Analog Devices and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have launched a startup accelerator focused on sensor, networking and machine learning technologies for the ocean.
The Ocean and Climate Innovation Accelerator (OCIA) consortium is funded with $3m over three years from ADI to develop new technologies to monitor climate change.
The OCIA consortium is looking at the development of the “networked ocean”, placing sensors across oceanographic environments that will continuously monitor critical metrics related to ocean conditions with the aim of informing business and policy decision makers, enabling evidence-based stewardship of ocean health and driving more accurate climate and weather predictions with real-time data.
“Carbon emissions feature as a centrepiece in global efforts to mitigate climate change. Oceans are among our most important defence mechanisms against a warming planet – yet their ability to continue to play this critically important role is being threatened by the effects of climate change,” said Vincent Roche, CEO of Analog Devices.
“Through the Ocean and Climate Innovation Accelerator, we are committed to engaging ADI’s engineers and technologies to advance knowledge of the oceans, in order to gain a better understanding of how oceans are impacted by climate change and to develop solutions to restore ocean health. By doing so, we hope to drive meaningful impact on the global fight against climate change,” said Roche.
“On behalf of WHOI’s entire community of ocean scientists and engineers, we are incredibly excited about this collaboration,” said Dr. Peter de Menocal, president, and director of WHOI. “The formation of the OCIA consortium comes at a time when support for science and ocean research is at a critical juncture. We are building a research innovation ecosystem that will drive new understanding to tackle global challenges facing society. It provides a new, scalable model showing how corporations can engage deeply on the climate crisis.”
The consortium will be jointly led by WHOI and ADI and is open to a wide range of leading organisations across business, academia and non-profits that recognise the links between ocean and climate and wish to have a positive impact on the global climate crisis.
The OCIA consortium will also establish a robust, multi-stage innovation ecosystem, building on WHOI’s existing strengths in education and research to drive solutions-thinking and allow scientists and engineers to focus on high-impact problems. This will include the launch of a new Climate Challenge Grant Program which will award seed-funding for smaller, competitively selected projects.
Initially, the OCIA will provide two types of awards:
- Incubation Awards: comprised of seed-funding awarded to dynamic individuals and teams. Incubation Awards will support design, exploration, and early execution of new, cutting-edge scientific initiatives that foster new avenues of research and engineering and encourage and incentivise collaborative engagement.
- Acceleration Awards: awarded to successful recipients of prior support for novel ideas and technologies, as well as other more mature projects, for the purpose of expanding these programmes, increasing public engagement, and positioning and preparing projects to achieve lasting impact and receive durable outside support.
“Now more than ever, it is essential for people to understand that the ocean and climate are not two separate systems, but rather part of a single system that spans our entire ocean planet and affects the lives of people everywhere, even if they live far from the coast,” said de Menocal. “Recognising this, it is critical for organisations like ADI and WHOI to find common cause and work in shared-mission partnerships to help mitigate the rapidly advancing threats brought on by a warming planet.”
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