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ariel view of ocean and a island

Introducing the Ocean Matcher

Today, in partnership with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, a group of philanthropies have announced a Proof of Concept for an ocean matchmaking tool called the 'Ocean Matcher'.

Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Lenfest Ocean Program, based at The Pew Charitable Trusts, Remmer Foundation, REV Ocean, and HUB Ocean have introduced a new Proof of Concept for an ocean matchmaking tool called the Ocean Matcher.

The mission for the Ocean Matcher is to tackle the funding challenge of the Ocean Decade, and to facilitate smart matching between scientists and innovators on one hand and philanthropists and investors on the other. Leveraging algorithmic matching technology and a natural language model, Ocean Matcher will be a paradigm shift in the allocation of funding for the ocean, steering us closer to a healthier planet.

Driving Philanthropic Impact for Our Seas

The Ocean Matcher is an organic and impact-driven initiative born out of the discussion at the 3rd Foundation Dialogue Meeting in Monaco 2023, that was hosted by the Prince Albert 2 of Monaco Foundation, where conversations revolved around optimizing the impact of philanthropic funding and unlocking its full potential for ocean health.

“Many philanthropies express a feeling of being lost in the sea of potential grantees, unsure if they would ever connect with those who truly aligned with their mission” said Martin Styrmoe Moen from REV Ocean and Project owner. A view shared by Olivia Swift from  Lloyd’s Register Foundation and member of the steering group: “We’re trying to find people that never will find us”.

The Ocean Matcher therefore aims to fill that gap, and to form powerful connections between philanthropists and early-stage venture capitalists with startups, projects and programs dedicated to generating the science, knowledge and skills needed to preserve and restore ocean life.

A Platform Driven by Advanced Algorithm

By design, the Ocean Matcher is a profile-based platform that parses through unstructured data and dynamically generates matches. It offers a streamlined pathway to meaningful collaborations, enhancing the chances of securing vital support and fostering impactful change.

Philanthropies gain the ability to navigate and support a diverse array of impactful projects precisely aligned with their objectives and values. Similarly, in the ocean innovation community, where identifying funding can be challenging, the Ocean Matcher significantly amplifies their prospects of securing the crucial support necessary for their mission.

“The Ocean Decade has the aim of creating a revolution in the way that ocean science and innovation is resourced, and the Ocean Matcher has proven that it will play a critical role in achieving that goal” said Vidar Helgesen, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO.

Development Journey

So far, the feasibility study and Proof of Concept have produced positive results. Terence McDonnell from the decade office in IOC UNESCO remarked, “All suggestions were directly relevant. The tool paraphrased my wordings and clearly understood key aspects of my interest”, while Daniel Crockett of the Blue Marine Foundation emphasized, “These are all extremely relevant projects for us”.

Looking ahead, the initiators and the project team aim to drive the development from the Proof of Concept to a live pilot, heading towards full scale launch when reaching organic product-market fit. There is a hope that more people will join in on the project to contribute to its growth and impact.

An invitation to Ocean Philanthropists and Innovators

IOC UNESCO, Lenfest Ocean Program, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Remmer Foundation, REV Ocean, HUB Ocean, and NoA Ignite invite philanthropists, ocean enthusiasts, and environmental advocates to join in on the mission to improve strategic philanthropic partnerships.

For more information about the Matchmaking Tool and how to get involved, please visit oceanmatcher.com

Save the date: You can also join the launch event at Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona 12th of April at 13.15.

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