Skip to content


From the Director:

2023 proved to be another year of growth for WHOI innovation, entrepreneurship, & licensing programs. This past year we celebrated exciting new highs for the institution - in particular, our highest revenue year to date, both from royalties and licensing revenues alone and from new, additional funding streams brought into the institution as a result of successful licensing. These totaled over $1.1 million into the institution as a result of technology transfer activities. OTT rolled out new educational programming, welcomed new staff and business development capabilities, and introduced new resources to share exciting Bluetech news and opportunities with the WHOI community. All of this is possible because we have the privilege of working with WHOI researchers each day to help their work have broad, far-reaching impact.

Throughout 2023, WHOI innovators, through a culture of curiosity and innovation, pursued creative solutions to timely problems. You’ll see in the following report the breadth of innovative solutions coming from WHOI’s research - from new sensors, to materials, to advances in vehicles and navigation. Their applications and impact were broad and far-reaching. Our success as an institution in creating real-world solutions is thanks to the depth of knowledge and experience held by WHOI staff, in working in one of the most challenging environments on the planet. The success in translating those ideas and innovations into real-world solutions comes from your willingness to dedicate time and energy to the technology transfer program. OTT can only further the mission of the institution so long as innovative and impactful solutions continue to be created by WHOI staff.  To all WHOI innovators, thank you for your hard work and dedication!

We look forward to continuing this momentum throughout 2024.

~Allison Markova

Impact At A Glance

In Revenue (including royalties & license fees)
Brought into WHOI via SBIR/STTR awards from licensed WHOI technologies
New Technology Disclosures
New Patent Applications
Issued Patents

2023 Intellectual Property Filings

Advancing Technology and Supporting Inventors

In 2023, OTT:

Funded innovations with impact potential

Thanks to funds from licensed technologies along with generous donors to the Atlantis Invention Fund, OTT was able to support the advancement of technologies with commercial potential – distributing $200,000 in funding to projects through the Translational Research Funding Program (TRFP). OTT also aimed to make funding available to more of the WHOI community through a simplified application process. Learn more about awarded projects below and find out how to apply for next year’s awards here:

Explore TRFP

Expanded education and entrepreneurial resources available to the WHOI community

Throughout 2023 OTT launched resources to help WHOI innovators navigate IP disclosure and management, licensing technology, starting a company, and so much more. Some of these resources included a startup bootcamp, an Inventor’s Guide to Technology Transfer at WHOI, a new inventor disclosure portal, and an Introduction Guide to Technology Licensing for WHOI inventors in collaboration with Mintz.

Delivered relevant market research to innovators

OTT continued to support business strategy and IP decisions with market research. In 2023, OTT shared more of this research with innovators curious to make efficient technology development decisions and improve commercial potential of their innovations.

Launched NSF I-Corps training program

OTT provided opportunities for WHOI innovators to take part in NSF I-Corps Training Program through MIT's Spark Program. Spark is a free, regional I-Corps short program designed for STEM researchers as an entry level path to explore research, innovation, and commercial value. Spark is available for individuals and teams. Participants in the program engage in customer discovery to learn how to identify valuable product opportunities from academic research. Participants who complete the Spark program are eligible to apply for the Fusion Program. In this program, each team can receive a microgrant (up to $1,500) for further customer discovery. By participating in Spark and Fusion, participants may be qualified to apply for the National NSF I-Corps Program which comes with a grant of up to $50,000.

Each year, OTT awards applied research funding to projects with commercial potential in need of further technology advancement. These funds come from a combination of WHOI's royalty stream from licensed technology and generous donors to the Atlantis Invention Fund. Congratulations to the two projects awarded funded for 2023!

Development, validation, and translation of eco-informed design tools for plastic products

Collin Ward

Awarded: $100,000

Autonomous Sediment Corer Sampler

Casey Machado

Awarded: $100,000

OTT Actively Engaged with WHOI Innovators Throughout 2023

Awarded in internal funding
New WHOI employees educated
Internal BlueTech Bulletin Subscribers
Market research delivered to WHOI inventors
Educational sessions hosted

Hosted Education Sessions

In 2023, innovators were able to meet with OTT through department presentations and institution-wide Lunch & Learns. These informal gatherings allowed WHOI scientists, researchers, engineers, and more to learn about intellectual property, the technology transfer process, & think creatively about their work in the context of commercial applications.

Hosted 20 OTT New Employee Orientation Sessions

OTT welcomed over 100 new employees to WHOI and introduced them to the Office for Technology Transfer. OTT's new hire presentations educate new employees on the tech transfer process, intellectual property basics, how to know when to contact OTT, and resources available at WHOI. This first point of contact helps to make OTT more accessible and introduces new staff to the opportunities available to them through OTT.

Introduced the BlueTech Bulletin Newsletter

In the second half of 2023, OTT rolled out a bi-weekly newsletter sharing the latest OTT news, events and speakers on campus, recent IP filings, upcoming industry conferences and webinars, and the latest news in the bluetech economy. The goal of the newsletter is to promote entrepreneurial thinking, provide and promote new resources, and share the latest news from OTT. This newsletter has proved to be an exciting new addition within the WHOI community and is poised to grow!

OTT Actively Engaged with Industry

Represented WHOI as a Leader in Bluetech at Events & Conferences

Throughout 2023, OTT represented WHOI at various Bluetech Events & Conferences, making valuable industry connections and continuing to spread the word about technology and opportunities at WHOI. Some events attended include:

  • Blue Innovation Symposium
  • XOCEAN Open House
  • BlueSwell Demo Day
  • Space Week @ MIT
  • Blue Venture Investment Summit
  • Association of University Technology Managers Annual Conference

Led Over 300 Industry Interactions

OTT actively engaged in licensing discussions, market research, networking, industry collaborations, and explore partnership and industry opportunities related to WHOI innovation.

Individual companies/organizations interacted with
of interactions were industry networking conversations
of interactions were industry collaboration & partnership discussions
of interactions were industry licensing discussions