“Blue Incubator & AltaSea will be USA's BlueTech bookends.” B. Zonis, CleantechOpen

FAQs with Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. Kevin Ulmer


Frequently Asked Questions

This photo is of Dr. Ulmer about to jump into the pool at the New England MATE ROV Competition hosted by the Sandwich STEM Academy.  Dr. Ulmer serves on the Science Advisory Board at the Academy and volunteers "in the water" for the competitions each year - he has "the best view in the house" of the students‘ work in underwater robotics.

Q: Why a blue tech incubator?

KU:  “There has never been a more critical need for novel technologies to monitor and explore our oceans and fresh water systems that are rapidly changing in highly unpredictable ways due to climate disruption, over fishing, pollution, resource extraction and even new military threats.”

Q: Are there solutions to all these problems?

KU: “The solution lies with novel, low-cost autonomous platforms and equally low-cost arrays of sensors as the world’s manned research fleet shrinks and becomes excessively expensive to operate.”

Q: What exactly does an “incubator” do?

KU: “We will host, support and mentor a broad array of exciting entrepreneurial “blue tech” startups with their diverse solutions and approaches to these globally-important challenges and look to shepherd them to success in this unique “nest” we are building here in Plymouth. Phase I is focused primarily on aquaculture, blue tech for marine environments, and an array of analytics/IoT. Phase II will expand into drinking water and wastewater.”

Q: Aren’t there enough places like this already in the northeast?

KU: “While somewhat similar facilities exist in the region, they are scattered geographically and are often inaccessible to the smaller startups due to expense, red tape and logistics. By consolidating everything they need in this unique facility with fees matched to their state of development we expect to break down this barrier and allow our tenants to flourish.”

Q: Are you working with any of the area community and educational groups?

KU: “The Blue Incubator also plans to engage students at all levels throughout the region by supporting STEM programs and hosting workshops and marine robotics competitions to instill a new, deeper appreciation for the ocean at our doorstep, the challenges we face, and the opportunities for education and employment that will flow from our shared love of the sea.” 

Q: How will people outside of Plymouth get here?

KU: “The Commuter Rail terminus in Cordage Park is another truly unique asset for the Blue Incubator. Such direct access to Boston and Cambridge is simply not available to places like Woods Hole, New Bedford or Fall River. We look forward to expanding ridership on the line with commensurate increases in service in the coming years.”

Q: Can you give me an example of what kind of companies will be there?

KU: “Riptide Autonomous Systems is the “poster child” for the type of company we hope to nurture at the Blue Incubator. Started on Jeff Smith’s kitchen table in Pembroke with an idea and a credit card, Riptide pioneered the development of the world’s lowest-cost Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) at the Greentown Labs incubator in Somerville, but moved to space in Cordage Park earlier this year to be closer to home and the ocean.”


Q: What will it take to reach its full potential?

KU: “The full potential of the Blue Incubator will require 24/7 access to the water, one of our most unique assets, but that will require dredging to create a basin off of the boat yard and a channel to connect us to the deep water, a challenge not unique to us, and we look forward to working closely with the other stakeholders in the region to address this critical need for our oceanfront community.”

Q: In a nutshell, how would you summarize the Blue Incubator?

· First oceanfront blue tech incubator on the eastern seaboard

· Access by rail, air, road, and sea

· Public Benefit Corporation

· Enabling blue tech, aquaculture & clean water companies to grow, thrive and survive

We Offer:  *Technical Support   *Business growth   *Investment Opportunities