Euronext Blue Challenge 2024 Final: Sustainable solutions take centre stage


With ocean health and entrepreneurship at its heart, the Euronext Blue Challenge aims to build a better world through the innovative and curious minds of young people. In partnership with JA Europe, the Blue Challenge was created as an educational programme designed to equip students with vital tools in business strategy and entrepreneurship, as well as to positively impact the planet through sustainably focused targets linked to the Blue Economy.

The Euronext Blue Challenge is a Europe-wide competition amongst school students aged between 16 to 18, to compete for the Euronext Blue Innovation Award. Around 250 students are involved each year, and the teams are assigned a team of mentors from the Euronext staff body to guide them through their idea. Each team forms a mini company, with creating a business proposal, proposed from initial ideas, all the way to market. Teams are judged on the following criteria:

  • Problem solving
  • Innovation
  • Business model
  • Demo or prototype
  • Financial literacy
  • Climate change

2024 Final

The fourth consecutive year of the Euronext Blue Challenge competition saw a plethora of creative, effective, and genuinely marketable projects, many of which had already began making profit before they were presented to the Blue Challenge Jury Boards. In each of the nine countries, a national competition was held to determine which team would represent their country in the European final, which was held on 15 May 2024. The following teams from each country made it through to the final:


OCEAN RED JA aims to reduce the carbon dioxide levels in the ocean through the cultivation and distribution of the red seaweed Gelidium. The company also produces raw materials useful in other sustainable economic markets as biofuel and bioplastics.

Belgium – Game of Tides

Game of Tides has created a 46-card strategy game. The goal is to assemble a whole family of marine animals. The product aims to bring awareness to the impact of overfishing on the oceans. The team has also pledged to raise awareness through the social media channels associated with the card game.

France – SOVELO

SOVELO has created nets that attach onto the back of pedalos. These nets collect plastic waste and other debris floating in the water, making it easy to remove it from the environment while enjoying fun with family or friends. The pedalos are easy to manoeuvre and could be used to clean up areas most affected by pollution.

Norway – Pungdom UB

Pungdom UB intends to filter Europe’s coastal waters using sea squirts. Sea squirts have the unique ability to absorb nitrogen and release oxygen. Pungdom UB’s primary focus is on the Oslo Fjord, which has notably high nitrogen levels, causing a plethora of problems for the habitat.

UK – Hestia

Hestia has chosen to fill a gap in the market for ocean friendly, handmade, and affordable bracelets. These bracelets are made from natural stones, minimising environmental damage as they are plastic-free. To help the ocean, they will be donating 10% of profits to a local charity, Sussex Under Water.

Denmark - 99Robotics

99Robotics has created a robot to help farmers reduce climate emissions, thus meeting regulations that may come into effect in the near future. The robot will plant winter cover crops within maize fields, therefore increasing the amount of CO2 absorption, without impacting the maize crop growth or harvest. This will remove one tonne of CO2 emissions per hectare and halve the nitrates leaching into coastal waters.

Portugal – OilAway

OilAway has created an effective solution to remove oil from the ocean. Using human and animal hair, hair nets have been created that can absorb five times their weight in oil. They can be installed as nets on both sides of a boat, sweeping up oil as the boat moves through it.

The Netherlands – Fresh & Soapy

Fresh & Soapy has created a shampoo bar that is organic, plastic-free, handmade, and animal-testing-free in order to tackle the impacts of plastic manufacturing and waste.

Ireland – Sea you later

Sea You Later chose to tackle the impact of the cosmetics industry on the planet. The team created a fake-tan remover made entirely of natural ingredients including seaweed and sand, which are all beneficial to the skin.

The Winners of the Blue Challenge 2024

After much deliberation from the Jury, the Euronext Blue Innovation Award 2024 was awarded to Pungdom UB from Norway, for the team’s visionary project on constructing filters for Europe’s coastal waters using sea squirts and other sea restoration habitats.

Jury Member Marianne Alders, Head of Press for Euronext Amsterdam and Brussels, stated, “We believe this team has the potential to take off the ground, as they have a very good idea of what a realistic business model should look like. They also understand the vital importance of local involvement and the communicative aspect towards stakeholders, needed to make the business truly sustainable.

The Pungdom UB team members were delighted by their win, “We want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate in this competition. It was really inspiring to see all of the other mini companies, we have loved seeing so much engagement in finding a solution for ocean damage, a problem that is so high.”

The Euronext Blue Challenge inspires positive change for students, mentors and our planet. Read the Euronext Blue Challenge webpage to watch Pungdom UB’s promotional video, or get involved for the 2024/25 cohort.

Pungdom UB


Creating the Blue Challenge

On 2 June 2020, Euronext became the first exchange to sign the nine Ocean Principles with the ambition to take a leading role in advancing the Blue Economy. First launched in 2021, the Euronext Blue Challenge was created by Euronext in collaboration with JA Europe, to contribute towards the advancement of the Blue Economy.

Following the launch of the Blue Challenge, Salvatore Nigro, CEO JA Europe stated: “Our new collaboration with Euronext allows young people in Europe to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our times through an entrepreneurial approach.” He added that “the combination of entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills for the benefit of the Blue Economy is a win-win for the future generations, our planet and our economies.”

Social and environmental mission

The Euronext Blue Challenge encourages students to actively engage with current global issues while learning about real-world business strategy. Euronext understands that the younger generation are agents of change, and will soon become responsible for both the economic and environmental world. The creation and execution of each project are designed to inspire real change that can extend far beyond this competition. Through learning how to create an investable business plan, students will not only come up with potential products that can help improve our environment, but they will also gain skills in business strategy, enabling them to create products that could go to market.

Euronext’s commitment to a sustainable future is demonstrated through its Empowering Sustainable Growth (ESG) strategy and its SBTi-validated climate commitments. As an Official Supporter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative since 2015, Euronext is firmly committed to the UN’s “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, being one of the Sustainable Development Goals embraced in its ESG roadmap: “Goal 14: Life Below Water”.

Find out more about Euronext’s ESG Strategy ->