Shellfish growers harvest farmed oysters from the Damariscotta River in Maine in 2017. NOAA awards grants to small businesses working to develop tools to advance sustainable U.S. aquaculture. Courtesy/C. Katalinas/Maine Sea Grant
NOAA has awarded $3.1 million in grants to 21 small businesses from 14 states to support the development of innovative technology for aquaculture, commercial and recreational fisheries, weather prediction, earth and ocean observations and modeling.
“Small businesses across our nation are catalysts for technology innovation, which can produce products and services that support NOAA’s mission while directly benefiting the public and growing the American economy,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said.
In December 2019, NOAA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program issued a call for applications for Phase I funding in topic areas including aquaculture; recreational and commercial fisheries, weather service improvement and evolution; next generation NOAA observing platforms; and next generation observation and modelling systems.
“As NOAA continues to strengthen its commitment to protecting life and property, we are increasingly reliant on the expertise and agility of the private sector,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “Through collaboration with these small businesses, Americans will benefit with increased forecast accuracy and better management of our natural resources.”
Each successful Phase I awardee receives up to $150,000 to establish the merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed research and development over a six-month period. After completing their Phase I projects, awardees may compete for Phase II funding of up to $500,000 for two years to continue developing the technology. In Phase III, awardees may seek additional funds from outside the NOAA SBIR Program to help turn the new technology into a commercial product.
“We are excited about this year’s awardees, many who are harnessing the power of unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, genomics, machine-learning and public engagement to develop products and services that support NOAA’s mission and may also have great potential as commercial products,” said Kelly Wright, director of the NOAA Technology Partnerships Office.
Here are the awardees and projects:
- AAPlasma, LLC, Philadelphia, $149,949, for a non-equilibrium short-pulsed discharge for removal of antibiotics and pathogens from water used in aquaculture facilities
- CD3, General Benefit Corporation, Saint Paul, Minnesota, $150,000, for continuous electronic DNA monitoring for early detection of aquaculture diseases
- Ward Aquafarms, LLC, North Falmouth, Massachusetts, $149,600, for a shellfish grading system and integrated data management platform
- Pacific Hybreed, Inc., Bainbridge Island, Washington, $149,862, for identifying genetic markers of resistance in oysters for Pacific oyster mortality syndrome.
- Lynntech, Inc., College Station, Texas, $149,991, for a rapid, simple diagnostic tool for pathogens in marine aquaculture
- Shellfish Solutions, Castine, Maine, $150,000, for a tide-to-table traceability and marketing system for shellfish aquaculture.
Recreational and commercial fisheries
- Creare LLC, Hanover, New Hampshire, $149,361, for a low cost ocean temperature profiling sensor
- SafetySpect Inc., Los Angeles, $149,264, for technology for rapid detection of fish species and quality in the marketplace
- CVision AI, Inc., Medford, Massachusetts, $149,720, for automated fish fillet identification
Weather service improvement and evolution
- DIVEVIZ, LLC, San Diego, $149,987, to develop a forecasting model for ocean visibility using crowdsourced data
- CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama, $149,999, for a school system kit to provide weather risk information and impacts
- Michigan Aerospace Corporation, Ann Arbor, Michigan, $149,978, to create a web-based portal called NOAA Open World that simplifies access to NOAA data for education, outreach and decision-makers
- Betterdex Inc., Birmingham, Alabama, $149,366, to create a novel system for cloud type identification
Next generation NOAA platforms
- Charles River Analytics Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, $149,989, for semi-autonomous capabilities to operate unmanned teams
- Hydronalix, Inc., Green Valley, Arizona, $149,999, for an unmanned aerial sonar system
- Cruyningen, Izak van (LineSpect), Saratoga, California, $138,796, for an aircraft detection system with 360 camera and microphone array
- Skyward, Ltd., Dayton, Ohio, $149,999, for a processing, exploitation and dissemination system for rapid response to disasters
Next generation observation and modeling systems
- Kraenion Labs LLC, Los Gatos, California, $149,996, for machine learning for risk assessment using satellite and aerial imagery
- Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, $150,000, for automated monitoring of volatile organic chemicals with a compact gas chromatography-proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer
- INNOVIM LLC, Greenbelt, Maryland, $91,520, for a new machine-learning technique for accurately forecasting precipitation from landfalling atmospheric rivers
- Azavea Inc., Philadelphia, $150,000, for a system to create accurate flood inundation maps using machine learning and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data