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Ocean and Climate Innovation Accelerator launched

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Analog Devices have launched the Ocean and Climate Innovation Accelerator (OCIA) consortium.

ADI has committed $3 million over three years towards the consortium which will focus on advancing knowledge of the ocean’s critical role in combating climate change as well as developing new solutions at the intersection of oceans and climate.

The OCIA consortium is designed to be a highly scalable collaboration that will leverage the resources and capabilities of its partner organisations. Among its goals, the consortium will focus on 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.”

The consortium will be jointly led by WHOI, a world leader in the oceanographic research, technology, and education and ADI, which has developed a broad portfolio of high-performance semiconductor solutions used in virtually all types of electronic equipment.

The OCIA consortium is open to participation by a wide range of leading organisations across business, academia and non-profit organisations.

The 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.

As the consortium grows over time, OCIA programmes may expand to invest in people through the establishment of fellowships and other awards, along with a portfolio of other activities such as support for collaboration hubs to drive innovations in data processing, machine learning, and transdisciplinary science and engineering.

Author
Neil Tyler

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