State weighs in on 'blue economy' innovation program

February 17, 2022
By For Blue

Today the WA State Government announced a grant that adds momentum to the 'Blue Gravity' program for growing local ocean innovations and the state's marine industries.

Key points:

  • A partnership lead by local governments and industry is attracting investment and talent to innovative ‘blue economy’ companies and technologies
  • The Blue Economy includes food and materials harvested from the sea, robots, software and technology that operate in the ocean, and even efforts to restore kelp forests and coral reefs.
  • The State Government is backing the partnership, with the vision of WA being the leading blue economy in the Indian Ocean by 2030.


From the perspective of an island nation whose territory is seventy percent ocean, focusing on our marine industries is becoming an increasingly attractive investment.

While 95% of Western Australian’s live close to the coast, most are pulled towards it for recreation - a dip, fish, or to watch a sunset. Until the publication of new research in 2019, few realised that WA was already a global leader in a range of marine industries, and that the jobs and revenue from our ‘blue economy’ are set to double by 2030.

More recent reports and analysis predict that growth will come from drawing more professionals and finance towards new industries such as subsea robotics, marine bio-plastics, seaweed aquaculture, zero-emissions shipping, ecosystem regeneration and blue carbon sequestration.

Now a local partnership has received WA State Government support to grow the blue economy by bringing together a critical mass of innovative technologies, talented people, savvy investors and world-class support services.

Managing Director of For Blue, Andrew Outhwaite, spoke on behalf of the Blue Growth partners about their excitement at the announcement:

“We’re proud of our partnership and thrilled that the X-TEND WA program grants as part of the New Industries Fund will increase the support for leaders and innovators in our ocean economy.”

“Few people appreciate our dependence on the ocean, the risks of its declining health, or the scale of opportunities it presents. This grant is an investment in the visionaries and leaders who grasp all this, and are taking action.”

“According to the Australian Index of Marine Industries, our blue economy is already worth more than $80 billion and is larger than agriculture, coal and manufacturing in its economic contribution. We already have world-leading expertise in advanced shipbuilding, remote subsea operations, and sustainable fisheries. Growing the same expertise and scale in these new emerging industries is a natural progression and builds on our solid foundations.”

“Our shared vision is of WA being the leading Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean by 2030. More than economic activity, the vision is includes stewardship of marine ecosystems and good relationships with neighbouring nations. The State’s commitment to supporting the partnership validates the leadership already shown by the cities of Cockburn and Fremantle and adds to the gathering momentum towards that vision.”

For interested companies, full details of the services will be released on 1st March 2022 and will include:

  • up to $10,000 of support for individual ventures,
  • scholarships to startup incubation programs,
  • forums to bring connect key leaders, innovators, investors and talent,
  • access to new forms of investment for high-impact ventures.

Expressions of Interest are open for people and organisations wanting to accelerate the growth of their ocean-related innovations. EOIs are open to all ventures in Western Australia with activities based in Fremantle and Cockburn, and extending out to the regions. Details here:

The Blue Gravity founding partners include:

  • For Blue
  • City of Fremantle
  • City of Cockburn
  • Hub on SX
  • Impact Seed
  • CERI Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation
  • Fremantle Chamber of Commerce
  • Innovation Cluster
  • Spacecubed
  • CORE Innovation Hub

The Blue Gravity program builds on the pilot Blue Growth program run in 2021 and jointly funded by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, City of Fremantle and Australian Small Business Advisory Service.

Media Contact: Andrew Outhwaite, For Blue, 0466694702



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