BlueTech New England:
Bringing Innovative Tech to Oceans and Waterfronts
Is bluetech the next big tech cluster to launch in Boston? The maritime economy is a significant economic driver in New England. In Massachusetts alone, it generated a total statewide economic impact of $18 billion in output (sales) in 2015. Investment dollars are starting to flow into the space as exemplified by Saildrone’s recent $60M Series-B raise for autonomous sailboats for big ocean data and that Ynsect has cumulatively raised over $30M to farm insects as alternative fish feed. Given the global importance of the ‘blue economy’ and Greater Boston’s tech prowess, there is a tremendous opportunity to take the lead in innovating the oceans and waterfronts.
This BlueTech Night event will bring technologists, scientists, startups, corporations and other ocean stakeholders to discuss building this new cluster by applying innovative tech like AI, robotics, sensors, AR / VR and others to improve ocean sustainability, coastal resiliency, and the urban coast’s environmental footprint.
Brought to the community by:
AGENDA AT A GLANCE
4:00 – 4:15 PM Introduction to BlueTech and SeaAhead
4:15 – 4:30 PM Keynote with Rajiv Singh, Managing Partner, Grandview Capital Partners
4:45 – 5:45 PM Opportunities for Innovation in BlueTech
5:30 – 8:00 PM BlueTech Demos
6:00 – 7:15 PM BlueTech Shark Tank
7:30 – 8:30 PM Reverse Pitches & Breakouts
BLUE TECH NIGHT
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM Introduction to BlueTech
Learn more about the “blue economy” and the imperative for a “bluetech” innovation cluster to address the sector’s challenges. Meet the thought-leaders behind SeaAhead – an organization that is working across many stakeholders to leverage the region’s key assets to establish a world-class bluetech sector.
Mark Huang was recently Providence’s Economic Development Director, where he focused on the Innovation ecosystem and developed an Urban Food strategy. Prior to his work in Providence, Mark, as a co-founder, led the formation of Novus Energy Partners, a US-Norwegian cleantech VC fund, which was later followed by Tolero Ventures. Prior to that, Mark was with GE for 10 years and as a Senior Vice President of GE Energy Financial Services, he co-led the effort to re-start GE’s cleantech venture investing efforts. In the maritime sector, Mark has worked in shipbuilding and as a naval architect. Mark also served for 13 years as an officer in the US Army Reserves. He was mobilized in 2003 to Baghdad where he focused on nation-building. He is currently a US director of Alfanar, the only venture philanthropy non-profit focused on the Arab world, and Tern, a Taiwan-based urban mobility company. Mark holds an MBA and Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University & a BS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Webb Institute.
4:15 PM – 4:30 PM Keynote with Rajiv Singh
Managing Partner at Grandview Capital Partners, Co-Chairman of FoodShot Global, and former CEO of Rabobank North America Wholesale Banking
Rajiv Singh is the Managing Partner at Grandview Capital Partners, a multi-stage investment firm he is involved in starting after recently leaving as the CEO of Rabobank North America Wholesale Banking. In his role at Rabobank, as a special focus on innovation, he led the launch of platforms like Foodbytes and MIT Food Prize (pitch competitions in the food and agribusiness sectors), and Terra (a science and technology focused accelerator program for Food/Ag entrepreneurs, in collaboration with Rocketspace). Rajiv has broad principal investment, finance, corporate strategy and execution experience gained during his career at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, as well as at United Technologies and Nestle. Rajiv has been a member of Investment Committee at Arlon Food and Agriculture Partners LLC and the Board of Directors of Rabo Securities Canada, Inc., and chaired the board of Rabo Securities USA, Inc., as well as principal risk and investment committees at Rabobank North America. Rajiv is currently also a Senior Advisor to S2G Ventures. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the Indian Institute of Technology.
4:45 PM – 5:45 PM Opportunities to Innovate in BlueTech
Hear from industry thought-leaders about the opportunities for existing and new stakeholders to solve core industry challenges including data analytics, robotics, communications, navigation, and process optimization. Representatives from a variety of key stakeholders will be speaking on their unique perspectives, including shipping, supermarkets, offshore wind farm developers, insurance firms, and defense.
Kelly O’Brien, the Moderator, covers startups, venture capital and tech in Greater Boston.
Julie Ferland, General Manager, Shell TechWorks
Julie joined Shell TechWorks in March 2015 as Head of Program Management. Previously, Julie was Vice President of Engineering at Hydroid, developing marine robotic systems including REMUS AUV’s. She also held the position of Vice President and Principal Engineer at Maritime Applied Physics Corporation. Julie has focused her career on technology development and deployment, primarily for the US Department of Defense, including projects such as design and construction of the flight deck safety systems on Zumwalt Destroyers, integration of UAVs onto small-deck surface ships, development of unmanned surface vessels, and harvesting energy from subsea thermal vents. She has also served as an Engineering Duty Officer and Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy, working as a naval architect, a hardhat salvage diver and a gas turbine engineer. Julie holds an Engineer Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from MIT and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Harvard University.
Kendrick Repko is Head of Sustainable Retailing at Retail Business Services (a company of Ahold Delhaize – the parent company to Stop & Shop, Giant, Food Lion, and Hannaford supermarkets. Before merging with Delhaize, Kendrick launched the Social Compliance and Critical Commodities programs for Ahold USA. She is credited with developing strategies for social compliance and critical commodities and managing both programs in collaboration with buyers and merchants, Ahold corporate, and external industry groups. As a result, Stop & Shop and Giant have achieved their goal of 100% sustainable seafood, coffee and tea and that 90% of factories operating in high-risk countries are socially compliant.
David Dolan, Vice President, SLNC Ship Management
David Dolan is Vice-President of SLNC Ship Management. He is responsible for directing company-wide Ship Management activities. Prior to his current role, David served over the past twenty years as HSQE Director for TBS Shipping Service, TYCO Cable Ship Company and Vice-President of Marine Investigations, Marshall Island Administration. David earned a BA in History from the University of Toronto and an MS in International Trade & Transportation from SUNY Maritime College at Ft. Schuyler (Licensed USCG Officer). David is certified as an ISO 9001 and 14001 and OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor.
Christopher Sherman, President, Island Creek Oysters
As president of Massachusetts-based Island Creek Oysters, Christopher Sherman leads a company whose oysters have been at times on the menu of every Michelin-starred restaurant in the U.S., has become one of the nation’s foremost advocates for sustainable aquaculture. In addition, he presides over the company’s non-profit foundation, which has helped start fish farming businesses in Haiti and East Africa, bringing jobs and high-quality protein to needy communities. As the world’s population grows, experts estimate that food producers will need to double crop production by 2050. Focusing primarily on Spain and Colombia, two countries poised to capitalize further on their already developed aquacultures, Sherman is developing an online tool for evaluating the efficacy of aquaculture projects.
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM BlueTech Demos
Are you building innovative tech that could be applied to ocean sustainability, coastal resiliency, or improving the urban coast’s environmental footprint? Sign-up to demo your technologies during BlueTech Connect.
Deadline: September 13, 2018.
6:00 PM – 7:15 PM BlueTech Shark Tank
Are you building innovative tech that could be applied to ocean sustainability, coastal resiliency, or improving the urban coast’s environmental footprint? We are looking for out-the-box thinkers working in robotics, drones, sensors, AR / VR, navigation, AI, off-shore wind, software and more to pitch their bluetech applications. Apply to pitch investors funding in the BlueTech space. Six entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to pitch investors in the space. Stay tuned for details.
Deadline: September 13, 2018.
Moderator: Alissa Peterson, Executive Director, SeaAhead
Alissa Peterson was most recently the VP of Product Marketing & Planning at NanoSteel, an advanced materials company creating scalable solutions for vehicle lightweighting and 3D printing. Prior to NanoSteel, Alissa was Director of Product Marketing & Business Development at Primus Power, a venture-backed grid-scale energy storage technology company. Through her work at NanoSteel and Primus, she has managed business development, strategic planning, marketing, government relations, and M&A. Prior to her startup experience, Alissa was a consultant in McKinsey’s Global Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice in the US and Europe. She serves as a mentor through the Cleantech Open, MIT Clean Energy Prize and Year Up. Alissa holds a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a BS in Civil Engineering from Duke University.
Lisa Sebesta is Founder and Managing Partner of Fresh Source Capital. Fresh Source Capital provides capital to rebuild local food and agriculture systems. She posseses15 years experience in portfolio management and equity analysis for buy-side firms. Former Consultant and Senior Investor for Fair Food Fund. Founding Member of Sprout Lenders, LLC. On the leadership team of Slow Money Boston. Sits as an Advisory Board member of Recover Green Roofs. She holds a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She is a chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and member of Boston Security Analysts Society.
Jacob Grose is Investment Manager for BASF Ventures. He is Interested in making innovation in chemistry and biotechnology practical. In his role at BASF Venture Capital, he identifies, invests in, and works with innovative entrepreneurs in order to bring value to BASF and the greater community. He is Board member of NBD Nanotechnologies. His interests include asset-light business models, white biotechnology, and in-silico simulation.
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM BlueTech Reverse Pitch & Break-Out Sessions
Organizations operating in key areas of the marine and maritime sector will reverse-pitch technologists and entrepreneurs. This will be followed by the opportunity to break out into smaller rooms based on topic, in order to further discuss collaboration opportunities with corporates.
Carleen Lyden Walker is a veteran change agent for the marine industry. With a goal of continuous improvement and engagement, Carleen seeks to elevate and promote the value proposition of the industry she loves! She is the Chief Evolution Officer of SHIPPINGInsight, Co-Founder & Executive Director of NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association) and CEO of Morgan Marketing & Communications. She believes that while the maritime industry is propelled through this current period of change, that they have the option to stand on the sidelines and wait for change to meet them, but encourages the industry to engage in being an architect of solutions that are purpose-built for maritime and sustainability.
Dr. Michael Passow, IBM, Research Scientist
IBM Research is pioneering the most promising and disruptive technologies that will transform industries and society, including the future of AI, blockchain and quantum computing. Through a partnership with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and The Fund for Lake George, IBM Research is working on the Jefferson Project at Lake George to combine Internet of Things technology and powerful analytics with science to create a new model for environmental monitoring and prediction. The project is building a computing platform that captures and analyzes data from a network of sensors tracking water quality and movement. These sensor data are combined with other monitoring and experimental data to create a thorough understanding of the factors that drive the lake’s food web and overall water quality.
Kent Satterlee, Executive Director, the Gulf Offshore Research Institute
The Gulf Offshore Research Institute (GORI) is the non-profit that will orchestrate the conversion of retired offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico to alternate uses. These uses will be for research, education, and monitoring on the non-profit side and for renewable energy, offshore aquaculture, and ecotourism on the for-profit side. Renewable energy will power the platform as well as be stored for use in the deepwater offshore oil and gas industry. GORI is assembling a public-private partnership to fund the venture.
Alexander Dale, Sustainability Lead, MIT Solve
MIT Solve identifies and supports innovators with the best solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. One of Solve’s four 2018 Challenges is Coastal Communities, with specific topics including climate change, resilient infrastructure, ecosystem management, data and community decisions, and a sustainable blue economy. Solve has been working with the Hampton Roads region of Virginia throughout the year, helping to design and scope the Challenge, workshop solutions, and fund the best ideas from around the world with a $1 million investment fund through RISE, a Norfolk-based nonprofit. Coastal resilience requires many different stakeholders, and Solve is helping to find the technology innovations necessary for success.
Kate Masury, Program Director, Eating with the Ecosystem
Eating with the Ecosystem’s work fuses together the ecological knowledge of marine scientists and commercial fishermen, with the culinary creativity of the regions most innovative chefs, to support our marine ecosystems and promote the wild seafood they produce. Seafood is a subject area that overlaps many different disciplines from food systems work, to ecosystem and fisheries science, to economics in the marketplace, to culinary arts, and of course fisheries themselves. Because of seafood’s interdisciplinary nature, Eating with the Ecosystem’s work crosses all these disciplines in order to achieve our vision of transforming New England’s seafood marketplace into a support system for its local marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them. Their programming includes a combination of educational events, citizen science research, collaborative research with fisheries ecologists and economists, and awareness-raising through print, web, and signage work.
Thomas Carroll, Deputy Department Head, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport
The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering, analysis, and assessment, and fleet support capabilities for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, and offensive and defensive undersea weapon systems, and stewards existing and emerging technologies in support of undersea warfare. Executes other responsibilities as assigned by the commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
The Blue Economy encompasses the economic and intrinsic values generated in and around the ocean. It includes sectors such as fishing & aquaculture, ports and shipping, offshore energy generation, and ocean science. The OECD estimates the size of the global Blue Economy (excluding offshore oil and gas) to be >$1T.
With nearly 40% of humanity living within 100 km of the ocean, the rise of the global middle class, and a world population moving toward 9 billion, mankind’s demand from as well as our impact on the world’s oceans are becoming more acute.
The Blue Economy sectors outlined below represent areas where focused investment will have both strong economic and societal impact. Increasing global awareness and new policies centered on ocean sustainability, combined with advances in technology and digitization now present a double bottom line opportunity that we call bluetech. Many of these opportunities are a result of applying innovations made for other fields, such as data science, robotics, and service business models, into undercapitalized blue economy industries.
A few statistics can illustrate the opportunity:
- 90% of all global trade is transported by vessel
- ~3 billion people depend on seafood as a primary source of protein
- Near-term potential for 15 GW of new offshore wind power development off the US East Coast
- 8M tons/yr of plastic are dumped in the ocean
- Ship owners will spend >$50B on new systems for preventing transmission of invasive species
- The Ports of LA and Long Beach announced spending of $6-13B to reduce emissions
Given the importance that the blue economy has for humanity, there is now an enormous opportunity for cross-fertilization of recent technical advances from adjacent industries. Innovations in areas such as robotics and sensors could be leveraged to improve ocean sustainability, coastal resiliency, and the urban coast’s environmental footprint. From data science to VR/AR and materials development, enabling technologies have the potential to revolutionize this sector.
BlueTech Event Series 2019
BlueTech Innovation Night is just the beginning! Our 2019 schedule will feature a quarterly event series
Stay tuned for details.