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NC State’s Blue Economy Innovation Program

The Blue Economy Innovation Program is solving problems on North Carolina’s coast by innovating sustainable solutions for coastal communities and marine ecosystems.

Launched in 2020, the Blue Economy Innovation Program (BEIP) is tackling tough problems down east. Housed in the Coastal Resilience and Sustainability Initiative under the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs, the BEIP is a group of passionate members of the Wolfpack community, inspired to find actionable, innovative solutions necessary to solve the critical problems we face in a changing climate. 

The BEIP, led by Chris Osburn, integrates interdisciplinary education and research to support sustainable maritime technologies and economies. The blue economy involves sustainable use of ocean resources for the benefit of all. . NC State is advancing the blue economy through courses, student-focused workshops, and collaborative opportunities that foster student innovation and partnerships.

Blue Economy Annual Workshops

The Blue Economy Innovation Program hosts an annual free workshop in collaboration with Carteret Community College at NC State’s Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST). The fourth annual workshop is scheduled for October 2024 and will feature a panel of innovators and entrepreneurs in the ocean technology startup space as well as a panel focused on building a climate-ready coastal workforce. Students work with subject matter experts to build teams based on shared interests that can develop an innovative idea — be that a product or service or a research project. Importantly, students will be connected with the resources needed to pursue their innovations.

An Opportunity for Interdisciplinary Education and Collaboration

MEA 493/591 Interdisciplinary Innovation in the Blue Economy is offered every fall and is open both to undergraduate and graduate students and expands upon the workshop, which will take place concurrently. There is no prerequisite and the course is open to all majors. 

In this course students will work in teams and apply the perspective of interdisciplinary entrepreneurial thinking to consider innovations that promote the sustainable development and use of ocean resources for the benefit of all – the blue economy.

Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (MEA) majors are encouraged to consult with their advisors about using the class as an advised elective. 

Learn more, get involved, and together, pave the way towards a thriving, resilient, and equitable blue future for generations to come.