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NOAA, DOE Reveal ‘Discover’ Phase Winners in Ocean Observing Prize Challenge

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Energy have named the 11 winners of a competition that sought concepts pairing ocean observation platforms with marine renewable energy systems.

NOAA said Thursday the “Discover” stage of the Powering the Blue Economy: Ocean Observing Prize challenge encouraged participants to create technology ideas for ocean communications and underwater navigation; unmanned vehicles; extreme environments; buoys, floats and tags; and “blue sea” innovation.

CalWave Power Technologies will receive $25K as the grand prize winner and 10 other finalists will get $10K each.

The winners seek to help scientists understand the world’s oceans as well as forecast and trace tropical storms. Winning submissions include a mobile wave energy converter and a self-charging power, data and sensor node.

The competition’s follow-on phase, “Develop,” will focus on a subset of the previous stage’s themes and involve design, development and testing tasks. Participation in the next stage, which offers up to $3M in prizes, is not limited to “Discover” participants.

NOAA and DOE introduced the challenge in November to explore approaches for collecting data across 80 percent of the ocean floor.