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D’Works Marine Technology Initiative for Massachusetts Startups

The D'Works Marine Technology Initiative makes funding available to young and growing Massachusetts companies to address/solve technical or testing challenges with a new product or technology.  Become a D’Works Innovator – we would love to work with you!

Why Apply

This program is funded by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Innovation Institute in partnership with WHOI’s Consortium for Marine Robotics.  The purpose of this new initiative by WHOI's Consortium for Marine Robotics is to advance the state of high technology in the ocean in order improve the ability to observe and work throughout the world’s varied marine environments.  It will pursue this goal by allocating specialized resources and expertise to promising entrepreneurs and young companies so they can attract the next stage of funding and business resources to reach success.  This effort will seek to advance multiple categories of technology, including sensors, robotics research platforms and vehicles.

WHOI's Consortium for Marine Robotics (CMR) is now funding access for companies and entrepreneurs to the equipment and testing facilities that are unique to high technology in the marine environment. We  are working directly to help companies  meet key milestones in their business strategies and continue their development and growth.

Any company headquartered or operating in Massachusetts is eligible to apply. We encourage applications from minority and women-owned businesses.

How It Works

Each company participating in the Initiative will be provided access to a dedicated innovation funding account at WHOI’s Consortium for Marine Robotics against which it can charge specific costs:

  1. Facility access and use (see table below).
  2. Technical and engineering support in the use of those facilities.

A central criterion of this funding will be advancing the achievement of key milestones in technical and business development in order to introduce new products and services to the marine marketplace.

The funding will pay for access to critical fabrication and testing equipment and facilities at WHOI’s Consortium for Marine Robotics (CMR) that can create a pathway for robotic devices and systems to operate in a marine environment.

Funding can also provide access to other WHOI facilities and experts who can work directly with companies to implement and test technical and operating solutions for their projects.

Use of these funds can also help obtain membership in CMR’s Dunkworks Program for companies with suitable project requirements.

How to Apply

An ideal applicant will demonstrate the following in a 2-3 page written outline of its proposed project for which is it seeking a D’Works Charge Account:

  1. The specific milestones that will be achieved with this funding.
  2. A detailed, concise description of how the funding will advance the business planning and execution of its current business thinking toward those milestones. (No more than two pages.)
  3. An explanation of the markets that the product or service will address, including the size, expressed in dollars, of that market.
  4. An explanation of how a successful use of these funds will help this company move toward marketing and selling its products and services in the marketplace. This should include a description of other company resources and capabilities needed to implement the results of this work going forward.
  5. Verification that the company is based and operates in Massachusetts.

Example Facilities Available at WHOI for D’Works Innovator

FacilityWeb Link
DunkWorks (Advanced Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping Center)https://www2.whoi.edu/site/marinerobotics/dunkworks/
Pressure Test Facilityhttps://www.whoi.edu/what-we-do/explore/ships/marine-facilities-operations/marine-facilities-operations-support-services/pressure-test-facility/
Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatoryhttps://mvco.whoi.edu/infrastructure/
Dock & Dock Test Wellhttps://www.whoi.edu/what-we-do/explore/ships/marine-facilities-operations/iselin-marine-facility/
Main Shop (carpentry, electrical, mechanical)https://www.whoi.edu/website/facilities/skilled-trades
Dive Operationshttps://www.whoi.edu/what-we-do/explore/ships/marine-facilities-operations/marine-facilities-operations-support-services/diving-program/
Calibration Facilityhttps://www.whoi.edu/what-we-do/explore/ships/marine-facilities-operations/marine-facilities-operations-support-services/calibration-facility/
R/V Tiogahttps://www.whoi.edu/what-we-do/explore/ships/ships-tioga/

Are you ready to become a D’Works Innovator?

Applications are currently being accepted.

Questions? Contact Leslie-Ann McGee.