The new MITER BlueTech Lab will accelerate the development of maritime technologies
The University of Rhode Island joined MITER today in its announcement of the new MITER BlueTech Lab, a national resource for advancing underwater testing, innovation and collaboration. URI also joins the Northeast BlueTech Science and Engineering Acceleration (BlueSEA) Coalition as a founding member, alongside MITER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MassChallenge and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport Division.
The MITER BlueTech Lab will be a state-of-the-art, all-weather maritime test facility and a national resource for advancing underwater testing, innovation and collaboration. At a groundbreaking ceremony today, founding members of the Northeast BlueSEA Coalition announced their commitment to collaborate to advance maritime innovation and conduct research at the new MITER BlueTech Lab.
The Northeast BlueSEA Coalition, made up of leading academic, government and non-profit maritime technology organizations, will work together to accelerate solutions to complex maritime challenges by combining skills, assets, resources, equipment and infrastructure complementary.
“Maritime technology is deeply embedded in many key challenges facing our nation and the world, including climate, national security and clean energy,” said Douglas Robbins, vice president, engineering and prototyping, MITER Labs. . “The MITER BlueTech Lab will accelerate and provide a foundation for underwater research and innovation for positive impact and help establish New England as a global maritime research nexus.”
As the Coalition’s sole founding academic partner, URI President Marc B. Parlange said, “URI is well positioned to train and educate the next generation workforce and drive creation of “blue jobs” in this dynamic and emerging industry.
“This partnership provides an excellent opportunity to develop high-impact, joint, multi-stakeholder regional efforts that will accelerate maritime innovation and enhance US security and competitiveness,” said President Parlange. “This collaborative effort aligns well with the University’s broader ambitions to advance innovation and research in the blue economy and to align strategic investments to be complementary, as we work together to making New England the nation’s leading region for ocean science and technology.”
URI faculty and staff will collaborate in areas where the partners have strengths and where collaboration creates greater opportunity to accelerate advances in maritime technology. Areas of focus include renewable energy and climate science, manned and unmanned underwater technologies, protection and resilience of critical national infrastructure and supply chains, and defense of the nation and its active against attacks in the physical and digital domains.
The Coalition will help fill gaps in regional capabilities, facilities and equipment between partners, investing in complementary assets that provide new capabilities or add needed capability. This new investment from MITER will complement current and planned facilities at URI, WHOI and NUWC, helping to ensure that Southern New England remains the Silicon Valley of the underwater technology world.
Holding approximately 575,000 gallons of water, the lab’s test tank will be the longest and one of the largest freshwater tanks available in the region. It will support research, testing and rapid prototyping in the fields of acoustic sensing, acoustic communications, unmanned underwater vehicles, maritime autonomy and climate science research and development. The lab will be open to government agencies, research organizations, startups and commercial enterprises, and is expected to begin operations in late 2022..
Additionally, through this new partnership, MITER will expand its NERVOUS network to connect physical labs to each of the BlueSEA Coalition sites, providing its unique institutional capabilities and infrastructure for real-time testing and cross-organization collaboration. This will create an unparalleled collection of connected research capabilities focused on maritime technology
“With the BlueTech Lab marine test facility, MITER is once again paving the way for the advancement of underwater science and testing,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA). “Together, this lab and our great research institutions will foster a collaborative ecosystem that will help us address the climate crisis we face.”
“The challenges of tomorrow will require the combined efforts of government, academia, industry and the not-for-profit sector. I am so excited that the BlueTech Lab is working hard to create the infrastructure necessary to meet these challenges,” said Representative Seth Moulton (MA-06). “MITER’s commitment to researching and developing next-generation technologies is essential to our continued fight against climate change and will simultaneously help strengthen our national security, two extremely important goals for the future of our country. I look forward to working closely with the MITER team to solve some of the toughest problems facing our country and achieve significant advancements in maritime technology.
“By developing one of the largest freshwater reservoirs in the region, MITER is making a vital investment in the blue economy and tackling climate change in the process,” said Representative Jake Auchincloss (MA-04 ). “The BlueTech Lab is another reason New England is leading the way in innovation and discovery.”
“WHOI is a global leader in ocean science, engineering and marine operations, and this collaboration is an important step to help accelerate ocean discovery and innovation,” said Peter de Menocal, President and CEO of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “We are thrilled to be part of this new national resource, as we advance understanding of the ocean and its importance to the planet.”
“We are excited to continue our collaborations with all of these great organizations,” said Dr. Jason Gomez, Chief Technology Officer, NUWC Division Newport. “The North East has always been the leader in the development of underwater technologies, and with increased reliance and opportunities in the underwater realm, we must combine the complementary capabilities of government, academia and industry. to grow the blue economy and provide our fleet with the advanced capabilities they need.
“MassChallenge is pleased to be a founding member of the Northeast BlueSEA Coalition. We believe this coalition represents more than just a commitment to advancing innovation, it is a commitment to collaboration that brings together the strengths of our region,” said Hope Hopkins, General Manager of Early Stage New Programs. England at MassChallenge. “Critical infrastructure and access to facilities such as the new MITER BlueTech Lab on which we inaugurated today are essential for blue technology entrepreneurs looking to prototype, pilot and validate their technologies. The opportunity we unlocked today will have a lasting impact on the future of maritime innovation in New England and around the world.