SYNCHRO WANTS YOUR LOW-COST OCEAN TECH!

Deadline is January 31, 2024 to submit information on your low-cost technology, which will help guide Synchro’s decisions on what to purchase for their tech procurement program. The aim is to boost manufacturing and disseminate the tech further to more users.

Visit our low cost tech page for FAQs and a direct link to the Request for Information to read more about the background, requirements and how to submit.

Low-Cost Tech

Synchro is a UN Ocean Decade Project. And it’s all about Co-Design!

The Ocean Decade of the United Nations (2021-2030) has 271 projects that fall within its highlighted challenges. Of those 17 challenges, one is Ocean Observing C0-Design: Evolving Ocean Observing for a Sustainable Future, sponsored by The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).

Synchro landing page on UN website

Beneath that umbrella are a dozen projects, of which Synchro is one: Co-design for technology evolution! It’s a fantastic opportunity to be part of the larger GOOS community and recognized by the other UN-endorsed projects, especially on the topic of co-design, which is Synchro’s main engine.

But what is co-design?

Successful co-design is defined here as actions that:

  • Involve all concerned stakeholders
  • Engage all stakeholders throughout all stages (e.g. identification, production and dissemination)
  • Build on pre-existing relationships, networks and shared experiences and embraces transdiscplinary resource.

For a fantastic breakdown on co-design and how to bring that into an ocean program successfully, please click on resource below :

Co-design guidance document front page

Introducing Synchro: A Co-Designed Ocean Testbed for Technology Deployment

A collaboration to help meet growing demands for monitoring the ocean


In marine labs and technology start-ups around the world, innovative solutions are being developed that may never make it to the marketplace even if they offer a cost effective and high-quality alternative to present ocean observing tools. The reason? It’s often beyond the capacity of technology developers to navigate a complex, expensive and logistically challenging set of requirements to prove new technologies in real-world ocean conditions and to collaborate with potential users and stakeholders. Often called the “valley of death,” moving from early prototype development through these proving grounds to ready a new technology for widespread deployment can require ships, co-location on ocean platforms, and the formation of collaborative teams, including potential users, to provide valuable expertise and guidance.

Deploying a GO-BGC float off the R/V Paragon in Monterey Bay
Image: © Jared Figurski 2022 MBARI

Launching in early 2023, Synchro is designed to guide technology innovators through the valley of death by providing a co-design collaborative process and ocean testbed to bring critical new capabilities to the marine technology industry and valuable data streams to the ocean observing community. Centered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) Synchro’s support comes from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Oceankind and Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, Synchro, and a partnership with the Hakai Institute.  The first  call for applicants to gain access to testing and evaluation facilities will begin in the Monterey Bay area and British Columbia. 

Tech developers are encouraged to apply for the access and technical support to assess their systems in a variety of settings that the Synchro program offers, including: 

  • deploying equipment over the side of a ship
    Image: © 2014 MBARI

    Pier/wharf stations 

  • Buoy/mooring
  • Seawater pump fed laboratories 
  • Aquaculture facilities 
  • Drone platforms 
  • Coastal research vessels & boats

All marine tech concepts are welcome, whether the focus is on blue-sky discovery research tools or building a better, more efficient instrument set for ocean resource management and conservation. Synchro will work with successful applicants to build out operational and data lifecycle concepts that could connect their capabilities with the needs of scientists, managers, policy makers, and more.

Join the Synchro Network to hear about future developments and explore deeper involvement.