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A small legion of blue economy investors and enthusiasts look to validate a growing new market

September 27, 2021 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated October 05, 2021 15:57 PM UTC

Altasea at the Port of Los Angeles is looking to become the Silicon Valley for blue economy startups and investors.

Uh huh. I think there's nothing more important than the human race to rethink the way that we're using the planet. You see all these problems because the ocean is really yelling at us to do something and we have to pay attention all theses mission is to facilitate scientific research, to facilitate job generation at the port of Los Angeles and underlining the whole mission is to inspire the next generation to look to the blue economy for well paying job. Yeah, So the warehouse that were in opened in 1915 and was used for trade in transit, you'll see railroad tracks on each side of this building, but it's 100 and 80,000 square feet. It's kind of warehouse just doesn't exist anymore. The whole property is 35 acres and it's 4100 linear feet of dock space. It's perfect for what we want to do, which is create the biggest water cooler for the Blue Economy. The emerging sustainable blue economy. Mhm. The blue economy is actually a cross industry cross disciplinary all encompassing term that is related to everything about sustainable ocean solutions. Mhm. It looks at things like ports and shipping, transportation, the decarbonization of shipping. It is related to the coastal economy and tourism. It is also related to water and energy. Marine energy, wave energy, but it all coalesces around thinking about the ocean and thinking about ocean solutions and the role the ocean economy plays in these industry sectors also see as an umbrella organisation is really critical to what we do at grade theory because we are the entrepreneur ecosystem piece connecting the research to the commercialization to the industry. We're adventure advisory firm that is really focused on supporting engineering and science. Lead entrepreneurs in a number of disciplines, but all of it coalescence around solutions for the blue economy. We're super involved with a number of universities and startups. One led by U. S. C. On a kelp initiative to take the research that's going around, help to find commercial applications in food and pharmaceuticals. Help is huge. In fact we're building USCs seaweed lob here so we will bring jobs that will get tastier way jen is on the way. Mhm. Agriculture is a sustainable way to feed a growing population. I think the best definition for agriculture is the controlled cultivation of a marine animal, whether that's a pearl mussel and moisture, a fish, a sea sponges, sea squirt et cetera. Were taking an animal and reforming it just in the ocean um which has a lot of benefit. We don't use any fresh water so we can serve fresh water, we don't really use any external energy so we can serve energy, you know, muscles in particular, sequester carbon from the ocean, They capture harmful elements and filter amount. Um They improve the water quality and the clarity and they create an environment for other animals to thrive as well. You know, they create artificial reefs, multi trophic environments and not just mussel farming. A lot of marine farming does the same thing. Yeah, aquaculture hasn't taken off in the U. S. Because there's no understanding of how it's done, there's really no pathway to establish it. Um Land based farming has become something that feels natural and has felt natural for several 100 years now. The machinery, the techniques, the industry, the distribution, the sales, it's all familiar, it's all comfortable. Best way to explain agriculture in the U. S. It is a lemonade stand in the neighborhood. Yeah, so one of the biggest challenges in the blue economy is all related to funding. A lot of the solutions that they're coming up with are not easily defendable in a capitalistic business model. So that scalability and finding the funding to transition from out of the lab and into the market continues to be a challenge. Were still doing a lot of educating to the investor community. Most investors understand that we have to look to a low to no carbon uh industry, it's just we have to do that. And the best solutions for that are in the ocean. I actually think that the message about the emerging blue economy is getting very strong and more competitive. There is more interest and understanding and care for and thought about the ocean then I've ever seen in my entire life. It is now becoming important to people who don't live right on the water. People are trying to understand who don't sail or surf kayak that can only help this whole explosion in interest globally