NOAA awards $3.1 million to small businesses to develop new aquaculture technologies

Six startups were selected to develop innovative technologies such as early detection and diagnosis of aquaculture diseases, among others.

NOAA awards $3.1 million to small businesses to develop new aquaculture technologies
August 20, 2020

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,” said the secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross.

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.

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 six months. 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.

The aquaculture awardees and projects are:

  • AAPlasma for a non-equilibrium short-pulsed discharge for removal of antibiotics and pathogens from water used in aquaculture facilities.
  • CD3, General Benefit Corporation for continuous electronic DNA monitoring for early detection of aquaculture diseases.
  • Ward Aquafarms, LLC for a shellfish grading system and integrated data management platform.
  • Pacific Hybreed, Inc. for identifying genetic markers of resistance in oysters for Pacific oyster mortality syndrome.
  • Lynntech, Inc. for a rapid, simple diagnostic tool for pathogens in marine aquaculture.
  • Shellfish Solutions for a tide-to-table traceability and marketing system for shellfish aquaculture.

Check out the abstracts for the 2020 awards here