Sea Technology

JAN 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com January 2018 | ST 25 ue to provide seed funding for projects without the need for researchers to first demonstrate a proof of concept, a high barrier to entry for many researchers seeking to gain funding from nonfederal sources. New marine technolo- gies are not only beneficial to large users of ocean obser- vation data such as the federal government, but can also have broader impacts through the development of tools that can aid niche economic markets or entire sectors. For example, monitoring technologies that were initial- ly developed through federal research grants, and later made commercially available, have been instrumental in a vast array of industries, such as improving the ability of West Coast shellfish to bounce back from significant die-offs. In addition to traditional research grants, there are other existing avenues for collaboration between federal agencies and nonfederal partners. NOAA's Cooperative Institutes co-locate academic and nonprofit institutions to encourage high-level, collaborative research. Cooper- ative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) at NOAA and other agencies are partnerships between agencies and private companies on specific projects that allow for sharing of intellectual property and techni- cal resources and help speed the commercialization of agency-developed products. This allows novel technolo- gies to move swiftly from the lab bench into the hands of end-users, such as commercial fishermen. Regional partnerships between federal partners and nonfederal entities, such as the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, or IOOS, provide a robust set of ocean observations that allow for increased understand- ing of regional marine circumstances. The IOOS program successfully integrates federal observations and monitor- ing with nonfederal resources. These integrated capabili- ties allow for more informed decision making, and allow access to this data in near-real time, putting essential re- sources directly in the hands of the public. Novel marine technologies provide the opportunity to augment our existing observations and monitoring sys- tems. This allows for more robust data collection, which leads to more informed decisions at the federal level. Federal investments not only drive the development of novel technologies, but can also help in the commercial- ization of technology that could be valuable to local fish- ermen and shellfish growers. Entities ranging from For- tune 500 companies to start-up companies to individual researchers have all benefitted from federal investments and collaborations to help support their research and technology development at almost every stage. Cutting the budget for external research grants at federal agen- cies would stifle organic and innovative approaches to our most urgent challenges. In my role as the ranking member for the House Com- mittee on Science, Space, and Technology, I strive to find ways for Congress to develop solutions for our most pressing needs as a nation. When the problem is as big as a changing climate, it is essential that we get all hands on deck to help us observe, monitor and prepare ourselves for the future. This means encouraging creative solu- tions by individual researchers, universities and private Review&Forecast Partnerships Will Encourage Novel Tech Development, Innovation By Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) Ranking Member U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology W hen all the data have been analyzed, 2017 is expected to be one of the hottest years on record, continuing three consecu- tive years of record-break- ing warmth globally. These warmer global temperatures have led to warmer ocean temperatures, with a myriad of impacts ranging from coral bleaching to sea level rise. Warmer oceans also mean that the 2017 hurricane sea- son is likely a harbinger of what we can expect to see in coming years with increased severity of storms and lon- ger hurricane seasons that will have broad and long-last- ing impacts on Americans. We don't yet know the full costs of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), Superstorm Sandy alone cost more than $70 bil- lion. These impacts can negatively affect the resources that make up our coastal and ocean economy, which in just the year 2014 contributed more than $352 billion to the U.S. GDP and provided 3.1 million jobs. Additionally, approximately 39 percent of the nation's population lives in counties that are directly on shorelines, which comprise more than 95,000 mi. along coastal states, the Great Lakes and outlying U.S. territories. These coastal industries and population are heavily reliant on ocean health measurements and timely and accurate predic- tions for climate and weather events that are made possi- ble by observations and monitoring. The ability to mon- itor changes in the oceans and predict with detail and accuracy the path of storms and their potential rainfall is essential. The federal government is one of the largest users of ocean data. Moreover, the technology currently used by federal agencies to track and monitor ocean data is the gold standard. However, as our environment rapidly changes in ways that we have not seen before, additional innovation in these technologies will be needed. Feder- al R&D investments in the research and development of novel marine technologies in partnership with nonfed- eral partners from the private sector and academia can help to drive that innovation. Many cutting-edge marine technologies that likely would not have been funded by the private sector alone are beneficiaries of federal collaborations or investments that helped incentivize and speed their development. Federal research grants from agencies such as NOAA, NASA and the National Science Foundation can contin-

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