2021 BlueTech Tech & Innovation Grant Program






2021 BlueTech Tech & Innovation Grant Program

The Innovation Institute at MassTech has launched the newest offering supported by the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council: the BlueTech Tech & Innovation grant program.

This new funding opportunity aims to encourage entrepreneurs and technology firms to work with nonprofits, research institutions, municipalities, or other public authorities on the deployment of new and novel technology and business solutions to address important opportunities in the marine economy:

Focus: The MassTech Collaborative is supporting the Seaport Economic Council in its efforts to support Innovation Grants for projects that promote job creation and economic growth in the maritime sector. The BlueTech Tech & Innovation grant program supports the “Innovation” focus of the Seaport Economic Council’s Grant Program and aligns with the Council’s mandate to help the Commonwealth’s 78 coastal communities develop and improve local assets to facilitate economic growth.

The Challenge seeks to fund projects and initiatives that establish connectivity between the Commonwealth’s broad innovation economy, the nascent marine technology cluster, and traditional maritime sectors. 

Funding Available: The Seaport Economic Council has authorized the Innovation Institute to award up to $1 million dollars for the competition. While applicants may apply for up to $500,000 for high value/high impact awards, the Council hopes to make multiple awards and encourages applicants to only apply for those resources necessary. Click the buttons below to download the Solicitation or to read the Press Release on the new program.


Key Dates: The deadline to apply is May 26, 2021.

Grant Requirements & Guidance: This opportunity is focused upon improving both the broader economic and environmental challenges within the marine economy.  Applicants are encouraged to propose “Tech & Innovation” projects that offer a novel business and technology solution within any one of a range of disciplines like fisheries and aquaculture, maritime monitoring and security, shipping, marine biotechnology, offshore renewable energy, and others. Proposed projects and initiatives should accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Increase knowledge about the marine environment;
  • Improved research/technology uptake by the market;
  • Improved business model innovation;
  • Increased diversity and inclusion in the Blue Economy workforce; and
  • Increased investment in Blue Economy activities.

Successful applicants will be those teams that present new business and technology approaches to address unmet needs in either emerging BlueTech sectors (marine renewables, blue biotechnologies, seabed mining and aquaculture, etc.) as well as traditional maritime sectors (shipbuilding, maritime transport, coastal tourism, fisheries, etc.).

Program History: In February 2018, the Seaport Economic Council announced the launch of the first innovation-focused grant program, called the “Grand Challenge” initiative, during a meeting chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Council. The Council allocated up to $500,000 to connect ‘Internet of Things’ or IOT entrepreneurs and startups to seaport communities. The pilot program launched in spring 2018, with grants awarded later that year. Learn more about the Grand Challenge funded projects here.

Photos of the LobsterNet project from the 2018 Grand Challenge. Photo from the Marine Data Bank project, a 2018 grantee.