Brunei invited to participate ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge

Each participating country targeted to receive up to US$40,000 in funding for at least four projects

Stakeholders of ABIC during its official launch on May 14 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge (ABIC) is set to provide funding of up to US$40,000 each to at least four businesses or organisations in Brunei that are developing innovative solutions to bolster the blue economy.

Launched on May 14 at the ASEAN Secretariat, the initiative seeks to foster projects covering the conservation and sustainable management of marine ecosystems, coastal areas, and freshwater resources.

ABIC aims to fund up to 60 projects across ASEAN and Timor Leste, ensuring that each of the 11 participating nations receives a minimum of four awards. Selected awardees will benefit from capacity building through technical assistance and mentorship during the preparation and pilot phases.

The challenge, organised jointly by ASEAN, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Government of Japan, is scheduled to be completed by February next year; covering the incubation of participants’ solutions before they advance through two phases of commercialisation and development.

ABIC timeline listed on UNDP's website.
ABIC timeline listed on UNDP’s website.

The blue economy encompasses the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs, while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems. This includes activities such as aquaculture, tourism, renewable energy, maritime transport, and bioprospecting.

ABIC focuses on four key areas: climate change, marine plastic pollution, sustainable fisheries, and sustainable tourism.

In addition to financial support, the challenge also aims to facilitate connections between innovators and potential stakeholders, including investors and business entities.

Eligible businesses or organisations must be legally registered in ASEAN or Timor-Leste, have been operational for at least one year, and comprise at least three members, including males and females, who are at least 18 years old. Eligible non-business organisations include NGOs, academic institutions and research organisations.

The deadline for applications is May 31, 2024. To learn more about ABIC or to apply online, visit the UNDP’s Indonesia website.