Gulf Coast Community Foundation created its inaugural $500,000 Innovation Challenge as an incentive-based grant challenge to inspire innovative, breakthrough ideas from individuals and organizations to transform our region by focusing on sustainably growing our marine sciences and technology cluster while conserving coastal resources.
The Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge inspired and funded innovative solutions to critical issues facing Florida’s Gulf Coast region. The Challenge was open to entrepreneurs, educators, conservationists, and scientists—anyone with a novel idea for saving our seas, feeding our communities, and growing our Blue Economy.
Through the Innovation Challenge, we aimed to foster cross-sector collaboration, leverage existing resources (financial and intellectual), and accelerate positive systemic change while providing a community service or benefit.
Research shows that the growing use of incentive grant challenges by philanthropies can be effective mechanisms to encourage innovation and achieve social benefits. Gulf Coast Community Foundation tapped into the competitive, entrepreneurial spirit of individuals, businesses, and organizations in our region to spur innovations that could grow our economy while providing a community service or benefit.
"Put simply, we aim to spur and fund innovative, breakthrough ideas that will transform our region."
By conserving, leveraging, and learning from the wonderfully diverse coastal ecosystems in our backyard, we can grow our region into the premier venue for developing a marine-science economy in the southeastern U.S.
Be on the lookout for future Innovation Challenges.