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General Press Releases

Port of San Diego Releases Fifth Edition of its Blue Economy Incubator Highlights Report

The Port of San Diego has released the fifth edition of its Blue Economy Incubator Report, which features the program’s impact in numbers, a growing list of worldwide partnerships, local, national and international media coverage including a Ted Talk featuring BEI Program Director Paula Sylvia, and more.

As a catalyst for the region’s Blue Economy, the Port established its Blue Economy Incubator in 2016 as a launch pad for sustainable aquaculture and Port-related blue technology ventures. In the eight years since the Port launched the Blue Economy Incubator, it remains the only such program based at and operated by a port.

“The Port of San Diego’s Blue Tech Bay is yet another example of how we are leading the way in creative business ventures all while delivering on our promise to be good stewards of San Diego Bay,” said Chairman Frank Urtasun, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “As our Blue Economy Incubator grows, the Port will continue to make waves and be recognized as a port of firsts.”

The report spotlights partnerships with organizations like 1,000 Ocean Startups, Blue Action, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Ocean-based Climate Resilience Accelerators Program, and the Start Blue program at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

The program’s impact in numbers includes:

  • $5.4 million in investments leveraged by Blue Economy Incubator companies.
  • $2.5 million in research and development funds leveraged by Blue Economy Incubator companies.
  • $1.95 million in funding to support the launch of sustainable aquaculture and blue tech pilot projects.
  • 44 million impressions from local, national, and global media coverage including TedTalk San Diego, The Cool Down, Ocean Optimism podcast, and more.
  • 20 million juvenile-stage oysters expected to be produced annually when Shelley Diego Bay Aquaculture’s FLUPSY is fully permitted and operating at full capacity.
  • 500 pounds of edible seaweed produced weekly by Sunken Seaweed.
  • 50+ different species, including sessile species, mobile invertebrates, fish, and algae found living on ECOncrete’s bio-enhancing shoreline protection armor units.

To date, the Board of Port Commissioners has approved ten agreements with early-stage companies, including one re-investment, to launch innovative pilot projects, six of which have been completed. HyperKelp is the latest addition and is scheduled this summer to launch five smart buoy platforms that will monitor underwater noise levels and various water quality parameters for The Port’s environmental monitoring initiatives. Additional details about this and additional active pilot projects with Sunken Seaweed, FREDsense Technologies, and San Diego Bay Aquaculture are included in the report.

Throughout the program, the Port has received multiple awards recognizing its unique approach to Port-based Blue Economy innovation through pilot project facilitation and has been recognized by state and federal agencies, industry, and academia for providing pathways for the sustainable development of aquaculture and blue technology in the region. Most recently the Port and ECOncrete were honored by The Climate Registry (TCR) with the Innovative Partnership Award in the 2024 Climate Leadership Awards.

Learn more about the Port of San Diego’s Blue Economy Incubator and read the full report at

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.