Three aquaculture funding opportunities were recently released by the National Sea Grant Office (https://seagrant.noaa.gov/News/Article/ArtMID/1660/ArticleID/2711/Sea-Grant-Announces-Funding-Opportunities-for-Aquaculture), and as we have learned more, would like to share further thoughts with interested parties and potential applicants.
Two of the calls are restricted to Sea Grant programs as applicants, with the goal to “build the capacity of Sea Grant and its partners to advance aquaculture”. The purpose of these calls is not to fund individual research projects, but rather they are meant to:
- support geographic or topic-based hubs for fully integrated, transdisciplinary research, outreach, and education that will provide broad, non-proprietary support and investment for building and/or enhancing an aquaculture industry in areas where a foundation of knowledge and activity currently exists (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=313199);
- support tool development, workshops, education, outreach, business planning, and/or trainings addressing geographic or topical aquaculture issues on topics where a minimal foundation currently exists (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=313202).
In addition to aligning with the National Sea Grant strategic plan and Aquaculture 10-year vision, projects meaningful in Connecticut would be ones aligned with the Connecticut Sea Grant strategic plan (https://seagrant.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1985/2017/04/CTSG-strategic-plan-2018-2021.pdf), whose current efforts are mostly focused on the Connecticut Shellfish Initiative (https://shellfish.uconn.edu/news-2/) and seaweed aquaculture industry. If you intend to partner with Sea Grant staff and contribute to building capacity, please engage Sea Grant staff by March 21 for the “Exploring New Aquaculture Opportunities” call, and by April 1 for the “Advanced Aquaculture Collaborative Programs” call.
A third call to support research to address critical gaps in social, behavioral, and economic knowledge as it relates to U.S. aquaculture and the communities impacted and served by it (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=313201) is open to PIs to apply directly to the national competition. However, if you intend to engage the participation of Connecticut Sea Grant staff, please do so by March 21. Whether or not you engage Sea Grant staff, we would appreciate an FYI if you are submitting to this competition.
I hope this helps clarify the intent and purpose of those funding opportunities. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss further.
Sylvain De Guise, Director
Connecticut Sea Grant