ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge (ABIC) 2024 (Up To $40,000 Funding)

The ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge is a unique program that aims to promote the growth of the blue economy in ASEAN member countries and Timor-Leste. It aims to discover, fund, and back creative solutions focused on preserving and sustainably managing marine ecosystems, coastal regions, and freshwater reserves.

ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge (ABIC) 2024 (Up To $40,000 Funding)
ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge (ABIC) 2024 (Up To $40,000 Funding)

Besides offering financial assistance, the initiative facilitates connections among innovators and potential stakeholders such as investors and companies.  The ABIC is interested in both new methods and adjusted versions of existing techniques that exhibit practicality, scalability, and the potential for positive change.

Furthermore, it encourages alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically emphasizing SDG5, SDG7, SDG8, SDG9, SDG10, SDG13, and SDG14, to drive comprehensive progress in sustainable development across the ASEAN region and other relevant areas.

The initiative focuses on four key topics that are part of the ASEAN Blue Economy Framework, including:

  • Climate issues
  • Marine Plastic Pollution
  • Sustainable Fisheries
  • Sustainable Coastal Tourism

Challenge Details

Recognizing the significant role of the Blue Economy in driving economic growth in the ASEAN region and understanding the urgent need to tackle its challenges, ASEAN, through the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), has approved the implementation of the ASEAN Blue Economy Innovation Project.

This project is supported by the Government of Japan and UNDP, operating out of its Jakarta office. The initiative aims to showcase innovative solutions from a variety of stakeholders. Including creative micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), startups, local communities, women’s organizations, academic institutions. And civil society groups, to advance the blue economy in ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste.

Building on the recent adoption of the ASEAN Blue Economy framework, this project seeks to promote state-of-the-art technological advancements through inventive competitions to protect marine and freshwater ecosystems, advance solutions for oceanic climate issues, promote circular approaches to combat plastic pollution, and enhance traceability in sustainable fisheries.

These endeavors are not only strategic moves but essential steps in safeguarding our oceans and promoting sustainable development. The project will be carried out through the ‘ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge (ABIC)’, with a ‘call for proposals’ playing a crucial role in its initial stages.

The ABIC’s Participants’ Handbook provides comprehensive information about the goals, extent, intended participants, instructions, and processes involved. Designed for the public, this document will act as a roadmap for potential applicants. Offering assistance throughout the application process, explaining the selection criteria, and providing insights into the post-selection phase.


From all the applications received, a maximum of 200 will be chosen through a competitive selection process to advance as finalists. Among these, 60 applicants will be selected to participate in the Capacity Building Programme and will receive financial support as outlined below:

  • For the 60 chosen awardees:
  • Capacity building programme: Providing technical assistance and mentorship both in preparation and throughout the pilot phase.
  • Funding: A maximum of USD 40,000 for a duration of up to six months to pilot or establish proof of concept for their innovations. Out of the total 60 awards, 44 will be guaranteed for the most promising innovations. From each targeted country (equating to 4 awards per country). Additionally, the remaining 16 awards will be contested among all the targeted countries.
  • For all applicants:
  • Outreach: The solutions submitted have the potential to be featured in forthcoming UNDP publications that are shared with national. Regional, and global partners for public awareness, subject to consent.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The target participants of the ABIC include both for-profit and non-profit organizations that are officially registered in at least one ASEAN Member State and/or Timor-Leste. These organizations should have innovative solutions that align with at least one of the four main topics mentioned. Which they aim to implement in one or more of these countries.
  • Each participating organization should have a minimum of three representatives. These representatives must hold legal identities as citizens of ASEAN member states and/or Timor-Leste.
  • The team must have a gender balance, including both male and female members.
  • Every member of the team should be of minimum 18 years of age.
  • Participants need to fill out the online registration form and submit the necessary administrative documents as per the provided guidelines.
  • Organizations should have been in operation for a minimum of one year. Or they should have been established before April 2023.
  • Financial stability is crucial, demonstrated by a track record of ongoing and completed projects within the past year and references from previous clients or partners.

Application Process

The system will not consider any proposals received after May 31, 2024, at 11.59 PM Jakarta Time (GMT+7). To undergo evaluation, applicants must ensure that they have filled out all fields in the application form and provided all the necessary documents.

Visit the official website of the ASEAN Blue Innovation Challenge for more information.

Application Deadline

May 31, 2024.



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