In 2013, Wendy Schmidt sponsored a two-year global competition to drive radical advances in ocean acidification measurement technology. The teams that competed and the innovative thinking they produced were catalytic to the founding of Schmidt Marine in 2015 — the unlimited potential for innovation in ocean technology was clear, as was the glaring lack of funding to propel it forward. Our team was created to fill that gap.
Thanks to our highly collaborative and partner-centered model, we run a small but effective ship that engages with a wide network of consultants, advisors, and specific sector experts to help us evaluate potential projects for funding, and to help funded groups achieve their goals.
Schmidt Marine Technology Partners is a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation.
Erika Montague, Ph.D.
Grace Ha, Ph.D.
Frequently asked questions
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We fund the development of novel technologies that solve ocean problems, with a focus on sustainable fisheries, ocean monitoring, and habitat health. We support a wide range of entities, including academic researchers, business startups, nonprofits and cross-entity partnerships. We are not currently funding projects related to renewable energy, marine plastic pollution, shipping efficiency, aquaculture, oil-spill clean up, or seasteading. We also do not fund basic scientific research.
Schmidt Marine does not make any claim on the intellectual property of the groups it supports. We fund primarily early-stage development of new technologies through grants and do not take any equity stake in exchange for this support. Our primary interest is in making technologies as widely available as possible, so we are also more than open to exploring open source models.
We generally accept admissions on a rolling basis. To begin the proposal process, we ask that you send us some basic information and a very short initial description of your project at our Proposal Portal. If your proposal is a potential fit for us, we will follow up to request additional information, including a more detailed proposal. We try to keep the process as simple as possible, so we’re happy to review proposals prepared for other purposes. We send proposals out for external review to our advisory panel, and relevant experts.
We have supported roughly 10% of reviewed projects to date.
We are happy to consider technologies in any development stage, but are mostly focused on early-stage development and cannot support basic science. . We typically begin supporting projects when they are in the 2-6 range on the Technology Readiness Level scale.
Generally, we provide 12-month grants. However, when we decide to support a project, we do so with the intention of helping it achieve scale, and we understand this is often a lengthy process. In most cases we continue to provide support on a year-to-year basis for as long as needed if sufficient progress is made in each grant cycle. As a result, a majority of our grantees have received support from Schmidt Marine for 3 years or more.
Want to Partner With Us?
Learn more about our process and submit your own proposal.