2016 2016: Underwater vehicle technology firm emerges from technology incubator

2016 2016: Underwater vehicle technology firm emerges from technology incubator
Underwater vehicle technology firm emerges from technology incubator

Ocean Server Technology will employ 17 in Fall River after move from Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito (3d from right) joined UMass Dartmouth officials and elected officials in celebrating the graduation of Ocean Server

Ocean Server Technology, which was launched in 2003 at the UMass Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and has since built a strong reputation for high quality underwater robotics that advance environmental sensing and coastal security, graduated from the CIE today. This is the latest evidence of the region’s emergence as a center of marine technology development.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito was joined by state Sen. Michael Rodrigues: state Rep. Paul Schmid, state Rep. Carol Fiola, state Rep. Steve Howitt, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia and other local elected officials and business leadersto celebrate the milestone. The 15-employee company will set up shop next door at 275 Martine Street on the shore of Fall River’s South Watuppa Pond, where its technology is frequently tested, and plans to add two more employees over the next six months.

“Massachusetts’ maritime industry has always been vital to the Commonwealth’s economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “Increased coordination and critical investments in our state universities and research centers are coming to fruition in the form of an emerging technology company today. We look forward to continuing our work to produce outstanding companies in Massachusetts that will have global implications on robotics and marine technology.”

UMass Dartmouth Senior Vice Chancellor Gerry Kavanaugh said, “Earlier this year, UMass Dartmouth earned its official designation as a doctoral research university, making us the only Massachusetts research university south of Boston. Research universities create innovation incubators like this. They don’t just prepare people to get a job; they create jobs.”

Ocean Server Technology is well known in the marine technology world, having been regularly featured in industry magazines such as Unmanned Systems, Sea Technology Magazine, and Marine Technology Magazine. Its development at the CIE has been assisted by UMass Dartmouth faculty researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate interns. Several of the graduate students and interns are now full-time employees of the firm.

“Besides providing first class facilities in a strategic location, the CIE has connected us to faculty and student brainpower and talent that has been critical to our success,” Ocean Server President Robert Anderson said. “We are looking forward to continuing our growth on the SouthCoast and being at the leading edge of the marine technology sector’s emergence in the region.”

“We are so proud of what Ocean Server has become,” CIE Director Tobias Stapleton said. “This firm’s innovation-based success is tangible evidence that a strong UMass Dartmouth, the only research university south of Boston, is critical to the economic growth of the entire region.”

As Ocean Server Technology is leaving the CIE, the facility will be welcoming PowerDocks, a start-up firm that develops marine-based power docking stations for electric-powered vessels, autonomous surface and underwater vehicle, and aquaculture systems. The technology has global national defense, commercial, oceanography applications.

PowerDocks will join other marine technology enterprises at the CIE, including Boston Engineering, Seavision Underwater Solutions. The CIE was also the host of a major maritime innovations conference earlier this year.

Aquabotix, which manufactures remote-controlled underwater video systems, opened its operation in Fall River in 2015 after graduating from the CIE.