Mass Maritime Receives $69,600 in Grant Money

BOSTON –As part of a $450,000 state grant program that promotes the blue economy, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy is receiving $69,600 to pursue a project on hydrokinetic energy.

The Academy will develop a marine hydrokinetic oceanographic data portal that will be hosted live and available online to anyone, building on the Academy’s expertise as an academic test center for marine hydrokinetic energy (e.g. tidal flow) generators and instrumentation. The new data portal will have uses for commercial users in renewable energy, aquaculture, recreational mariners, educators, and the general public. MMA has several marine research and aquaculture programs generating live oceanographic data, in addition to separate video cameras which cover Cape Cod Canal marine traffic and provide high-definition video from 20 feet under water.

The project will modify these independent systems into one visual portal and will give the internet a real time view of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at work. The project will also work cooperatively with a 60kW hydrokinetic (tidal) turbine that can be used for environmental testing, workforce development training and power production, infrastructure funded through a $150,000 investment by the Commonwealth. The turbine, housed on a mobile barge, will act as a test site which will tie into the data portal, allowing viewers of the portal to view the output of the barge throughout the varying tidal cycles and in real-time.

“Massachusetts is a global leader in innovation and technology and our Administration is committed to continuing to support growth across the state,”said Governor Charlie Baker.“These pilot programs bring together connected technologies and the Commonwealth’s Blue Economy to advance economic development opportunities for Massachusetts’ 78 coastal communities.”

Also receiving funding was the New Bedford Port Authority, officials say the $250,000 to collate existing data in the maritime economy and provide the entities providing the information, such as the commercial fishing fleet the ability to share, access, trade or license the information to maximize productivity and efficiency.

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