Seaport Economic Council "Grand Challenge"

Seaport Economic Grand Council Challenge Awardees

In spring 2018, the Innovation Institute at MassTech launched a public procurement on behalf of the Seaport Economic Council which sought out “collaborators from diverse sectors to work together to build proposals which incorporate the deployment of new and novel Internet of Things (IoT)-based technology or business solutions to address important opportunities within the marine economy across the Commonwealth's 78 coastal communities.” After extensive review of the proposals that were received, in October 2018, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the winners of the inaugural SEC Grand Challenge, awarding over $450,000 in grants to three organizations. The projects, based in Buzzards Bay, New Bedford, Gloucester and Scituate, will use IoT to enable high-tech data analysis in commercial fisheries, deploy distributed sensors to help track lobster populations and create an online data portal that will allow researchers to track tidal flows and other data points in Commonwealth waters, information critical to energy and aquaculture companies. 
Read more about these innovative and exciting maritime technology projects:

“New Bedford Ocean Cluster: Harvesting and Applying Data about the Sea”


$250,000 - Lead grantee: New Bedford Port Authority; Partners: Spherical Analytics, UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST), and Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center.

A collaborative partnership called the New Bedford Ocean Cluster will develop a Marine Data Bank to harness the highly underutilized data that exists in the maritime economy and provide the entities generating this data, such as the commercial fishing fleet, with the ability to access, share, trade, or license this data to maximize productivity and efficiency while creating potential commercial growth.



$133,156 - Lead grantee: Lobster Foundation of Massachusetts; Partner(s): Gloucester InnovationSigFox, UMass Gloucester Marine Station, and Angle Center for Entrepreneurship at Endicott College.

The LobsterNet project will develop and deploy a low-cost, IoT-enabled network of environmental sensors (“ePods”) attached to lobster pots that can collect and distribute key environmental data relevant to the industry’s needs.

"Marine Hydrokinetic Oceanographic Data Portal”


$69,600 - Lead grantee: Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA).

MMA 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.


Read more about the Seaport Economic Grand Challenge Awards.