Press Release

Blue Economy: Export Opportunities Await U.S. Innovators in Ocean Science and Technology

September 21, 2022
Contact: Office of Public Affairs

PROVIDENCE – More than 300 industry leaders, government officials, and diplomats have convened in Rhode Island for a flagship U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) event to connect U.S. ocean science and technology innovators with buyers and distributors from more than 20 international markets.

The Blue Economy is the theme of this year’s Discover Global Markets event, an annual business networking forum hosted by the  International Trade Administration. The Blue Economy encompasses several interwoven sectors, including marine transportation, offshore renewable energy, seafood and fishing, and coastal travel and tourism. Businesses from 40 U.S. states and territories are taking part in business-to-business matchmaking meetings, market insight panels, and networking events with experts and representatives across six continents.

“The Blue Economy provides an enormous opportunity – it is nearly impossible for most Americans to go a single day without using, wearing or eating something that has come through our oceans and coasts,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “However, our oceans disproportionately exhibit the impact of climate change. Conservation and sustainability must be central to our long-term economic development and growth pathways. Addressing the climate crisis requires bold action on an international scale, and I am proud to see companies and countries united today to discuss innovative, international investments and solutions that will cement an environmental legacy we can all be proud of.”

“This is an event like no other, with the fields of trade, diplomacy, and science coming together to shine a global spotlight on American innovation in the Blue Economy,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago. “21st Century problems require 21st Century solutions, and the collaboration of scientists, businesses, workers and governments across nations is the only way to ensure that we are expanding economic opportunity while protecting and sustaining the marine ecosystems that bring us so much beauty and bounty.”

Lago today is speaking at a fireside chat alongside her counterpart Richard Spinrad, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is a leader in weather, water and climate observation and prediction, as well as ocean conservation and management. NOAA projects that the Blue Economy will to double in size to $3 trillion by 2030. NOAA scientists take part in international science partnerships with the public, private, and philanthropic sectors in order to collect the data that underpins the flow of maritime commerce and spurs the development of a new knowledge-based economy.

“As the leading federal agency on ocean intelligence, NOAA is excited to collaborate with the companies driving innovation in the ocean data and technology space,” said Spinrad. “Our goal is to support a robust new element to the Blue Economy that will include equitable, transparent, high-tech, data-based tools and services to empower decision-making that advances safety, security, prosperity, and healthy and sustainable coastal and marine environments.”

Both Lago and Spinrad stressed the important role that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises play in the Blue Economy—including women-, minority- and veteran-owned firms. As part of its strategic plan, the Department of Commerce is enhancing its accessibility and assistance to help businesses achieve domestic and international success, with a particular focus on smaller firms and those in our nation’s underserved communities.


About the International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has more than 2,200 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets worldwide. For more information on ITA, visit

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