NOAA awards $3.1 million to 21 small businesses to develop new technology for aquaculture

NOAA has awarded several grants to small businesses working to develop new tools to advance sustainable U.S. aquaculture.

NOAA awards $3.1 million to 21 small businesses to develop new technology for aquaculture
Photo: NOAA
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. 
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said:
“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.”
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 modeling systems.
Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator, said:
"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. 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.
Kelly Wright, director of the NOAA Technology Partnerships Office, said:
“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.”