On July 10, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce and NOAA launched the Ocean-Based Climate Resilience Accelerators program, a $60 million investment in coastal resilience and American small businesses through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.
The program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, will foster public-private partnerships to help support small businesses that are developing sustainable technologies geared toward climate resilience to attract capital, mature their technologies and scale their business models for climate impact.
“To tackle the urgent threat that climate change poses, we need all hands on deck — that means the public and private sectors — to develop next generation technologies and innovations that will bolster climate resilience and protect our future,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
“Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are ensuring that America’s small businesses — the backbone of our economy — are part of developing climate solutions that make our communities healthier and local economies stronger,” she explained.
Accelerators are private entities that support the development of innovative early to mid-stage businesses with training, resources, mentorship and seed funding, with the aim of bringing products to market.
“The outcome we’re expecting is an expansion of ocean enterprise public private partnerships and sustainable business models for high-impact ocean-based climate technologies, products and services that can help tackle the twin goals of climate resilience and adaptation,” said Carl C. Gouldman, director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Office.
NOAA will invest in business accelerators that bring together stakeholders to understand how ocean observation technologies and information services can support solutions to specific climate resilience challenges, and foster sustainable business models geared towards climate resilience.
“Climate change impacts every community in America, and the need for climate resilience is growing rapidly,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.
“Facing this challenge requires the active participation of government, the private sector, academia, tribes and stakeholders to find effective resilience strategies. This accelerator program creates a forum for those communities to come together and advance our capacity for resilience,” he continued.
The program will form partnerships with and fund eligible U.S.-based organizations to develop business accelerators to identify and support small businesses across ocean-based climate resilience theme areas to attract capital, mature their technologies, and scale their business models for climate impact and economic prosperity.
Those theme areas are:
- Ocean-based renewable energy.
- Coastal and ocean carbon sequestration monitoring and accounting.
- Hazard mitigation and coastal resilience.
- Ecosystems services, including change detection, change analysis and change adaptation and mitigation.
- Other ocean, coastal and Great Lakes-based climate resilience theme areas as determined by the applicant.
“With this program, NOAA is boosting the potential for novel and innovative solutions to create climate resilience by advancing public-private partnerships,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “This not only benefits coastal communities, but also supports our nation’s growing blue economy.”
The program is a two-phase competitive funding opportunity. Phase one, open for applications through September 11, 2023, will fund selected projects with up to $250,000 per project for accelerator program design.
The second phase of the competition will invite all applicants selected in phase one to apply for funding of up to $10 million each to implement their program design.
Photo of towed camera system courtesy of NOAA.