Highlights from the 2024 Blue Economy Innovation Summit in Nelson

Last week marked a monumental event in Aotearoa's commitment to sustainable oceanic development—the first-ever Blue Economy Innovation Summit, co-hosted by Moananui and the Nelson Regional Development Agency in the scenic city of Nelson. This pioneering summit gathered 175 attendees and featured over 30 presenters, making it a vibrant hub for innovation and strategic alliance in the blue economy sector.

Shane Graham, CEO of Ngāti Rārua, Opening the Day with a Karakia

A Fusion of Minds and Ideas

The summit showcased an exceptional line-up of leaders from blue economy businesses, innovators, universities, and funders. Each session was a deep dive into the wealth of knowledge and opportunities within New Zealand’s blue economy. It was exhilarating to witness the exchange of ideas and the potential for forming strategic partnerships, all aimed at nurturing a thriving blue economy.

Doug Steiner  Edmund Hillary Fellow

SUMMIT MC Doug Steiner is an Edmund Hillary Fellow & Canadian entrepreneur currently based in Whakatū Nelson

With its community of over 400 blue economy businesses, Nelson Tasman served as the perfect setting for this event. Connecting with like-minded individuals from various regions dedicated to sustainable ocean-related development was genuinely inspiring.

Deborah Crowe  Commercialisation Development Manager, KiwiNet and Paul Miller  CEO, Kernohan Engineering

Deborah Crowe is a commercialisation development manager at KiwiNet and an EHF fellow with Paul Miller, CEO of Kernohan Engineering and ASL Partner.

A Quote to Remember

Reflecting on the summit, a quote by Kanye West comes to mind: "I'm dope and I do dope shit." This event embodied that spirit—engaging in impactful work with remarkable people. It was a vivid reminder of how creativity and bold thinking are pivotal to enacting significant changes.

Thanks, and Looking Forward

A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who played a part in making the summit a success. The discussions initiated here are just the beginning of our journey. Let's continue to drive innovation and advocate for sustainability in our oceans.

Dr. Paul Wolf - Marine Biologist on a mission to provide a more accurate, reliable and cost-efficient service for taxonomy, biodiversity, and ecosystem recovery.

The summit not only highlighted cutting-edge research but also brought together forward-thinking organisations. Over 175 attendees nationwide demonstrated a burgeoning commitment to sustainable marine activities that drive economic growth while ensuring ecological, cultural, and social well-being.

The focus was unmistakably on innovation and collaboration. Universities, research institutions, businesses, and navigators converged to share ideas and explore potential high-value opportunities. The shared goal to unlock economic potential through New Zealand’s blue economy steered conversations towards actionable insights and scalable projects.

Jodie Kuntzsch, CE and founder of Moananui, receiving gold stars for connecting with Balam Jimenez, PhD CEO and founder of Tonalli Moana Ltd., and Deborah Crowe.

Stay Engaged

Were you at the summit? Fantastic! We encourage you to keep the dialogue alive and forge new partnerships to drive these exciting opportunities forward. Let's continue the conversation together!

If you missed any presentations or want to revisit them, visit Moanani's website here. Scroll to the bottom for more details.

The journey towards a sustainable and innovative blue economy has just begun, and we are excited about the future. Let’s keep the momentum going and make a lasting impact on our oceans and our world. 💙

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