Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge

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The Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge is an international competition for students and young entrepreneurs designed to provide concrete support for the creation and development of start-ups capable of demonstrating a positive impact on ocean preservation in the short to medium term.

One of the aims of the competition is to support the winners in advancing or realizing their professional project, by providing advice and support, and by giving them access to contacts and knowledge within the professional networks of partner companies, particularly those involved in incubating, accelerating or financing start-ups.

The competition is open to two categories of candidates:

“Students” category Students” category (open to undergraduate and postgraduate students of any specialization, or recent graduates, from business schools, engineering schools, scientific, design or art schools, communications schools, etc.)

“Start-ups” category (open to all entrepreneurs who create or have created a company after June 2020)

A competition supported by 4 institutions:


The IUM’s mission is to prepare new generations of managers and entrepreneurs for the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s world: the major themes of Entrepreneurship / Intrapreneurship, Innovation / Digital Transformation and Corporate Social Responsibility are integrated into all its Bachelors, Masters and MBA programs.


The mission of the Oceanographic Institute is to make the oceans known, loved and protected. It contributes to a sustainable relationship between mankind and the Ocean, by bringing about political, social, technological and economic transformations informed by science.


Monaco Impact aims to promote Monaco’s image as the global center for philanthropy and social impact investment. As part of this agreement, Monaco Impact is sponsoring a competition involving IUM students, rewarding the best project aimed at developing social media tools to attract and raise awareness among Generation Z of the importance of protecting the oceans.


The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2) aims to respond to the worrying threats to our planet’s environment. It works to protect the environment and promote sustainable development worldwide. The Foundation supports initiatives by public and private organizations in the areas of research, technological innovation and socially conscious practices. The Foundation funds projects in three main regions and focuses on three main areas.

Monaco Ocean Protection is supported by :

Main sponsor of MOPC

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CFM Indosuez Wealth Management, a leading banking institution and pioneer of responsible finance in Monaco, has joined the circle of companies supporting the Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge. In addition to its financial support for the initiative, CFM Indosuez Wealth Management is offering the lucky winner of the “Coup de Cœur” prize a cheque for €3,000, as well as personalized assistance in setting up a business, through advice and help in finding financing.


Camille Lopez, winner of MOPC 2021, founded HY-Plug. HY-Plug supports companies, ports and boat owners with consulting services for sustainable maritime solutions. HY-Plug works with alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, electricity, biofuels and bio-methanol. Camille Lopez talks about her experience:

“The Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge has legitimized the HY-Plug concept in June 2021 right from the start. By focusing on the environmental impact on the seas and oceans, the competition lends credibility to the company and gives it access to a network. So, after the Mark Challenge awards, and following the MOPC victory, both in 2021, I entered and won another prize: the Jeune Chambre Économique de Monaco business start-up competition, on December 1st, 2022. I took part in the Monaco Blue Initiative 2022 and this gave me a cross-disciplinary knowledge of projects and companies contributing to the protection of seas and oceans. This year, I was once again present at the Ocean Innovators Platform during Monaco Ocean Week, and it was rewarding to discover new innovations and expand my network. Thanks to the work I’ve been doing since February 2021 and all the actions I’ve taken, in 2023 I’ll be setting up my second company in Monaco for the same business, but specializing in yachting, a dream come true!”

The 6th Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

On Friday June 9, the three winners of the Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge were honored by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. This international competition, co-organized by the International University of Monaco (IUM), the Oceanographic Institute (Fondation Albert Ier, Prince of Monaco), the Monaco Impact association and the Prince Albert II Foundation, brought together over 100 students and young entrepreneurs from all over the world. The ceremony was attended by Hervé Berville, Secretary of State to the Prime Minister, responsible for the Sea. The objective? Support the younger generation in realizing new concepts and business models that have a positive and measurable environmental impact on the Ocean.

From mid-January to the end of April 2023, the hundred or so participants from some twenty international universities and business schools, representing some 23 different nationalities (USA, Mexico, Italy, France, Turkey…), worked on the creation of a business plan to present new business concepts for a more sustainable Ocean.

A total of 47 projects were submitted, and after two stages of selection, 6 were chosen for the grand final, divided into the “Student” and “Start-up” categories. Like a pitch competition, the finalists were invited to present and defend their project orally on the stage of the Oceanographic Museum’s Conference Room, in order to convince the 5-member jury.

After an afternoon of presentations in the presence of the public, followed by the jury’s deliberations, the three winners were presented with their awards by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who declared: “I would like to thank them not only for their efforts, energy and talent to date, but even more so for their commitment to the Global Ocean […] They will always be welcome here in the Principality of Monaco, which for decades, as the Oceanographic Museum testifies, has federated all the goodwill, energy and talent that wish to commit themselves to helping the oceans”.

Mr Cyril Gomez, Deputy Director General of the Oceanographic Institute, welcoming guests at the 6th MOPC 2023 Awards Ceremony.


"Students" category

Bloom (Babson College, USA): Algal bloom cleaning and conversion initiative – converting surface algae into biomass pellets.

Prize: an Arctic voyage of discovery for two, worth €8,000, offered by Nansen Polar Expeditions.

"Start-ups" category

Pronoe (France): Thanks to the production and control of alkaline flux, Pronoe issues high-quality disposal carbon certificates. Its customers purchase these certificates to meet their Net Zero and SDG commitments.

Donation :

  • a €5,000 cheque from Monaco Impact
  • a €7,000 mentoring program offered by White Castle Partners.

"Coup de Cœur" prize

Flexisea (MINES Paris -PSL, International University of Monaco, and Universitatea Politehnica din București): underwater robotic arm offering a precise solution for handling and reducing damage to marine species.

Prize: €3,000 cheque from CFM Indosuez Wealth Management

Each winner was presented with a trophy in the form of an artistic work specially created for the MOPC 2023 Grand Final and made from recycled materials by jewellery designer Alberto Domenico Vitale, Managing Director of Vitale 1913 Monte-Carlo, committed to ocean preservation and sustainable trade since 2014.

Replay the 2023 competition and awards ceremony

Press releases