MOTE and partners advance ocean research to benefit human health
Mote Marine Laboratory scientists are thrilled to take part in the first-ever Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge — an initiative of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation that aims to advance marine science and Southwest Florida’s “Blue Economy.”
This incentive-grant competition — likened to the XPRIZE for its focus on problem-solving innovation — is offering up to $500,000 in grants to promote meaningful solutions for enhancing Blue Economy pillars like marine science, technology, biomedicine, sustainable aquaculture, healthy fisheries and much more. Up to five teams will receive grants of $25,000 each to prototype their solutions. Then each team will present its prototype to the foundation’s Board of Directors, who will choose one team to receive up to an additional $375,000 to develop its solution for market.
The Challenge offers an exciting opportunity to build upon Florida’s significant, existing relationship with the ocean. Ocean-related economic activity contributed $17.5 billion to Florida’s gross domestic product as of 2010, according to a report from Florida Ocean Alliance.
Mote — an independent nonprofit institution dedicated to today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans — has a nearly $90-million statewide economic impact through its world-class marine science and technology development, public education and outreach.
“Mote is a leader in many of the research areas tied to our Blue Economy, but I think the Southwest Florida community doesn’t fully realize what a jewel they’ve helped create here — one of the world’s leading independent marine research institutions is right here in your backyard,” said Mote President and CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby.
Crosby said that the knowledge Mote gains from the sea is intended to have a major ripple effect. “As we make groundbreaking discoveries and develop new intellectual property, we actively seek venture groups that can build upon our results to help promote the long-term conservation sustainable use of the marine environment, while also improving the quality of life for our community and society in general.”
Mote scientists are leading or collaborating in several groundbreaking projects as part of the Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge. Below are highlights showing how Mote’s unique studies, and new partnerships emerging from them, could enable breakthroughs in human medicine and lay groundwork for science-based economic growth.