The Marine Research Hub (MRH) hosted the fifth annual Summit during the 63rd Annual Fort Lauderdale Boat Show (FLIBS), sharing marine research and solutions with emerging commercialization potential. The Summit welcomed over 60 community members including potential investors, educators, and industry leader including blue economy supporters Representative Chip LaMarca and Representative Kelly Skidmore.
Three guest speakers shared innovative research and solutions including: Water Warriors; Kintra Fibers; and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Aquaculture.
Water Warriors, Inc., co-founder & CEO, Steve Chamberland, shared the innovative technology of their Poseidon Pellets. These pellets absorb phosphorus on contact, preventing algae blooms and loss of marine life by controlling the flow of nutrients. Water flows through the pellets traps the phosphorus, which then can be returned to the land as a fertilizer. The application of the pellets in Florida includes outflow: canals, wastewater, and agriculture flow to stop nutrients from reaching our coastal oceans. One guest was particularly interested in specific applications for the pellets at locations in Miami Dade county.
Kintra Fibers, Inc. Alissa Baier-Lentz, COO and co-founder, shared their new polyester that is bio-based, biodegradable, and compatible with standard manufacturing equipment. Kintra addresses the microfiber pollution and textile waste while delivering performance and price. Changing the use of traditional polyester which is fossil-fuel based and responsible for microplastic pollution in the oceans will have a positive impact on our environment and human health. With series A funding closing out and recognizable brands investigating the use of the product the future is bright for Kintra and the environment.
Dr. Jim Materson, Florida Atlantic University (FAU), shared the innovative aquaculture research and products at their facilities. Part of the FAU innovation in aquaculture is their Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) and Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), which cycles the whole system with no waste which makes for a more efficient process of aquaculture.
Two of the three presenters took part in Ocean Exchange 2022, held in Fort Lauderdale, October 23-25. Ocean Exchange event is a pitch competition for solutions with working prototypes that reduce waste and the use of nature’s resources while increasing productivity and respecting cultures around the world. MRH is one of the sponsors for the three cash awards totaling $300,000 along with a collegiate level award of up to $25,000. Ocean Exchange was previously held in Savannah, GA until 2019 when MRH helped bring the event to South Florida.
MRH Summit also introduced the new appointed executive director, Katherine O’Fallon, which took place following the 501(c)(3) being awarded state funding secured by State Representative Chip LaMarca earlier this year. Most recently, O’Fallon served as Marine Magnet Coordinator at New River Middle School where she successfully oversaw the implementation of curriculum in the classrooms, developed marketing strategies, and built partnerships within the community to expanded their marine science education.