The old saying that March either comes in like a lion or a lamb comes to mind when we think about how the month ended this year for New Bedford Ocean Cluster members and partners: it definitely ended with a roar!

City of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and NBOC Exec. Dir. Jen Downing in Baltimore, MD.

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) made a significant impact at the 2023 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF) held in Baltimore, MD during the last week of March. As the premier offshore wind energy conference in the Americas, IPF brought together global leaders and businesses in the supply chain to discuss the latest industry updates, from technology and policy to safety and siting.

Mayor Mitchell of the City of New Bedford was a keynote speaker for IPF’s Ports & Logistics working group, where he discussed the challenges and opportunities U.S. OSW ports face. 

Jennifer Downing, Executive Director of the NBOC, participated as a panelist in  a Regional Update Breakfast on the topic of how community-based clusters are helping to advance the U.S. offshore wind industry. 

Jennifer Menard, Vice President of the National Offshore Wind Institute/Bristol Community College, participated in a workshop discussing partnership case studies, where academic and industry partnerships were highlighted as critical for meeting offshore wind workforce development needs. 

Ed Washburn, Managing Director of Coast Line Transfers and former Director of the New Bedford Port Authority, shared his expertise in a workshop focused on project readiness and best practices for managing global supply chain constraints.

As the offshore wind energy industry rapidly forms off the shore and centers around the Port of New Bedford, the NBOC’s presence and contributions at IPF 2023 showcased its vital role in the industry on behalf of the region’s maritime interests. 

IPF 2023 marked the 10th anniversary of the forum and offered unparalleled networking opportunities and timely updates on the industry. The NBOC demonstrated the power of clusters and the positive impact they can have on the industry and the community at the forum. 

It was thrilling to represent the greater New Bedford region at this milestone offshore wind forum, hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind. IPF connects global leaders and businesses to each other, and the NBOC was proud to take its seat at the table and shake hands.


  • The NBOC Team

Commercial Fishing & Processing Pillar News:

After a busy year of getting the organization of the ground, the NBOC is excited to be launching the work of its Fisheries Advisory Committee, to serve as a central voice behind the development of the ocean cluster’s Commercial Fishing & Processing Pillar. Comprised of key stakeholders from New Bedford’s seafood industry, the NBOC’s Fisheries Advisory Committee (FAC) will serve as a deliberative platform for collaboration and business-to-business activity and will help to ensure that the ocean cluster continues to establish itself in a way that aligns with stakeholder interests and leverages existing strengths, while helping to advance new projects and partnerships. As it relates to offshore wind, this group will be an essential voice in establishing a mutually beneficial relationship and forum for regular discussion and coordination between the fishing and offshore renewable energy industries.

The first meeting of the FAC will be held on May 17. During their Kick-off meeting, the FAC will have the opportunity to meet with Thor Sigfusson, Founder of the Iceland Ocean Cluster during his North American learning and networking tour. The Iceland Ocean Cluster is a pioneer in the “100% Fish” movement to inspire and support the seafood industry to utilize more of each fish to increase value and foster new business opportunities. The NBOC signed an MOU with the IOC back in 2017 with the intention to collaborate and share knowledge across clusters. More on the work of the FAC and Thor’s visit in May.


The NBOC, in partnership with the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) and the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) are hosting a Community Outreach Forum on April 13th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Waypoint Event Center. The evening will include an introduction to the resources and services offered by the GNEMSDC and MA SDO, networking, and light hors d’oeuvres and spirits. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register click here

The next orientation to #offshorewind from Bristol Community College’s NOWI begins Wednesday, April 5. Details at the link


Get caught up on all the activity associated with the #offshorewind industry centered around New Bedford in this comprehensive article by Southcoast Today

The New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal on the waterfront under construction since last July will open this summer if all goes according to plan. The new berthing facilities for a range of vessels including crew transfer vessels, service operation vessels and Foss Offshore Wind tug boats and barges are designed to support the offshore wind industry. Read more here.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is buying pollock, haddock, and ocean perch fillets worth USD 28.8 million (EUR 26.8 million) in its latest round of purchases for its child nutrition and domestic food assistance programs, and the bulk of it is being received by two Port of New Bedford companies. Find out which here.

“GRIPPERS” arrive at the Port of New Bedford: The construction of offshore wind farms involves driving large-diameter steel monopiles into the seabed. The piles then serve as the foundation for installing wind turbine towers. Keeping the pile vertical while driving it with a hydraulic hammer poses a serious challenge, especially in the presence of large currents and waves. Gripper arm holds and maintains the pile’s vertical position while it is driven. Above, New Bedford Cable Network captured the arrival on video. 

Undergraduate and graduate level university students and their professors will be gathering in New Bedford and Fairhaven this fall as part of the Envision Resilience Challenge, a student design studio and community engagement program focusing on learning to live with climate change. The article is here.

Gov. Maura Healey announced the administration’s plans for expanded offshore wind funding during a visit to the Marine Commerce Terminal, where Vineyard Wind will soon be staging the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind development. New Bedford Light reports.

Beginning this November, every case of New Bedford’s Northern Wind scallops sourced from the Northeast U.S. scallop fishery will have third-party traceability of the products origin, harvest area, and landing-date. Details here.

Ships carrying turbines for the nation’s first major offshore wind farm are scheduled to arrive in New Bedford this spring, where a shrinking longshoremen’s union is hoping to rebuild itself unloading a new type of cargo. Read more here. 


MEMBERSHIP: The NBOC is pleased to welcome new member, IMTRA! The boating, transportation, energy and marine product company offers high-quality products for the recreational and commercial marine markets, as well as the transportation and energy industries. Find out more about them here

Join the New Bedford Ocean Cluster and connect with innovators and entrepreneurs who are transforming the ocean economy! From sustainable fishing to the offshore wind industry, together we’re shaping the future of the blue economy. Inquire through our Members page here.

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster maintains an ongoing social media presence on Facebook and LInkedIn. You can “Like” and “Follow” each page to receive news updates throughout the month between newsletters. #NBOC #newbedfordoceancluster

Thank you to our partners and members!