Ocean Community News

Ocean Exchange Presents 2022 Collegiate Award to BlueGreen Materials

Ocean Exchange has announced that its 2022 Collegiate Award, sponsored by the Guy Harvey Foundation, has been presented to BlueGreen Materials for its solution focused on making building materials, such as carbon-negative bio-concrete, from the ocean.

Company Founder and Chief Executive Marcelo Lejeune, based in New Haven, Connecticut, accepted the award. Previously, he studied chemical engineering at Yale University and worked at Marble where he explored technology opportunities in carbon management. Following the support of a 776 Fellowship, he returned to his research to commercialize it into what is now BlueGreen Materials.

BlueGreen Materials receives $10,000 based on its solution that advances our understanding of the ocean and that helps minimize our impact on these resources, even while using them for human benefit, resulting in more resilient bodies of water including healthy marine life and coastlines. That aligns with the mission and vision of the Guy Harvey Foundation (GHF) which conducts scientific research and hosts educational programs to conserve the marine environment. The GHF also funds affiliated researchers working to better understand our ocean ecosystem and educators helping to foster the next era of marine conservationists.

“I am truly honored to have been awarded Ocean Exchange’s Collegiate Award, especially considering how impressive every single one of the other competitors was,” said Lejeune. “These funds will be critical in accelerating the technology development of our process.”

Blue Green Materials was chosen from 10 finalists representing universities in the U.S., Canada and Spain. Following their presentation on the opening night of Ocean Exchange 2022, each finalist participated in a rigorous Q&A session with a VIP Panel in front of approximately 150 delegates from business, NGOs, academia and government. The competition concluded with a lightning round, after which the delegates voted for the winner.

“Ocean Exchange congratulates BlueGreen Materials as well as the other finalists in this prestigious competition,” said Millicent Pitts, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Ocean Exchange. “Their work, which encompassed such critical topics as CO2 sequestration, coastline protection, fisheries, boating electrification and more, was truly exceptional. It speaks well to the future of our oceans and the Blue Economy, and we are proud of the path they have chosen. We are also grateful to the Guy Harvey Foundation for their generous support of this award.”

In talking about the Ocean Exchange experience, Lejeune added: “I have been blown away by the level and diversity of innovations that Ocean Exchange brings together. It’s like I’m seeing into the future. I have learned so much so quickly about a broad range of ocean solutions and met several potential partners for my own.”

The Collegiate Award VIP Panel consisted of Kelly Carnes, President & CEO, TechVision21; Liesl Hotaling, President, Eidos Education; Donna Kocak, Fellow, L3 Harris Technologies; Mike Egan, Board Member/Advisor, Artargis Energy Corporation; Irene Rosberg, Copenhagen Business School Programme Director, Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics; Ulla Keino, CEO, President, Head of Management Consulting at SeaFocus; and Markku Mylly, Senior Vice President, SeaFocus.

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