In 2015, HM King Harald of Norway awarded Boyan the maritime industry's Young Entrepreneur Award. Foreign Policy included Boyan in their 2015 list of preeminent thought leaders and Forbes included him in their 30 under 30 edition in 2016. That same year, Boyan was awarded a Thiel Fellowship. In 2017, Elsevier named him Dutchman of the Year, Reader’s Digest chose him as the European of the Year and he was given the Thor Heyerdahl Award for innovation in the maritime industry.
In 2018, Boyan was named ‘European Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Euronews. That year, Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff pointed out Boyan as one of the ‘25 people that will shape the next 25 years’ in WIRED magazine.
The Ocean Cleanup has been chosen by TIME Magazine as one of the Best Inventions of 2015. In 2019, the European Commission elected Boyan as one of the experts to advise the commission on its multi-billion-euro innovation strategy.