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Areas of Exploration: Summer 2023

Source: Gulf of Maine Ventures

In the past six months, our team has immersed ourselves in field visits to the Faroe Islands, Portugal, Norway, United Kingdom, and Canada. Here are some of our reflections.

This year we committed to deepen our knowledge beyond the Gulf of Maine to better support companies seeking our assistance. We also focused on building both regional and international relationships where our scientific expertise can add value to the blue economy startup community. In the last six months our team has had the privilege to immerse ourselves in field visits to the Faroe Islands, Portugal, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Canada. We have also benefited tremendously from visits to our peers throughout New England to learn more about their work, facilities, and capacity to support the emerging blue economy. We met with numerous startup company founders to learn about their innovations and enabling technologies. We did “deep dives” with a wide range of practitioners including aquaculturists, wild harvesters, engineers, technical experts, field technicians, peer investors, and science partners. This on-the-ground time has been key to broadening our perspective and building a number of important partnerships. We are incredibly grateful to the organizations and individuals who shared their knowledge and operational expertise with us during our travels. Following are a few of our collective reflections on the past six months.

Investment Landscape

In the United States, the blue economy sector has been slow to receive capital investments due to a lack of sector knowledge and a limited number of successful exits. While there is growing excitement and momentum as new accelerators and funds are beginning to emerge, currently, overall investment remains inadequate relative to the long-term potential of this sector. In contrast, countries like Norway and Canada are assertively addressing the existing capital gap through private/public partnerships and focused government support. One particularly encouraging sign is the growing number of family offices both here and abroad that have taken note of this emerging sector.

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