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The Office for Technology Transfer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is committed to amplifying the impact of WHOI innovations through technology advancement and successful licensing. Through strategic collaborations with industry and academic partners - WHOI aims to move technologies from lab to marketplace.


Browse innovative WHOI technologies & licensing opportunities below or contact the Office for Technology Transfer to discuss other opportunities to help transition WHOI technologies to the marketplace.


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Learn more about previous WHOI startups and ways to get involved with new ventures.

Technologies Available for licensing

  • All
  • Aquaculture
  • Environmental Technologies
  • Ocean Robotics
  • Ocean Sensors & Equipment

Doppler Shift Navigation

An underwater, doppler-based acoustic navigation system uses a single hydrophone and at least one acoustic source to enable multiple AUVs to follow the acoustic source at relative positions. Additional acoustic sources further promote complex following patterns and precision.

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Dynamic Electric Motor

This technology is a novel Brushless DC (BLDC) motor system. The design is intended to decouple the torque constant from the speed constant in the BLDC motor system. This allows efficient torque and speed to be independent. The system couples two BLDC motors to a single shaft, with the first motor optimized for torque and coupled via a sprag bearing clutch. The second motor is optimized for speed and is directly coupled to the shaft. The outcome is a motor that is efficient over a large operating range

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Microplastics Detection & Identification

The Microplastics Sensor differentiates between plastic and non-plastic particles in a liquid sample in a real-time, flow-through microplastics sensor. The sensor can make rapid detections in minutes without the possibility of contaminating the sample and has proven potential for development into a real-time, in-situ, low-cost microplastics sensor

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AutoBOD-2: In-Line, Real-Time Biological Oxygen Demand Sensor

AutoBOD-2 technology brings reagent-free, real-time BOD measurement and process control capability to the wastewater treatment arena, providing data for control of aeration for optimal digestion.

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Improved Marine Profiler

A low-drag, flow-aligning profiler that pivots both horizontally and vertically to orient with the incident current flow to minimize drag. Enabling longer deployment times and significantly improved data acquisition.

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CHANOS Marine Carbonate Detection Instrument

The Channelized Optical System (CHANOS) uses a modular design that is capable of making simultaneous spectrophotometric measurements of seawater DIC and pH.

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AutoBOD-1 Real-Time Wastewater Biological Oxygen Demand Sensor

AutoBOD-1, a carousel benchtop commercial prototype designed to replace the current EPA mandated 5-day BOD test, has been developed and is currently in proof of concept studies to validate the underlying technology and garner EPA and customer acceptance.

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Automated Ground Water Seepage & Toxicity Meter

Automated Ground Water Seepage & Toxicity Meter Inventor: Matthew Charette Publication No. US7637168 B2   Overview: Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) can carry nutrients and pollutants into salt marshes, coastal waters, bays, coral reefs and other vulnerable areas potentially leading to environmental problems including eutrophication and the deterioration of the natural ecology. The study of the flow,…

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Asymmetric Thruster

In 2017, WHOI engineers Jeff Kaeli and Robin Littlefield entered the WHOI Office for Technology Transfer Pitchathon, intending to win translational funds to advance what was then just an idea, the Asymmetric Thruster. This novel propulsion system, now a patented and demonstrated technology, produces forward thrust - as with a traditional multi-bladed propeller - but what is unique about the Asymmetric Thruster is that it also allows you to steer without any additional control surfaces. By altering the speed of rotation within a single revolution using just a single blade - the Asymmetric Thruster both propels and maneuvers. The simplified design, eliminating the need for fins, rudders, and additional motors, reduces weight, drag, and cost. Two years later, the team licensed this innovative technology, launched a startup company: ARMADA Marine Robotics, Inc., and are now looking to revolutionize marine submersibles.

via ARMADA Marine Robotics

Compact Marine Winch

Commercial and research operations require winches for hauling and retrieval in marine environments. Their many applications make them valuable, and often necessary, pieces of equipment. Currently available marine winches have large on-deck footprints, are difficult to service, are single purpose, require costly task specific fabrications, and are immobile once installed on deck. This lightweight, compact winch is a small footprint, frameless winch adaptable for a variety of marine applications. The winch is capable of hauling and supporting heavier loads, all while being lighter than traditional winch designs.

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