentation.
    • Technical evaluation will be based on criteria such as innovation summary, institutional strength, novelty, technical feasibility, investability to scale-up, impact, and outputs and work plan.
  7. Awards and Benefits:
    • Up to 200 applicants will be selected as finalists, with 60 receiving financial support and mentorship.
    • Selected innovations will receive a maximum of USD 40,000 for up to six months to pilot or proof of concept.
    • Participants will benefit from capacity building programs, technical assistance, and mentorship.

Implementation Timeline:

  • April-May 2024: Outreach campaigns and application submissions.
  • June-July 2024: Finalists shortlisting and announcement.
  • August-December 2024: Virtual incubator program, including ideation workshops, technical feasibility workshops, and commercialization workshops.
  • January-March 2025: Capacity building, mentorship, and business matchmaking. Winning teams will present their innovations to private sectors, financiers, and investors.

For more details on the innovation challenge, kindly refer to the 2024 ABIC Handbook here.

Click HERE to apply


The ABIC represents a strategic effort by ASEAN to address critical environmental challenges while promoting economic growth through sustainable blue economy practices. By encouraging innovative solutions and fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders, the ABIC aims to ensure the long-term sustainability and productivity of marine and coastal ecosystems in the ASEAN region.