AI for the Oceans Award

AI for the Oceans Award

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Be Awarded 10,000 Euro for your AI for the Oceans Solution

  • 72% of the earth is covered by the oceans: 4000m deep and mostly unknown.
  • The Oceans are our allies. They have taken 90% of global warming and 90% of global trade. But still they are polluted, overfished, under protected.
  • We are searching for the great ideas of inspiring startups or initiatives who use Artificial Intelligence as a crucial part of their technology or business.
  • Help us scale up AI solutions for the oceans and send this deck to the most promising startup supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14) for healthy oceans.
  • If you are one of those teams who can make a difference, Apply now! Deadline is 01.07.2024
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Here is how the AI for the Oceans award works

  • Our team and the jury of highly reputed experts will give you feedback on your idea.

  • The long list and the three finalists will be presented on the SMM, the world’s No.1 event for the maritime industry with 40,000 visitors in September.

  • The three finalists can pitch their ideas directly following the Offshore Dialogue at SMM 2024 remotely or personally.

  • There will be 2 winners. Winner of the audience prize, and winner of the jury prize who takes home the trophy and the 10.000 €.

  • The jury’s winner also receives a campaign sponsored by the German Ocean Foundation on LinkedIn.

  • The three finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their concepts at the Ocean AI Summit of Portugal Blue Digital Hub “EDIH” in Lisbon, Oeiras, at the end of September.

  • The winner of the jury will be invited for a presentation at the AI.Summit to present the project to an expert audience (Dec. 2024)

Once you submit the application form, you will receive a link to your application, where you can make adjustments, if necessary. Please make sure to make all changes by 1st July 2024. In entering this competition, you are agreeing to these Terms & Conditions. Find all information in the FAQs below.

Your jury of highly recognized experts in ocean, finance, and AI

Charles Goddard

Editorial Director, Impact Initiatives; The Economist Group

Fabien Cousteau

Aquanaut; Founder at Proteus Ocean Group

Vincent Pieribone

Professor of Yale School of Medicine, Co-CEO of OceanX

Ruben Eiras

Secretary-General Fórum Oceano - Assoc. da Economia do Mar

Petra Vorsteher


Dr. Olaf Groth

CEO -, Prof. of Practice - UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Member - Global AI Governance Alliance at the WEF

Minna Epps

Head, IUCN Ocean, Centre for Conservation Action

Francisco Saraiva Gomes

Founding Partner; CIO at Ocean 14 Capital

Benjamin Lesage

Sustainable Ocean Alliance; Oceans Solution Accelerator

Diana Mathew

Space Applications Engineer, HE Space Operations

Prof. Callum Roberts

Marine Conservation Biologist; Oceanographer; University of Exeter

Dr. Daniel Dahm

Founder of United Sustainability Group, Member Club of Rome and World Future Council

Frank Schweikert

Founder and Director of German Ocean Foundation

Petra Mahnke

General Manager, German Association for Marine Technology

Nina Krüger

Conference Manager, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH

Award sponsors


AI HAMBURG promotes the knowledge and broad application of artificial intelligence and in particular machine learning.

German Ocean Foundation

Our mission is to give the oceans a voice and promote a lasting partnership between the ocean and people to ensure the well-being of future generations and healthy oceans.


The most important industry event for the maritime industry: As the world's leading trade fair and conference event, SMM 2024 will bring together about 40,000 participants from over 120 countries and serve as a unique platform for business, the exchange of ideas and cooperation.

Forum Oceano

Forum Oceano is the managing entity of the Portuguese Sea Cluster, certified and recognized by the Ministry of Economy and the SeaOrganizer of Ocean AI Summit of Portugal Blue Digital Hub “EDIH” in Lisbon, Oeiras, at the end of September.

Supporting partners

German Association for Marine Technology

GMT is a non-profit association the GMT represents the interests of companies and research institutions in the area of marine technology towards the public and policy makers.

Sustainable Ocean Alliance

The Sustainable Ocean Alliance activates young people, develops and implements innovative solutions, and mobilizes the global movement to restore the health of the ocean in our lifetime.


OceanScore’s mission is to support shipping towards sustainability with world-class data and industry-backed solutions.

Organizational Team

Kai Pohlmann

Project Manager for the AI for the Oceans Award, Co-Founder of German Ocean Foundation

Harald Kratel

Manager AI.STARTUP.HUB, Projectmanager for AI for the Oceans Award for the SMM 2024 AI CENTER at AI.HAMBURG


  • Are there any charges? 
    No charges.
  • What about Travel expenses?
    The entire application process is digital. You do not need to travel. If you consider it worth travelling to meet important experts, investors, multipliers, press etc. on the three events where we present the AI for the Oceans Award, than you have to bear and manage your own costs. The award organizers cannot cover travel expenses but will support the finalists with accommodation recommendation.
  • How many winners?
    • One winner of the jury. This team wins the trophy, the 10,000 Euro and the campaign on LinkedIn
    • Three winners of the audience prize:
      – at SMM,
      – at Ocean AI Summit of Portugal Blue Digital Hub “EDIH” in Lisbon
      – at AI.Summit in Hamburg in December receive a certificate and can claim: Winner of the AI for the Oceans Audience Award on SMM 2024 in Hamburg.
  • Who can apply?
    Any team with a legal structure, no single persons but all kind of startups, initiatives, NGOs etc.
  • We are using existing AI solutions, can we also participate?
    Yes, if the AI solution is one of the key success factors for your project and provides strong value for your solution.
  • We will not be able to participate this year? Can we participate next year?
    Yes, but the competition will be harder as more and more solutions will be AI-based next year 😉
  • What are the criteria for success?
    Each jury member is free to make his/her own decision. They are asked to consider the following questions:
    • Is the solution very helpful to improving the situation of the oceans?
    • Do you think the solution/project provides innovative use of AI?
    • Do you think the solution is scalable and  the team can make it a success?
  • Can I contact the jury members directly?
    We provided the LinkedIn profiles of our jury members. This way you can learn about their expertise and focus of each jury member. Do not contact them individually concerning this award. That would destroy transparency and fairness. Let the jury members do their work without trying to influence them.
  • When will we be informed about the results of our application?
    The shortlisted teams will be informed first. At least 2 weeks before the first event at SMM, in early September. The other participating teams will be informed afterwards.
  • We do not have a business model or revenue plan yet but a great plan. Can we still apply?
    Our mutual goal is to improve the situation of the oceans. If you have a solution without a necessary revenue plan, feel free to apply as well. If you want to earn money with your solution please at least give an idea about your estimated revenues.
  • We are not from Europe, can we participate as well? The oceans are globally connected and so are we. Please pitch your startup or your project with us. We welcome all projects from anywhere on this earth that can improve the situation of the oceans with the help of AI.
  • Will we meet investors during the events?
    Some investors are present in the jury and can evaluate the economic assumptions you are making. Some investors are present at the events. Some will read the list of applications. A scheduled meeting session with investors is not planned.
  • How long can we use the icons that we are finalists or winner of the award?
    You can use the award icons as finalist or winner as long as you want to. Please be so nice as to connect the icons with the award webpage.
  • How can we contact the organizing committee?
    Use the connect button at the webpage or write to
If you have any questions, please contact us via email:

If you are one of those teams who can make a difference, Apply now! Deadline is 01.07.2024