The NSF grant, formally titled “SBIR Phase I: Sonar Arrays for Maximizing Aquaculture Yields,” will support Minnowtech’s product optimization and enable field trials for the next 12 months.
“We’ve spent a lot of time visiting with shrimp farmers in Asia, Europe and the Americas to gain a deep understanding of their needs,” says Minnowtech CEO Suzan Shahrestani, PhD, who will lead the SBIR grant project. “The turbid water that shrimp thrive in hides from the farmer knowledge of how many shrimp are there, making over or under-feeding the norm.”
With over $45 billion of shrimp grown on farms last year and 5% continued growth rates of aquaculture globally, according to Research and Markets, Minnowtech and its team of marine scientists are focused on maximizing farmers’ efficiency to meet demand.
Minnowtech’s SBIR grant was issued as part of NSF’s America’s Seed Fund program within the agency’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships’ Directorate of Engineering.
The NSF, which has a $8.1 billion FY19 budget, supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering in the US. The NSF annually receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and issues roughly 12,000 new funding awards.
Minnowtech is an aquaculture technology company, based in Baltimore, MD, that provides a software imaging platform enabling shrimp farmers to estimate shrimp abundance with precision. Using Minnowtech’s data-based imaging tool, shrimp farmers optimize the health and growth of their hatcheries, enhancing harvest of market-size shrimp while minimizing risks to juvenile shrimp.