Blue Innovation Challenge: Supporting Innovation in Marine Space Protection

Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis has made sustainable marine economy and coastal protection one of its priorities, placing new technologies and innovation at the heart of its ambitious policies in this regard. It is launching the second edition of the “Blue Innovation Challenge” call for projects for the protection of marine environments.

Hosting the United Nations Conference on Oceans: A Strong Commitment by Nice Côte d’Azur

The challenges related to the conservation of oceans and coastlines have sparked global awareness. In response to the new climate reality, Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis has placed marine sustainability and coastal protection at the center of its initiatives.

The commitment of Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis is embodied in its ambition to become a leader in environmental protection through innovation and the adoption of new technologies.

In 2025, the Metropolis will have the honor of hosting the United Nations Conference on the Ocean, a major international event. It is in this context that the second edition of the “Blue Innovation Challenge” call for projects is launched.

An innovative call for projects for the protection of marine environments

The “Blue Innovation Challenge” aims to support innovative companies that offer solutions in the blue economy sector. The selected companies will receive financial support ranging from €30,000 to €60,000, enabling them to implement their solutions as demonstrators in the territory of Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis. This initiative aims to facilitate the deployment of these promising innovations.

The priority areas and application process for the Blue Innovation Challenge:

The emphasis is placed on projects that combine principles of environmental conservation with a high level of technological innovation. They should focus on one of the following areas:

  • Conservation and valorization of marine resources
  • Maritime transport and decarbonized mobility.
  • Ecological restoration of coastal areas and coastal protection.
  • Waste collection, treatment, and valorization.
  • Smart ports.

he deadline to apply is set for September 10, 2023.

Winners of the first edition of the Blue Innovation Challenge

The first edition of the Blue Innovation Challenge resulted in the selection of four startups out of the 17 applications received.

They received a grant to test and experiment with their innovation in the territory of the Metropolis. These young startups also received 12 months of free support and accommodation within the European Center for Enterprises and Innovation (CEEI), a business incubator in the Métropole region.

The 4 winners:


Partnership between MyDataModels and the Thales Group, the BlueGuard project aims to develop a demonstrator for an intelligent system to monitor the underwater approaches of sensitive coastal areas. Its objective is to provide continuous and reliable protection of the maritime front against the threat of emerging underwater drones. This innovative solution is based on the complementarity between Thales’ recognized expertise in underwater acoustics and MyDataModels’ mastery of artificial intelligence technologies.


Inalve is developing a process for cultivating and transforming marine microalgae into renewable ingredients for the animal feed market, with a particular focus on aquaculture. Their project involves setting up an automated pilot greenhouse in the Plaine du Var region for the production of microalgae.


Bioceanor is developing innovative products and services to assess water quality in real time. The solution allows for anticipating the risks of bacterial contamination in bathing areas. The test system will be composed of underwater stations positioned at strategic sites in the Var estuary.


The startup operates a 100% solar-powered boat intended for the leisure boating market. The demonstrator involves installing multi-sensors and a data acquisition device on board the boat, with the aim of developing an autonomous shuttle.

Cleantech – Nice Côte d’Azur France

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