Innovative approaches, such as selective breeding for adaptive traits combined with large-scale sexual propagation, are being developed with the aim of pre-adapting reefs to increased ocean warming. However, there are still major gaps in our understanding of the technical and methodological constraints to producing corals for such restoration interventions. We have developed a framework for selectively breeding corals and rearing them from eggs to adult colonies using the coral Acropora digitifera as a model species. We are also focusing on enhancing early survivorship in ex situ and in situ nurseries, and increasing outplanting survivorship, scale, speed and cost efficiency on natal reefs. Our results so far indicate that there are still challenges to overcome before selective breeding can be implemented as a viable conservation tool, especially at the post-settlement and outplanting phases.