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Oceans and fisheries
News article28 April 2023Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Sea Rangers sail ahead thanks to BlueInvest

Sea Rangers collecting a plastics sampling net © Sea Ranger Service
Sea Rangers collecting a plastics sampling net
© Sea Ranger Service

The mission of the Dutch startup Sea Ranger Service is to restore 1 million hectares of ocean biodiversity by the year 2040, while training 20,000 young people for a maritime career.

Thanks to the EU BlueInvest Readiness Assistance programme, the Sea Ranger Service has developed its business case and raised €2 million in growth capital in 2021 from private and institutional investors.

With its focus on training youth, the project also fits well in the objectives of the European Year of Skills.

Europe’s nature in alarming decline…

Oceans and seas are an integral part of our world. They help regulate climate, provide large amounts of the oxygen we need, and are home to much of the Earth’s biodiversity. At the same time, they also facilitate international trade and contribute to the world economy. With more than 80% of European habitats in poor condition, restoring marine ecosystems is of paramount importance to increasing biodiversity, limiting global warming to 1.5°, preventing natural disasters and reducing risks to food security.

…but Sea Ranger Service contributes to the rescue

The restoration of marine ecosystems is an enormous task, but our capacity for it remains limited. The Sea Ranger Service identified and filled this gap and made the most of the opportunity. The company not only influences current policies, but also implements them, creating social and environmental impact at the same time.

The company offers three main services

  • the Sea Ranger Bootcamp provides entry-level training for youth who wish to set their maritime careers in motion
  • the Sea Ranger Service is an offshore company run by maritime professionals with over 100 years of combined experience at sea. It conducts offshore research on various environmental issues, especially those pertaining to marine life protection and sea water conservation
  • developing purpose-built carbon-efficient vessels to carry out this work cost-effectively and cleanly.

The Sea Ranger Service supports a key component of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the proposed Nature Restoration Law, the first comprehensive law to restore damaged ecosystems, covering at least 20% of the EU's land and sea areas with nature restoration measures by 2030.

BlueInvest comes into play

The BlueInvest Readiness Assistance Programme gave the Sea Rangers’ cause a boost and a direction. Drawing on the advice from their BlueInvest coach, the company has succeeded in developing their business case further and raising €2 million in growth capital in 2021. The programme has also helped the company to start expanding into France, Spain and the UK

The Sea Ranger Service has secured 13 government contracts in the Netherlands, along with initial contracts from corporate clients. Sea Ranger Service founder Wietse  Van Der Werf said:

BlueInvest gave us the practical backing, support, and advice to take the next steps in our development.

With restoration as one of its main focus areas, the Sea Ranger Service expects growth as the blue economy market evolves and transitions to more sustainable practices. With a solid foundation in terms of scientific research already in place and help from PwC and IKEA, the company has launched a new franchising model to recruit entrepreneur candidates for future  expansion.

Background

BlueInvest Readiness Assistance is the EU’s exclusive coaching programme for high potential EU start-ups and SMEs with innovative and sustainable products and solutions for the blue economy. Businesses and projects selected for Investment Readiness Assistance will receive coaching packages tailored specifically to their readiness levels and business objectives. The programme is impact-driven, with a clear focus on providing business support to help start-ups and SMEs build growth capacity and attract investment.

Interested? Apply now by registering to the BlueInvest Community and completing the dedicated Readiness Assistance application form. The current application deadline is the 30th of June 2023. For any questions, you can reach out to lu_blueinvestatpwc [dot] com (lu_blueinvest[at]pwc[dot]com).

Sea RangersBlueInvest Experience: BlueInvest Community, BlueInvest Readiness Assistance, BlueInvest Pipeline, BlueInvest e-Pitch sessions, BlueInvest Day

Did you like this story?

Then also check out the Euronews Ocean episode on blue careers.

More information

Project website

Project YouTube channel

European Year of Skills

For social media colleagues

https://www.instagram.com/searangersorg/

https://www.facebook.com/searangersorg/

https://twitter.com/searangersorg

Details

Publication date
28 April 2023
Author
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries