WHOI-led Team Receives Funding Under New Federal Program to Accelerate Ocean-Climate Resilience

(Image credit: WHOI)

The Department of Commerce and NOAA has announced $3.9 million in awards to help small businesses improve climate resilience in communities across the nation through the Ocean-based Climate Resilience Accelerators program. A team led by senior scientist Carol Anne Clayson at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will receive $225,480 in funding as part of the first phase of awards. The program is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, and in alignment with the National Climate Resilience Framework.

“We are very pleased to be a part of the Ocean-based Climate Resilience Accelerator program and grateful to the Biden Administration, Department of Commerce, and NOAA for enacting this forward-looking initiative at such a critical time in our nation’s history,” said Clayson. “The challenges of climate change are already affecting every sector of society in fundamental ways. Harnessing the specialized capabilities of our diverse team will support innovators working to give at-risk communities the tools they need to address these challenges in their own unique ways.”

The Ocean-based Climate Resilience Accelerator program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, supports 16 awardees in 11 states to develop and advance new technologies for gathering coastal, ocean and Great Lakes data and observations—essential information to build tools, products, and services that address climate resilience needs and create a climate-ready nation.

The WHOI-led effort, titled “Accelerating Resilience: Linking Research, Industry, and the Public Across the Value Chain,” includes global semiconductor leader Analog Devices, Inc.; provider of software-connected test and measurement systems National Instruments; regional financial leader First Horizon Bank; ocean-climate venture capital firm Propeller; and the nation’s preeminent business school focusing on entrepreneurship Babson College. The team, several of which are part of the Ocean & Climate Innovation Accelerator at WHOI, will combine entrepreneurial training with the unique resources of each member to help early-stage companies take their products through development and onto the market. Their goal is to enable, develop, and accelerate technologies into market-ready products, services, and processes intended to help communities enact resilience plans quickly and effectively.

“As we work to tackle climate change, public-private partnerships like the Ocean-based Climate Resilience Accelerator program will help to catalyze innovation and empower entrepreneurs to develop new climate resilience technologies,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This investment, made possible thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, will strengthen communities across our country by making sure small businesses have the tools and resources they need to address the climate crisis head on.”

The Ocean-based Climate Resilience Accelerator program will invest in a network of novel business accelerators that, once operational, will support businesses developing ocean observation technologies and information services, such as forecasts and digital apps, to enhance climate resilience. The program is structured in two phases: design and development. The Phase 1 awards announced today provide approximately $250,000 in development funding to each of the 16 proposed business accelerators, equaling a total investment of $3.9 million.

“The impacts of climate change are visible in communities across America every day,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “This ocean-based accelerator program connects the government, the private sector, academia, tribes and stakeholders to innovate and produce new ocean, coastal and Great Lakes technologies at a pace that supports the urgent need for resilience nationwide.”

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