The 2017 Saltonstall-Kennedy (SK) Grant Competition is here, and NOAA is hosting a webinar to prepare applicants to get through the application process.
Approximately $10 million will be available to support fisheries projects in this grant competition. The proposal process is open on Grants.gov on July 22, 2016, and will close on December 9, 2016. New for this year is the requirement to submit a pre-proposal in advance of a full proposal submission. The pre-proposal process is intended to provide an indication to potential applicants of the technical merit and the relevancy of the proposed project to the SK program before preparing a full proposal.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is now offering competitive grants to qualified small businesses. This program aims to support innovation that tackles scientific problems and local opportunities that can lead to improving communities. Aquaculture projects are encouraged to apply, especially concepts that look at issues such as reproductive efficiency and health management, among others.
Phase 1 includes grants up to $100,000 for a duration of 8 months, and will be awarded to businesses in order to create conceptual designs at a small scale. Once this proof-of-concept has been created, SBIR will open Phase 2, which will award larger grants to winning concepts in order to implement the ideas. Since 1983, 200 grants have been awarded through the program. The due date to apply is October 6, 2016.
Dr Fred Conte, Extension Aquaculture Specialist at the University of California, Davis, recently shared an upcoming study being lead by the Western Regional Aquaculture Center (WRAC) through the California Aquaculture Association newsletter. This study aims to look into the economic impact regulations have on the Aquaculture industry across the west coast. The research team will look at the shellfish and trout industries in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, and Idaho, using industry surveys as well as state and federal agency input to compile an economic analysis.
The 3-year study hopes to increase the understanding across stakeholder groups of how the regulatory process effects the industry and communities. The results of the study and related materials will be shared with stakeholders via internet, newsletters, and follow up meetings. A webinar for the general public is also being planned.
The research team consists of Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director Mr. Gary Fornshell, University of Idaho; and Co-Principal Investigators Ms. Bobbi Hudson, Pacific Shellfish Institute (WA), Dr. William Hanshumaker, Oregon State University; and Dr. Fred Conte, University of California, Davis. The Industry Advisor is Mr. Bill Dewey, Taylor Shellfish Co. (WA). The Project Monitor will be Dr. Gunnar Knapp, of the University of Alaska.
Aquaculture Business Incubator Taking Proposals in San Diego
In the interest of promoting local business and sustainable seafood, the Port of San Diego has created a process to support local development concepts with their first business incubator – and it’s aimed at aquaculture. The Aquaculture Business Incubator will further the Port’s broader mission to promote fisheries, commerce, navigation, and recreation, by focusing on aquaculture partnerships. And they are ready to receive proposals immediately.
On February 9th, 2015, NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, highlighted the importance of improving seafood sustainability at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit keynote in New Orleans, LA. Highlighting the environmental, social, and economical issues, including the need for aquaculture to “play a larger role in United States fisheries” and to make our “aquaculture communities more resilient”.
“The US industry struggles to establish and maintain a foothold in part because of regulatory uncertainty and other challenges. And as a consequence of that, we export advanced technology, feed, equipment, and other investments to producers around the world. It’s time we put a stop to that. Let’s start using more of this U.S.-developed technology and expertise here to help pave the way for a more robust industry in the United States, and stop exporting jobs to other countries that are more aquaculture friendly.”
Thirty years ago in Tomales Bay, John Finger started an oyster farm with just $500. But, today he acknowledges it is much more difficult to start a shellfish company in California.
“Starting was easier back in the day,” he told an audience of shellfish growers, government regulators and other aquaculture stakeholders. “Expanding business is an onerous process. How do we reconcile industry and regulatory needs?”