Washington, DCThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in conjunction with the United States Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center (USCG RDC), launched the “Environmentally Friendly Replacement for Buoy Mooring Systems” prize competition, with a maximum award of up to $290,000.

S&T and the USCG Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Program are seeking innovative technologies from individuals and entities to improve navigational buoy mooring systems so as to have minimal impacts on the ocean floor and environmentally sensitive areas.

“Improving our buoy mooring systems is critical,” said Dr. Reginald Brothers, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “Our current mooring system is outdated and hasn’t changed in decades. We want a system that is friendly to our ocean floors, especially in environmentally sensitive areas.”

Administered under the authority of the America COMPETES Act, this prize competition consists of up to three phases, two of which are optional. For Phase I, the Ideation Phase, there is a total cash purse of up to $40,000, with at least one cash prize of $10,000 and no award less than $10,000.Additional cash amounts would be awarded to successful competitors invited to participate in the Pilot Approach Plan and Pilot demonstration phases.

S&T and the Coast Guard are leveraging the benefits of crowdsourcing through this prize competition to gather innovative ideas for solving this complex, mission-critical problem.

“We are very excited about prospective innovative solutions to a complex problem,” said Coast Guard Capt. Bob Thomas, USCG RDT&E Program Manager. “A viable solution will significantly enhance environmental stewardship for this crucial subset of the Nation’s navigational system.”

Submissions must include a clear discussion and description of the proposed solution including equipment specifications, the environmental impact, and any accompanying graphics. The open period for submissions is from January 6 to February 12, 2016.

Learn more about the Environmentally Friendly Replacement for Buoy Mooring Systems ideation and multi-phase prize competition at https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933728 and in the Federal Register.  

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