Consortium of Partners from Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts Launch Ocean Tech Hub

Consortium of Partners from Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts Launch Ocean Tech Hub

Consortium of Partners from Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts Launch Ocean Tech Hub

In October, Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts were named 1 of 31 Tech Hubs, designated by the Biden-Harris Economic Development Administration (EDA). The Ocean Tech Hub of Southeastern New England (OTH) is a consortium-led cross-state initiative committed to activating the ocean technology ecosystem through research and innovation in undersea robotics, automation, advanced materials, and composites. (Read the full release here).

The OTH strategy builds upon Rhode Island’s Grow Blue initiative and the comprehensive study, Charting the Course: A Regional Assessment of the Marine Science & Technology Sector in Southeastern New England that was conducted by UMass Dartmouth in 2019.

The OTH Consortium, which is being coordinated by Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and includes the NBOC, UMass Dartmouth, the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, and other partners. As an EDA Tech Hub Designee, the OTH is eligible to compete in Phase 2 of the competition to potentially receive between $40-$70 million in implementation funding to support the advancement of our efforts. Tech Hub proposals are due to the EDA on February 29th and awards will be announced by the summer.

The NBOC has also joined with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to advance a project to develop and enhance critically needed ocean testing sites, programs and services that will support the commercialization of the key technology focus areas to grow the OTH, with an emphasis on ocean renewable energy (ORE) industry applications. The project’s ocean testing sites and support services will run through, and in parallel with, a new ORE Innovation Center being developed by MassCEC in the Port of New Bedford to support innovation, business incubation, and technology transfer.

Jennifer Downing, NBOC Executive Director believes the regional OTH is poised for success. “Those of us in economic development know that collaboration, especially across state lines, is challenging to say the least. However, it takes leadership and vision to get out of our siloes and look beyond our borders to leverage opportunities that if successful, will only make us stronger together. The Ocean Tech Hub is one such opportunity. Regardless of what happens with this competition, the Ocean Tech Hub is laying a strong foundation for regional collaboration and industry growth into the future.”

Happy Holidays from the NBOC!

Happy Holidays from the NBOC!

Dear NBOC Members, Partners, and Friends,

2023 was an amazing year and we want to take a moment during the holidays to express our heartfelt gratitude for your support as we continue our work to drive growth and innovation across our four pillars: Aquaculture, Commercial Fishing, Innovation & Technology, and Offshore Renewable Energy. Together, we’ve achieved milestones that have set the stage for an even brighter future. Here are a few highlights from 2023 that bring us joy and excitement for the work ahead.

At the center of the most vibrant clusters is a diverse and insightful network of engaged businesses. This year, our membership grew to 17 companies. We also launched a Fisheries Advisory Committee to inform our strategy and serve as a deliberative platform for cross industry coordination. A big thanks to Quinn Fisheries, Eastern Fisheries, BASE Seafood Auction, Norpel, Seatrade International, Red’s Best, Cynthia C. Charters, New England Marine, and Drake Lobster for their valuable engagement.

Collaboration lies at the heart of the NBOC. This year we forged new partnerships in our local community and beyond that are opening doors to new initiatives and investments that will position New Bedford and the region to be a leading ocean economy. For example, the NBOC is one of several Consortium partners leading the Southeastern New England Ocean Tech Hub, an unprecedented collaboration between Rhode Island and Southeastern, MA recognized by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. We are excited about the potential of this cross-border initiative to significantly advance ocean technology.

We continued to raise the profile of our region on global stages. In 2023, we participated in offshore wind industry trade missions to Denmark, Norway, and Northeast England. These trips continue to connect our maritime businesses to the world and pave the way for local industry growth.

We hosted our first major conference in 2023! The NBOC’s New Bedford Offshore Wind Conference brought industry leaders from all over the world to our community to discuss the latest trends, advancements, and opportunities in offshore wind. The overwhelming positive response from attendees underscored the importance of such forums in advancing our collective goals. If you missed it, this video provides a great recap. Stay tuned for details about our second-annual conference in fall 2024!

 

We were also fortunate to expand our team in 2023. Carlos E. Avila joined us as our Business Development Manager to expand membership and engagement offerings. Gabriella Brianna Kearns, started as an intern and is soon increasing her time with us as our Outreach & Events Assistant.

Did you see we have a new look?! We rolled out a new logo this year as part of a comprehensive Marketing and Communications Plan.
Well, that’s a wrap! Thanks again for being a part of our growing ocean cluster. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. See you in 2024!

With hope & cheer,
Jennifer Downing
Executive Director