The Coast Guard has entered into an agreement with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego to establish a Blue Technology Center of Expertise (COE). The COE will provide opportunities for rapid identification, evaluation and transition of new blue technologies into Coast Guard capabilities.
The Coast Guard was authorized to establish the center by the 2018 Save Our Seas Act. Blue technology, as defined in the legislation, is any technology, system or platform designed for use above, on, or below the sea surface that can support or facilitate Coast Guard maritime domain awareness; search and rescue; emergency response; maritime law enforcement; marine inspections and investigations; or protection and conservation of the marine environment.
“This partnership with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is a significant step in bringing awareness of blue technologies to the Coast Guard, and provides an opportunity to study how those technologies can be used to enhance Coast Guard operational performance and mission readiness,” said Wendy Chaves, chief of the Coast Guard Office of Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, which will oversee the COE through its Innovation Program.
Scripps Oceanography is a leading center for global earth science research and education. Scripps has a long history of developing innovative technology to observe the planet, with scientists inventing and operating systems that monitor, study and predict environmental events. The institution is home to significant programs such as the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP), an extensive network for monitoring waves and beaches along the U.S. coastlines, and HF-Radar Network, which delivers near-real time ocean surface current measurements through a network of shore-based radar systems. Scripps also operates a fleet of four oceanographic research vessels.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Coast Guard to Scripps Institution of Oceanography,” said Margaret Leinen, UC San Diego’s vice chancellor for marine science and director of Scripps Oceanography. “This close proximity will be mutually beneficial and help foster the transfer of knowledge, inspire collaboration and education, and leverage the blue technology expertise on our campus and in San Diego as a whole.”
The COE will also enable sharing and dissemination of blue technology information between the Coast Guard and the private sector, other federal agencies, academia and nonprofit organization, and increase awareness among blue technology manufacturers, entrepreneurs and vendors of Coast Guard acquisition policies, procedures and business practices.
A COE, broadly defined, is a group of people from different disciplines who work together to improve expertise in certain areas. 14 U.S. Code § 313 allows for Coast Guard establishment of COEs and authorizes joint operation of these centers with an institution of higher education.