Jack Barth, Executive Director of the Marine Studies Initiative (MSI) engaged Impact Studio to develop the Blue Innovation Hub (BIH) Initiative in 2019.
The Blue Economy is all economic activities related to the ocean, seas, and coasts. This includes activities related to shipping, recreation, fisheries, seafood, aquaculture, and renewable energy, as well as software and value-added applications based on ocean and atmosphere data.
The EU recently issued a report on their Blue Economy, valued at over $550B per year. This initiative would focus on the emerging sectors of the Blue Economy.
The focus of BIH is to investigate how Oregon State would create partnerships to advance research and develop, launch, and lead the commercialization of these emerging technologies. The goal of the institute or center is to become an internationally recognized thought leader in the “Emerging Blue Economy.” This activity will also provide real-world learning opportunities, for example, internships, for OSU students.
The benefits of such a structure include rapidly linking research with public and private partners, acting as a public advocate to create new initiatives and funding opportunities, advocating within coastal, state, and federal government and agencies to bring the right stakeholders together around grand challenges including feeding the planet, marine renewable energy and ocean health. Oregon State is internationally recognized in many relevant research topics, and a great opportunity exists to identify what specific aspects of the industry to lead. The Blue Innovation Hub positions Oregon State’s current assets to serve a key need.