July 13, 2012—Ocean Optics (Dunedin, Flor., U.S.A.) has announced the second year of its innovative Blue Ocean Grants program, which provides up to US$100,000 for the development of innovative and novel optical sensing technologies with commercial market potential. The application period opened in June with a deadline of 1 September 2012.

The international Blue Ocean Grants program, which is open to academic and industry applicants, seeks innovative and novel proposals that use optical sensing to solve challenging problems and improve the world. The grants are divided into two phases: Phase I grants fund initial evaluation and development of technologies in up to ten $10,000 grants; Phase II grants, selected from the pool of Phase I winners, are up to $100,000 each to help a proposed technology go from proof-of-concept to commercialization.

The winners of the 2011 grants funded innovations ranging from high-performance fiber Bragg grating sensing using Ocean Optics spectrometers (Kate Sudgen) to emerging applications including real-time produce spectroscopy (Eric Smith), on-site rapid asbestos detection and identification (Frank Rutten) and low-cost optical pH sensors (Bo Yang).
Ocean Optics benefits from the grant program from the potential opportunities to license the resulting technologies.

Ocean Optics chief technology officer, Jason Eichenholz, and a panel of independent photonics experts choose the grant recipients based on scientific prowess, out-of-the-box thinking, technical merit, potential commercial viability, and the ability of the solution to change the world for the better. The application involves two fundamental questions: What do you want to do to change the world for the better, and how are you going to do it?

For more on the program, please see this Ocean Optics video. Interested applicants can submit an abstract via this online form.