NSF’s Convergence Accelerator invests $30 million to further develop prototypes for practical application to improve the ocean ecosystem

NSF’s Convergence Accelerator, a TIP program, is tackling challenges related to climate, sustainability, food, energy, pollution and the economy.

With a $30 million investment, NSF has selected 6 of the 16 multidisciplinary teams aligned to the program’s Track E: Networked Blue Economy and the 2021 cohort, Phase 1 program, to advance into Phase 2.

Launched in 2019, the Convergence Accelerator — a Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, or TIP, program — builds upon NSF's investment in basic research and discovery to accelerate solutions toward societal and economic impact. Convergence Accelerator multidisciplinary teams use convergence research fundamentals and innovation processes to stimulate innovative idea sharing and development of sustainable solutions.

The program’s Track E builds upon NSF’s mission of accelerating convergence research across ocean sectors — including creating a smart, integrated, connected and open ecosystem for ocean innovation, exploration and sustainable use. Collectively, Phase 2 teams are producing tools, methods and educational resources to improve human engagement with the world's oceans.

"A convergence approach between academic researchers, industry, government, nonprofits and other communities is vital to developing solutions to address unresolved ocean-wide challenges related to the blue economy," said Douglas Maughan, head of the NSF Convergence Accelerator program. "The teams selected for Phase 2 are building solutions and strong partnerships to improve human engagement with the ocean and to tackle some of the most pressing ocean-related challenges such as plastic waste and coastal erosion. Within the next two years, we expect the teams to provide high-impact deliverables that will be sustained beyond NSF support."

Learn more about the Convergence Accelerator program and NSF-funded teams by visiting the full award announcement.